Issue: Oct 2014


A Breath of Fresh Air



Röchling Automotive Uses Software to Design Filter Elements and Presents Sustainable Joining Techniques and CO2- and NOx-Reducing Components at the International Suppliers Fair (IZB) in Wolfsburg

by Nick Palmen

In order to produce vehicles cost-efficiently, manufacturers are increasingly using a common-part strategy across platforms when developing their model range. Röchling Automotive takes this approach into account and supports OEMs with internally developed software for designing filter elements. This innovative tool allows a comparison of different filter geometries, making it possible to significantly reduce the number of different filters used across the model range. Within a few hours, the program provides you with reliable results on optimum filter design as well as filter duration and performance. For this purpose, the tool takes engine data, target values of the OEM and various operating conditions into consideration.

In addition, Röchling Automotive presents further innovations – such as heat-resistant charge air ducts able to withstand temperatures of up to 230° Celsius – at the International Suppliers Fair (IZB) in Wolfsburg from October 14 to 16, 2014, where the company can be found in hall 6, booth 6208. Another trend is the use of clean joining methods. Röchling Automotive provides series components using adhesive techniques and SealbondingTM, a technology which this plastics expert developed itself. Maximum priority was given to finding a reliable and solid compound of the joining elements which can be produced cost-effectively. In addition, the Mannheim company is putting a true lightweight on the market: a muffler made of plastic allows weight reductions of up to 30 percent compared to a conventional one made of steel. New products from the field of electromobility round off Röchling Automotive’s service portfolio.

 

Less is More

Emissions regulations and customer requirements play a key role in the development of new filter elements. For this reason, Röchling Automotive developed a software for estimating the lifetime of filter elements, thus simplifying the pre-development of these elements in terms of filtration and pressure drop. In addition, the tool allows a comparison of different filter geometries with the aim of limiting the number of different filter elements used across platforms. The software is able to simulate single measurements within a few hours, whereas a realistic test setup using prototypes in accordance with ISO standard 5011 takes several weeks to prepare. Optimum filter design, filter duration and performance can be defined with the help of the new software. For this purpose, the tool uses engine data provided by the manufacturer, target values of the OEM with regard to air filter lifetime and load capacity, filter data such as paper thickness and porosity as well as vehicle-specific packaging data such as pleat height and pleat step.

 

Diverse Regional Conditions Taken into Account

Every user can define the operating conditions under which a filter has to function. A comparison between results generated by the software and measurements provided by realistic test setups on the basis of identical conditions and parameters showed that the mathematical calculations coincide with the practical results. The great accuracy of the results makes real-world tests unnecessary and has a positive effect on development efficiency, particularly in terms of the necessary cost and time. This is why the software is becoming an important part of the design process for intake systems which facilitate a common-part strategy across OEM platforms.

 

As Light as a Feather

A much-discussed product innovation is the plastic muffler for exhaust systems. In order to withstand the high temperatures prevailing in exhaust gas systems, Röchling Automotive uses highly temperature-resistant materials and a sophisticated method of thermal isolation. Simulation calculations show that certain temperature limits are not exceeded. Besides a weight reduction of up to about 30 percent, the solution made of plastic provides numerous options for adjusting the sound and reducing the noise level. The use of plastic also has advantages for the design of components with improved aerodynamics and makes it possible to adapt components cost-effectively to the design of the rear end of the vehicle.

 

Think Clean

Under the motto “Think Clean”, Röchling Automotive also offers economical and environmentally friendly joining technologies such as SealbondingTM. This joining process is a clean alternative to the vibration welding of plastic components. SealbondingTM is a particle-free method for producing leak-proof and pressure-resistant components. Röchling Automotive also presents its new approaches with regard to the further development of SCR tank systems.

Various exhibits demonstrate the wide range of applications which Röchling Automotive offers in the field of electromobility, including battery housings, cell frames, bipolar plates, ion exchangers for fuel cells and new solutions for inductive charging. In this way, Röchling Automotive is establishing itself as an innovative and forward-looking partner for automakers by offering environmentally effective solutions.



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