The MPA is taking over the coordination of the transformation hub "CyberJoin"

March 16, 2023

With the transformation hub "CyberJoin", the partners GSI - Gesellschaft für Schweißtechnik International mbH, Düsseldorf, and the Materials Testing Institute at the University of Stuttgart (MPA) offer a Germany-wide point of contact for the automotive industry in matters of joining and manufacturing technology for the implementation of a sustainable, fast, and technological transformation of the automotive industry.

The full title of the "CyberJoin" hub is the "Cyber-physical transformation hub to enable the transformation of the automotive industry through sustainable joining and manufacturing technology". The hub will offer a Germany-wide point of contact, aimed at automotive suppliers, to support transformation processes in all value chains of the automotive industry.

Against the backdrop of increasingly urgent sustainability requirements and increasing digitalization, the automotive industry is facing sweeping changes and structural transformation. The electrification of vehicle powertrains in particular poses special challenges for small and medium-sized suppliers. Joining technology plays a unique role here across the value chain, as it is used to join individual parts from a wide variety of material combinations to form components. Increasingly complex production processes, narrow processing windows and data-driven production are having a major impact on production.

With the transformation hub "CyberJoin", the partners GSI - Gesellschaft für Schweißtechnik International mbH, Düsseldorf and the Materials Testing Institute at the University of Stuttgart (MPA) provide valuable support for the German automotive industry by bundling and processing current economic and technological trends from industrial development and the global research landscape and making them accessible to a broad target group. A virtual research platform will be established as the first point of contact for any issues or questions from the industrial sector. A knowledge and best-practice database will also be provided.

The important transfer of research findings to the industrial sector will take place via existing networks and structures, as well as through regular knowledge transfer days, which will feature both lectures and practical demonstrations. This will be supplemented by one-day focus workshops. Furthermore, appearances at relevant trade fairs are also being planned. In addition to existing structures and contacts, the entire Germany-wide network of GSI's welding technology teaching and testing institutes will also be put to good use. The transformation hub will thus become a Germany-wide point of contact for joining technology issues, in conjunction with powertrain electrification.

"The goal is to always keep suppliers' requirements in mind throughout the process and to use the demonstration projects to ensure the results meet partners' needs. I am sure that with the transformation hub "CyberJoin" we are making an important contribution to sustainable competitiveness in the automotive industry," says Prof. Stefan Weihe, Managing Director of the MPA.

The institute will also be responsible for coordinating the hub and its demonstration lab will be available for demonstrations, feasibility studies, and display models at on-site events. It is open to companies based in Germany for research work in the field of joining and manufacturing technology. Results arising from this are published so that no competitive advantages are created.

The GSI will also be making its nationwide network available, as well as its infrastructure for events and feasibility analyses. It will ensure that the findings from the Transformation Hub are presented to users via its existing network, that they are incorporated into training and further education in line with requirements, and that they are taken into account in the creation and expansion of information sheets and national and international codes of practice. It will also support the MPA in organizing the numerous events and trade fairs that take place in the automotive industry.

The transformation hub "CyberJoin" is one of a total of 11 thematically diverse hubs funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The support program, which has a total budget of 50 million euros, is part of the German government's economic stimulus package. The project, which is scheduled to run until June 2025, will receive funding of 3 million euros.

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