Innovation is the process of making changes, large and small, radical and incremental, to products, technologies, processes, business models and services. These changes need to result in something new that adds value to our customers.

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Door Side Impact Beam out of TWIP Steel

In development with a German premium automobile manufacturer we brought the innovative TWIP steel into series production.

Twip Effect:
Plasticity induced by twin formation: Under load, the crystal structure folds over at a stacking error and a twin is formed. This process absorbs a lot of impact energy.

BReak Cover with Vault Structure

With vault structures a higher stiffness can be achieved at defined points in the sheet. This allows the use of thinner materials. Crash and sound absorption capacity can also be improved. With this process, we were able to save 37 percent in weight and 27 percent in costs on one chassis part compared with the original part. Similar effects can be achieved by using vault structures for back panels.

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A Culture of Innovation

At the Heitkamp & Thumann Group our strategic innovation management approach is based on three main elements:

  • a market-oriented innovation funnel (see figure),

  • a customized portfolio management approach and

  • interdisciplinary teams using industry-proven innovation methods to drive a variety of different types of innovation projects.

Jörg Klawikowski-Meusel / Director Manufacturing Engineering