Low-cost assembly structures paired with autonomous driving


Motivation and approach

The major part of the added value of automotive final assembly today takes place in a few large mass factories in the central core markets of NAFTA, China and Europe. The construction and operation of the respective production infrastructure, both in terms of the plant structure and on the assembly lines, calls for enormous investment costs, area requirements and planning costs. Planning periods currently amount to at least half a decade. In each case, the planning result is a production apparatus that has been planned down to the last detail and is able to produce huge quantities of highly efficient equipment. These lines are often very limited in the ability to produce different vehicles and are also designed for long production periods of the produced vehicles. Today's flexible product lines enable a reduction in the economic risk associated with batch fluctuations. However, these lines can only accommodate vehicles that are based on a common basic architecture and are therefore classified as inflexible in the sense of this project.

Research goal

The overall goal of the project is to investigate the highly flexible and decentralized low-cost assembly of electric vehicles in the future. Through previous investigations, a requirement-oriented, both technical and organizational target image for the e-vehicle assembly of the future was developed. In order to realize this goal, research activities must be initiated, which include the following concrete fields of action:

  •     Enabling self-propelled e-vehicle chassis to provide structural flexibility and reduce infrastructure investments
  •     Automated Derivation Assembly design drawings from product design drawings and device printing
  •     Breaking expensive and high-iterative adjustment processes in assembly by using printed elements to compensate for tolerances
  •     Information networking in production: empowering employees with flexibility and variance through the use of augmented reality applications
  •     Exploration of flexible low-cost assembly structures (including layouts) and the necessary real-time control logic
  •     Researching possible business models for implementing low-cost assembly and integrating them into the value chain

On the basis of the aggregated research results in these fields of action, a real low-cost assembly is to be physically set up in Aachen, with the help of which the results of the research on a real vehicle assembly will be holistically evaluated and validated. As a product-side demonstrator, the project has an e-vehicle platform from e.GO Mobile AG, which must be adapted to the requirements of the assembly process within the framework of the project.

Research and project partner

  • WZL of RWTH Aachen
  • PEM of RWTH Aachen
  • PTC Inc.
  • Götting KG


01.07.2017 - 30.06.2020

Project number


Project sponsor

DLR Projektträger



Max Busch

E-Mail: max.busch@e-go-mobile.com