Lightweighting Excellence Programme (LX)

Type: Active Collaborative Project


Partners: Sigmatex, Axillium Research, Caparo Advanced Composites, Cranfield University, Engenuity, Expert Tooling & Automation, Granta Design, Group Rhodes, LMAT, Surface Generation, Tilsatec

The LX consortium will enhance capability within the UK automotive supply chain to manufacture composite components in medium to high volumes, at affordable costs, by connecting the key functions of material supply, design and manufacturing. OEMs are now working on weight reduction to ensure compliance with stricter emissions standards. However, as the amount of technology demanded in today’s passenger vehicles increases, so does the overall weight. Composite materials allow OEMs to counteract this effect through lightweighting and part consolidation, while maintaining structural integrity. Many UK-based automotive OEMs have expressed interest to source a higher percentage of their composite components from within the UK. The LX Programme, funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) programme, addresses these desires by consolidating all elements of the supply chain to produce demonstrator components to showcase UK capability. Three OEMs are working with the partners on the following ‘use cases’: Bentley Motors (door inner structure), Emerald Automotive (exterior body panels), and Nissan (structural component). By the conclusion of the LX Programme in 2017, the consortium will have established the design capability and processes required to produce structural, semi-structural and Class A surface finished components in significant volumes. Granta is supporting the consortium by facilitating knowledge management with materials information management in GRANTA MI and decision-making tools for material and process selection.