BMBF joint project NeWwire

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Germany - leading provider for electromobility

The greatest challenge facing the automotive industry worldwide is to ensure environmentally compatible individual mobility in the long term. With regard to the targeted use of renewable energies and local zero emissions, great expectations are being placed on electromobility. From the automotive industry's point of view, Germany's leading role in automotive engineering must be maintained in an "electromobile future". The German government has therefore set itself the goal of putting one million electric vehicles on Germany's roads by 2020 as a first step. The German automotive industry is to become a leading provider of electromobility. However, there are still major technological hurdles to overcome on the way to marketable electric vehicles. As part of the "Series-flexible technologies for electric vehicle drives 2" funding priority of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, support is being provided in particular for series-ready and scalable production and manufacturing technologies for the production of electric motors and measurement and testing technologies. In addition, funding is being provided for drive technologies for future vehicle generations that place significantly more stringent requirements on the performance and functional safety of electric motors.

Novel winding process for high-performance electric motors

Due to limited energy resources and the global growth in individual traffic, new energy-efficient and economical drive concepts are needed. At present, electric drives offer precisely these technical properties due to their high efficiency. To take advantage of this, the electric motor must be optimally designed for its application. Today's electric motors for traction drives must be optimized to their performance and material limits and meet a wide range of requirements.

The aim of the NeWwire research project is to develop and design a novel winding process for the automated production of electric motors in the high-performance range for automotive use. The inner copper wire winding in the stationary part of the motor.  To increase the performance of the  motor, a  high-performance winding is required, the manufacture of which presents a particular challenge. The so-called trough winding process, in which the wires have so far been inserted into the stator by hand, is to be automated in the project. In this process, as many copper conductors as possible are inserted into the stator in a reproducible manner and with short production times, without damaging the enameled copper wire and causing electrical short circuits. Today's automated winding processes achieve short production times and reproducible results, but the number of copper conductors is not as high as in manual processes.

From manual process to plant integration.
Source: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, wbk Institute for Production Engineering, Volkswagen AG

Novel winding process for high-performance electric motors (Part 2)

First, the requirements and specifications, such as power and torque, for the traction drive are defined. In an iterative process, the motor is designed electromagnetically and thermally. In parallel, the concept for mechanization and automation of the tear-winding process is developed and prototypically tested. The knowledge gained in this process is incorporated into the simulation of the drive system for the construction of the demonstrator. For the successful implementation, the further development of the copper wire with its insulation or lacquering is also necessary. The demonstrator will be implemented and tested in the production process at Volkswagen. At the end of the project, several prototypes of the electric motor will be manufactured and tested under different conditions with regard to their performance characteristics.

Automation of the innovative winding process offers the possibility of increasing the number of copper conductors in stators of different types of electric motors. Thus, electric motors become more efficient and powerful. All manufacturers of electric motors, for example also for high-performance industrial motors in logistics processes, can benefit from the research results.


01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019

Project partners:

  • Volkswagen AG, Kassel plant, Baunatal (project coordinator)
  • Aumann GmbH , Espelkamp
  • Essex Germany GmbH, Bad Arolsen
  • University of Kassel, Department of Vehicle Systems and Fundamentals (FSG), Kassel
  • University of Kassel, Department of Mechatronics with Focus (FMF), Kassel
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, wbk Institute for Production Engineering, Karlsruhe

Requested by

Federal Ministry
for Education
and Research