Lightweight construction consulting

Holistic lightweight construction - Overview

Holistic lightweight construction takes into account all aspects of system, structural and material lightweight construction and enables comprehensive consideration of all possible lightweight construction effects in the system space, including sustainability and cost aspects as well as other aspects where applicable.

Comprehensive lightweight design consulting for a component or an entire system is expedient if weight-saving potential is to be identified quickly and efficiently during the product development phase under specified technical and commercial boundary conditions. All primary and secondary trades in the system space are included, whereby a classic detailed structure, system or material analysis is not necessary at first.

TGM uses special experience from previous projects, a knowledge database and special system, structure and material lightweight construction methods. The system lightweight design methods include functional analysis and integration, the consideration of system interfaces, effective surfaces and primary and secondary mass effects in the system space, taking interface effects into account. The structural lightweight construction methods include the investigation of load paths, neutral axes, similarity-mechanical relationships, form stiffnesses and the analysis of differential and integral support systems as well as sandwich and shear span support systems. The lightweight material method takes into account the choice of materials appropriate to the load and the latest technologies available from system suppliers.

The potentials identified are discussed and prioritized together with the customer (weight groups, development areas, project management). A joint decision is then made as to which weight-saving potentials should be pursued and analyzed. If necessary, decision papers are prepared and presented to the project management.

Lightweight construction consulting

Our lightweight design consultancy is divided into several steps, which can also be ordered as individual modules. In the multi-stage lightweight design consulting process, we support our customers holistically in identifying and developing their potential through to the realization of their potential in order to achieve their weight targets.

Lightweight construction potential screening

First of all, a potential screening of the product or its sketches at the start of the project is carried out in accordance with the data available to determine the expected weight-saving potential of the current project status. The analysis methodology used and the weight prediction methodology based on it are TGM's own procedures.

Top-down mass analysis

When determining the target weight, the technology used, known predecessors or similar vehicles or known competitor products, the state of the art, known opportunities and risks as well as the development maturity are taken into account in order to define a target weight.

Recording status quo

In the next step, the data (CAD data, FEM plots, material cards, specifications, risks, tolerances) is viewed and checked for plausibility in order to identify and eliminate inconsistencies. By receiving data on specific weight breakdowns for the components and assemblies under consideration, the parameters of the materials and masses used can also be verified. This step is important for identifying risks and also leads to potential findings in complex weight tracking.

Verification of mass properties

For further consideration and plausibility checks, it makes sense to go one step further and check weight books for completeness and consistency, as well as to check centers of gravity and weight distributions in the corresponding vehicles using TGM's own software. In the rail sector, the Software WDT and in the aerospace sector through SmartAct are supported. These analyses can be used to quickly generate potentials that are verified by the software and to identify defects and risks.

Lightweight design potential analysis

This involves the rapid development and presentation of qualitatively and quantitatively described lightweight construction potential on the basis of direct analysis or benchmarking of the systems or assemblies, whereby a cost and technology range can be specified. Customized lightweight construction ideas and concrete lightweight construction potentials are developed on the basis of our own special methods, knowledge and patent databases. This potential can be used to reduce mass or optimize mass distribution, centre of gravity positions and moments of inertia. Sketches are made for the potentials found and the physical principles of action are described. Potentials found fulfill the specified customer requirements and are prepared in the form of one-pagers for the customer to make decisions. Through brainstorming and solution generation based on technological or mechanical correlations or benchmarks, our customers receive feedback in the shortest possible time, which can then be further deepened in innovation or product workshops.

Innovation and product workshops

Various lightweight construction workshops are held using the plausible data and the estimated weight target. TGM prepares potentials and lightweight construction ideas in advance, which are then presented and processed in workshops with the relevant specialist groups using clear one-pagers. A distinction is made between innovation workshops, technology workshops and supplier workshops. The innovation workshop provides individual lightweight solutions. In the technology workshop, the active principles and selected products of suitable research and industry partners are discussed and applications are derived from them. The supplier workshop ensures that the ideas are ultimately implemented. Long-standing relationships and experience with competitors provide the basis for accompanying the best solution from the sketch to production.

Risk & tolerance analysis

The extent to which risks arise, tolerances are valuable or critical is assessed on the basis of the project's information situation, the maturity of designs, manufacturing processes or the maturity of the interface definition, and these points are critically scrutinized with the customer and suppliers and solutions are developed accordingly. It is extremely important to track risks early on in the project. It is less about eliminating risks than being aware of them and always keeping an eye on them during the ongoing development process and being able to make a well-founded assessment.

Decision support

Discussions at management level are essential to get an idea to the finish line. This is where we support our customers and enable decisions to be made using simplified models and the logical processing of our idea generation. A holistic view of the entire development process, production restrictions, discussions with engineers, specialist groups, suppliers and purchasing can support the decision-making process.

Analysis of functional relationships

In order to identify the weight drivers of the respective component, the physical and functional relationships are analyzed and energy, substance and material flows are considered. TGM's own method is used to ensure that the component is designed in line with the individual requirements. These findings are then used to determine which measures can be used to achieve the target weight most effectively and efficiently for the specific project.

Report creation

Our results are documented individually by workshop and work package. However, the focus is always on clarity and the comprehensible transportation of lightweight construction solutions. We also offer ready-made technology one-pagers in which the functional principles and know-how of cooperation partners and relevant products are presented briefly and clearly.