PEM Opens E-Motor Research Site With Ford in Cologne


The chair "Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components" (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University has opened a new 1,000 square meter research site for electric motors at the Ford plants in Cologne. As part of the "HaPiPro2" project, one of the most important electric motor components, the so-called hairpin stator, is to be further developed with other partners from industry and science by August 2023. In the future, a prototype demonstration line will be used to advance the production technology for different variants of this e-motor component, which is crucial for performance and efficiency.

  NRW minister Mona Neubaur and Professor Achim Kampker look at a hairpin Copyright: © Alexander Bertrams

"In the public discussion about electric mobility, much of the focus is on the battery – but equally important components such as the electric motor are almost forgotten," says head of PEM, Professor Achim Kampker: "Efficient production processes for e-motors are of central importance to the success of electric mobility." The new infrastructure maps all process steps from hairpin production to assembly processes and laser welding to impregnation and insulation. The aim of the project is to make the hitherto complex production of e-motors significantly cheaper in the future and thus shorten their time to market.

North Rhine-Westphalia minister: "Sustainably secure jobs"

"For the climate-friendly transport of the future, electric mobility is particularly important. Here, North Rhine-Westphalia is already making an important contribution with strong companies from the automotive industry and top-class research," says Mona Neubaur, Minister for Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia: "With the HaPiPro2 project, optimum conditions are being created for pioneering innovations at the tradition-steeped automotive location of Cologne. This is also good news for sustainably secure jobs."

Saving raw materials and reducing waste

"The new facility sets new standards in terms of interdisciplinary cooperation between research and industry for the faster production of electric motor components," says Oliver Färber, head of the engine plant at Ford-Werke GmbH. "The efficient method of producing different electric motor variants on just one line will make a significant contribution to saving raw materials and energy and reducing waste in the future." The hairpin stators in focus are to be produced at the new research facility in both truck and passenger car engine sizes using the same machines and processes. This methodology is expected to help make the entire production process for electric motors more flexible, efficient and sustainable. If necessary, it should be possible to expand the area for the research project by 250 square meters. In addition to PEM and Ford, the consortium also includes Thyssenkrupp, Berg Spanntechnik, AMS Anlagenbau and the Aachen-based company ENGIRO, as well as the RWTH chair of Digital Additive Production.

Further information on the project is provided here.

PEM is thus now active at four locations: at its German-Dutch headquarters in the "Avantis European Science and Business Park" as well as at the Electromobility Laboratory (eLab) on the RWTH Aachen campus, at the electric truck research hall in Aachen's Eastern district, and at the e-motor research site in Cologne.