Hella in collaborative research to develop climate-friendly, recyclable headlamp

The research project looks at the entire product lifecycle, from the purchase of materials to repair and recyclability.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 24 Jan 2023 Views icon3431 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
The BMW IX LED headlight is the starting point for the NALYSES development project. (Image: BMW Group)

The BMW IX LED headlight is the starting point for the NALYSES development project. (Image: BMW Group)

Hella is currently engaged in a collaborative research project with industry partners how headlights can be designed to be more climate friendly. The automotive supplier operating under the Forvia umbrella brand, has now started the NALYSES research project, in which the BMW Group, Covestro, geba, Miele, the Heinz Nixdorf Institute of the University of Paderborn, the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronics Design Technology IEM and the Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences are involved in addition to Hella.

In addition to leading the consortium, Hella is supporting the research project NALYSES primarily through its expertise in automotive lighting technology. The BMW Group defines the overarching system requirements of car manufacturers, while Covestro, geba and Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences contribute their expertise in sustainable materials. The Heinz Nixdorf Institute at the University of Pa-derborn and Fraunhofer IEM are developing a digital product twin that can be used to evaluate recyclability and the effects of material selection or design on the carbon footprint in a very short time. Miele is involved in the research project in order to transfer findings to other industries.

The results of the project are to be incorporated into the development of future generations of headlamps but shall also be considered for other application and product areas. The three-year project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

"The aim of our research project is to design and produce our future products more resource-friendly and with lower emissions. We are therefore looking at options to reduce the CO2 footprint of a headlamp over its entire lifecycle," said Dr Michael Kleinkes, who is responsible for development in the lighting Business Group at Hella.

Project findings to go beyond headlamps

In essence, the example of the headlamp will be used to research how products and raw materials can be reused as long as possible in the sense of a circular economy. The findings contribute significantly to Hella's climate objective to manufacture its products CO2-neutral by 2045 at the latest.

"The project is also relevant because the findings go far beyond the headlamp as a product. The approaches are also to be transferred to vehicle components from the electronics sector and to other industries, for example, to the production of household appliances".

"We therefore start with the selection of sustainable, low-emission materials and look at how recycled or bio-based plastics can be used, for example. In addition, product design also plays a decisive role: a sustainable headlamp should be both repairable and recyclable in order to increase its lifetime, conserve resources and contribute to the circular economy," said Dr Michael Kleinkes. Individual components should be able to be reprocessed and recycled at the end of the headlamp's life.

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