The goal of the joint research project “DigiBody – Digital Process Chain for Representing and Optimizing Joining Technology in Body-in-White” (Grant no.: 19I19003C, duration: 3 years), launched in April 2019, is the digital predictability of the quality of joints in complex loaded, intelligent components made of strategic materials, taking into account the real production, product and operating conditions and their interactions in vehicle development. This enables a virtual, cost-effective process optimization as well as a minimization of the mechanically joined connections. By reducing the number of joining operations, decisive costs can be reduced, and lightweight constructions made of strategic materials can be placed efficiently and comprehensively on the market. Considering these priorities, DigiBody contributes to the development of new vehicle technologies which in turn promote economical, energy-efficient and low-emission transport. The project is intended to make a decisive contribution to reversing the trend of the increasing number of joints in vehicle body-in-white, up to the vision of an elementary adhesively bonded body-in-white.

As part of the joint research project “DigiBody”, inpro is working on the subproject “Simulative safeguarding of the dimensional accuracy of adhesive assisted hemming processes”. For this purpose, the loads exerted on the component during production are first determined. The damage to the joints and component is determined throughout the entire manufacturing process. Based on this, a consistent simulation methodology for the relevant manufacturing processes with a focus on damage to joints and components is deduced. A continuous, digital coupling of the adhesive performance with the transient roller hemming process is to be established in order to achieve adhesive-based joining processes. The aim is to increase the degree of accuracy in the simulation of manufacturing processes for the early digital validation of vehicle design statuses. For the KTL process, the thermally induced effects in the KTL process are to be simulated and thus predicted. In the end, the digital function validation should lead to a reliable statement.

The BMWi project “DigiBody” is led by Daimler AG and will be developed together with the other project partners DYNAmore GmbH, inpro, University of Paderborn (LWF), University of Stuttgart (IFB) and DDP Speciality Products Germany GmbH & Co. KG as an associated project partner. The project executing agency is TÜV Rheinland.