Lightweight construction technology is in especially high demand in vehicle construction. Some of the reasons for using plastic components are flexibility of design, weight savings and lower costs. Lightweight construction also has benefits for environmental protection as fuel consumption and emissions are reduced thanks to the lower weight of the components. As a result of the numerous advantages of lightweight construction, the trend towards using plastic components continues to increase enormously in the automotive industry in particular.
Keim followed the trend towards fibre-reinforced plastics right from the start. The company was founded about 30 years ago to manufacture motorcycle fairings, and other vehicle sectors were soon added. The RTM method allows us to produce entire parts of vehicles using fibre composite materials. One of the companies we were able to convince of our competence was EvoBus, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, for which we have been manufacturing components since the mid-1990s. A challenging project in 2003 was the development and manufacture of the side trim panel for the prototype of the Smart and for the first Smart series using the RTM method.
Another example from the year 2005 is the hatch of the VW Eos, which Keim produced as a prototype and as a pre-series.