Cluster of Excellence "Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures"
In November 2012, the Cluster of Excellence "Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures" started its research activities. Over a five-year period, MERGE pursues the objective to merge currently individual material-specific processes (textile, plastics and metal processing methods) for manufacturing lightweight structures taking into account large-scale serial production capability. These developments will not only result in a reduction of the number of process steps but also enable considerable energy and material savings, which in turn contribute to a resource-efficient manufacturing of lightweight structures. In addition, within the Cluster of Excellence the integration of active components (e. g., actuators, sensors, generators) as electronic modules into the production process is explored to achieve further progress in the field of highly functional lightweight structures.
These research activities will be realized by the cooperation of the different fields of research and sub-projects of MERGE. Due to the fact that the technological developments should also be efficient from an economic point of view, the professorship Management Accounting and Control develops approaches and methods for an economic evaluation of these technologies within the sub-projects B4 "Resource-efficient processes for manufacturing hybrid structures" (IRD B) and D1 "Design methods and technologies for the integration of electronic functional elements into heterogeneous composites" (IRD D).
The sub-project B4 aims to develop an integrated methodology enabling an early-stage balancing and evaluation of process chains for hybrid components focusing different evaluation dimensions - energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, robustness, and serial capability. Within this sub-project, the objective of the professorship Management Accounting and Control is the development and application of a method system for the economic evaluation of process chains for manufacturing hybrid components. In doing so, existing economic and engineering science-oriented approaches for the evaluation of process chains will be analyzed, and appropriate methods will be applied, specified, and refined. Thus, new method components for evaluation will be developed.
The sub-project D1 focuses on manufacturing of active core materials for sandwich-structures with integrated transducer elements. These composite components will be inserted in rotor blades of small wind turbines for active flow control. To direct these research activities to economic success already in early stages of development, the professorship Management Accounting and Control creates a methodology for a life cycle-based analysis and evaluation of the economic benefit of the developed technologies. The methodology will be validated by applying on the composite components designed within the sub-project D1.
Link to the web page of the project: http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/MERGE/