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Ford is among a number of consortium partners that have announced the creation of a European research centre to investigate new production processes for the next-generation of electric motors.

The aim of the research project, called HaPiPro, is to develop future-facing products and new processes that will form the foundation for various European manufacturers to play a leading global role in the mass-production of electric vehicle components.

The consortium includes Ford, Thyssenkrupp System Engineering, RWTH Aachen University’s 3D-printing and product engineering departments, and electric motor experts, Engiro. 

During the 36-month public-funded project, the companies will work together to develop flexible, scalable and efficient new production methods that could be used for future e-motor components along a single production line.

The name of the initiative, HaPiPro, refers to the hairpin technology used in the wire‑winding inside the e-motor assemblies.

Gunnar Herrmann, executive chairman, Ford of Germany, says: “Ford is committed to helping the industry enable the future of vehicle electrification,. We are proud to host and contribute to this landmark research centre that will be a unique, advanced engineering platform for all companies to research and evaluate the future of electric motor production processes.”

“The main objective of the HaPiPro project is about more than the efficient design of the e‑motor itself, but about developing variant flexibility when producing it,” adds Prof. Achim Kampker, Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM), RWTH Aachen University.

“The PEM at RWTH Aachen University will contribute its expertise in application-oriented research to the overall hairpin process chain, as well as the analysis of cause-effect relationships and the testing of digital methods within production planning,” says Kampker.

Ford Cologne Electrification Center
Ford Cologne Electrification Center

In February 2021, Ford committed that its commercial vehicle range in Europe will be zero emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of commercial vehicle sales expected to be all electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. By mid-2026, 100 percent of its passenger vehicle range also will be zero emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, moving to all-electric by 2030.

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