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Products and innovations

New product solutions contribute to CO2 reduction and pave the way for "green mobility" of the future

ElringKlinger has fully embraced one of the megatrends currently driving the automotive industry: emissions reduction. The majority of products in the portfolio contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, or soot particulates - either through new lightweighting concepts, the continued optimization of cumbustion engines by means of downsizing or alternative drive technologies.  

With new legislation being introduced around the globe, manufacturers have no choice but to deliver substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. By 2021, for example, the level of greenhouse gases emitted by new vehicles will have to fall by a further 20% in Europe and by as much as 30% in the United States. At the same time, emerging markets such as China have their sights set on low-emissions technology, with a government-defined target of cutting CO2 emissions by up to 30%.

Drawing on its innovative technologies, ElringKlinger can help to meet these challenging standards.

Megatrend drives the automotive industry

Downsizing = optimizing the combustion engine

Downsizing refers to the reduction in engine capacity while improving the engine's efficiency. One of the most common ways of achieving this is to feed in air under increased pressure. The conventional combustion engine still holds tremendous potential for optimization of up to 25%. However, increasingly efficient engines also coincide with higher temperatures and injection pressures. This puts greater demands on shielding parts as well as cylinder-head and specialty gaskets. As a global market leader, ElringKlinger's R&D efforts in this specific field are focused on continuously evolving and refining the company's products in order to improve their durability, stability and thermal resistance. 

Additionally, ElringKlinger is currently looking to exploit other autonomous sources of energy within the vehicle itself. A case in point is the potential use of energy dissipated by thermal and acoustic shielding components. 

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Cylinder-head gaskets
Specialty gaskets
Shielding systems

Lightweighting = replacement of metal with plastics

CO2 emissions are influenced to a large extent by the overall weight of a vehicle. The following formula applies: less weight = lower fuel consumption = reduced emissions. Therefore, the use of plastics instead of metal holds tremendous potential. The aim here is to make vehicles lighter and thus more fuel efficient. In order to be able to replace as many sheet steel and aluminum components as possible, ElringKlinger engineers are not only working on conventional plastics but also on innovative hybrid materials and the requisite production processes.

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Lightweight plastic parts and modules for the powertrain

Lightweight plastic parts and modules for the vehicle body
 

Alternative drive concepts = fuel cells and battery technology

The automobile industry is evolving: battery technology, fuel cells, hybrid solutions. Low-emissions mobility can be accomplished by pursuing various approaches. ElringKlinger's product portfolio already includes battery and fuel cell components. As a result, the company is well equipped to tackle the challenges of the future.

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Battery technology and e-mobility
Cell contact systems

Research and development forms the basis for a strong culture of innovation

ElringKlinger’s corporate philosophy is all about being close to the customer, spotting trends early, and actively helping to shape innovation. The company has invested some 5 % of its revenue in research and development in recent years, a relatively large amount compared to the industry as a whole. These funds underpin the strong competitive position enjoyed by the ElringKlinger Group.

Focus on research and development

Research and development (including capitalized development costs) expenses amounted to EUR 75.9 (74.8) million in the 2017 financial year. This equates to an R&D ratio of 4.6 % (4.8 %), just below the Group’s target range of 5-6 %. The Group is thus pursuing its strategy of prioritizing its highly promising areas of business when it comes to allotting significant resources.

The strong culture of innovation at ElringKlinger is kept alive by creative minds. With 597 (570) employees, the company further increased the number of staff engaged in research and development in fiscal 2017.

ElringKlinger always seeks legal protection for new developments at both product and process level. Its central patent unit deals with the protection of technological knowledge and intellectual property, in addition to applying for patents in Germany and abroad. At 69 (68), the number of patents newly applied for in 2017 was up slightly on the previous year.