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Flexible and digitalised production for electric motors

The goal of the three-year project is to develop an agile and digitalised production system with modular product components for innovative electric motors. AgiloDrive2 also focuses on how electric motors can be manufactured flexibly, sustainably and economically on the basis of data-based manufacturing technologies, agile process chains and intelligent control architectures.

Agile production

In terms of technical features and depending on the type of electrified powertrain used, electric motors can vary considerably in their topology, for example with regard to winding type, installation space, torque, continuous output, and operating behavior. Schaeffler, leader of the project, offers electric motors across all degrees of electrification: for hybrid modules, hybrid transmissions, and all-electric axle drives with a wide output range extending from 20 to over 300 kW. AgiloDrive2 responds to the diversity of variants and the volatility of unit numbers with an agile production method that is to be jointly developed and validated in the project.

Goals and approach

The aim is thus to develop a versatile production system, which follows a product/production co-design principle and will promote a close cooperation between product system and production system development. A modular design of the machines enables the reuse of production equipment for the benefit of economic efficiency and sustainability. Instead of rigid production lines, AgiloDrive2 relies on highly flexible digitised and efficient technology modules. These are easily scalable, can be flexibly configured as well as linked and set up software-based.

Standardised machine connections, hardware and software interfaces as well as the use of manufacturer-independent communication standards are intended to enable mastery of the increasing complexity and allow the rapid integration of systems in the sense of the "plug and produce" approach. Digital twins allow efficient production planning and accelerated commissioning, AI solutions increase the quality of products and digital qualification methods facilitate and accelerate the training of employees.


Strong partners from industry and research

The AgiloDrive2 research project, with a three-year duration and total finance package of 33.7 million euros, is being funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, within the framework of the funding guideline “Digitalization of vehicle manufacturers and supplier industry,” and is supported by the project sponsor VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH.

Schaeffler is guiding the project as consortium leader and has overall responsibility for the research activities. 17 other partners operating in industry and research are participating alongside Schaeffler.