Kiekert Sets New Standards in Lightweight Construction of Closure Systems
Kiekert has consistently committed its design philosophy to lightweight. We support our customers worldwide in attaining their goal of continuously decreasing fuel consumption, and thus, the CO2 emissions, by reducing the vehicle weight. As the leader in automobile closure system technology, we managed to reduce the weight of our products by 40 to 50 percent in every vehicle segment and over two vehicle generations: from side-door latches to latch modules, from liftgate latches to E-latches.
We’re relying on lightweight materials, new manufacturing processes and an increased function integration while also reducing installation space. Just in the last vehicle generation, we were able to offer our customers weight savings from 1 to 3 kilograms per vehicle in the "premium" and "volume" platform segments. Downsizing in the installation space too: Here, we were able to decrease space demands in each platform segment by 15 to 30 percent—due to consistent optimization of the system architecture. Additional challenge: The required weight reduction always needed to remain in accordance with high electromechanical requirements, increased functionality and additional customer-specific demands.
We make this advancement possible through the modular composition of our lightweight products and their adaptation to individual customer needs. At the same time, our continuously optimized range of materials ensures high stability with lower weight. Another lightweight design factor: weight-optimized actuators for comfort functions such as the electric locking and unlocking functions and the automatic power closing.
Cooperation for Innovation
To satisfy the lightweight design trend as an automobile supplier, we have been cooperating with international research institutions for decades. This is how we ensure access to valuable knowledge and new efficiency processes. Notable institutions are part of our worldwide science network, such as Bochum University in Germany, Yichun University in China, Kettering University in the USA and the Monterrey Institute for Technology in Mexico.
Dr. Karl Krause, Chairman of the Board at Kiekert AG:
"The predominant topic in the automobile industry is lightweight design. Years ago, we committed ourselves to the lightweight construction principle. Lightweight closure systems are a part of our efficiency strategy. Our clear goal is to continue to reduce the weight gram by gram. During this process, it is necessary to combine a minimum of weight with a maximum of safety, efficiency and comfort. Over the course of the years, we’ve succeeded in doing this through consistent and goal-oriented tracking of our lightweight design goals and our modular construction in all platform segments."