We want to find tomorrow's solutions today. That is why we are constantly engaged in R&I projects as well as studies and reports focusing on current and upcoming requirements of our customers.
Research & Innovation Projects
Our technical curiosity, creativity, and innovative power make iPoint a highly sought-after partner for renowned R&I projects. With our constant and user-oriented research and innovation activities in numerous national and international projects we take a leading role.
Here is an excerpt from our R&I projects:
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Projects
Innovative process for PET recycling: A case study on mechanical and enzymatic sorting of tires, textiles, and hoses.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is widely used for plastics and textiles, resulting in more than 20 million t/y of complex waste worldwide, for which there is no viable circular economy today. Most complex waste is landfilled or incinerated. There is an urgent need to develop a circular solution to convert complex PET waste from plastics and textiles back into high-value-added products. The EU-funded WHITECYCLE project plans to introduce a two-fold process that will enable the transformation of PET waste into high-value-added products. First, technologies will be developed to increase the PET content of complex waste streams to 80%, and then an enzyme-based recycling method will be developed to sustainably recover PET monomers from all types of waste streams. The monomers will then be repolymerized and recycled. The innovative process will be demonstrated in a number of real cases to prepare for market introduction for high-value-added applications (tires, flat tubes, and multi-material textiles).
iPoint's role in this project is to evaluate the new recycling processes in terms of their environmental impact and life cycle costs.
More information about the project can be found here.
Project partners: Manufacture Française des Pneumatiques Michelin, Axelera, Carbios SA, Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf, Estato Umweltservice Gmbh, Inditex, Institut Français Du Et De L’habillement, Pprime Institute,IRIS Technology Solution Sociedad Limitada, Kordsa Teknik Tekstil A. S, Mandals SA, TLC Synergies, Université de Poitiers, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
Keywords: recycling, LCA, LCC, waste management, waste treatment, separation technologies, PET, plastic
Lightweight construction technologies in cross-life cycle products of the energy transition
Project period: Q1 2021 – Q4 2023
The aim of the LiKE project is to revise selected components in terms of their carbon footprint and transform them into more sustainable, recyclable products by means of a holistic and cross-lifecycle product development and the use of resource-conserving lightweight construction technologies. In this project, the focus is on the electrical machine and a high-speed switching unit for energy transmission networks. iPoint’s task is to support the project by including ecological aspects and principles of the circular economy into the product development process so that these can be taken into account in the early phases. To reach the target set in the project the software Umberto and the web application iPoint Product Sustainability is used.
Project partners: iPoint-systems gmbh (formerly ifu Hamburg), Siemens AG, Polysecure GmbH, MetisMotion GmbH, THM recycling solution GmbH, Institut für Leichtbau und Kunststofftechnik der TU Dresden, Institut für Aufbereitungsmaschinen und Recyclingsystemtechnik der TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institut für Mikrostrukturtechnik des Karlsruher Instituts für Technologie
Keywords: LCA, electrical machine, Circular Economy, Umberto, iPoint Product Sustainability
CO₂-saving lightweight solutions on the next-generation battery housing demonstrator
Project period: Q2 2021 – Q2 2024
COOLBat aims to reduce CO₂ emissions through the development, optimization and scaling of lightweight materials and technologies for a battery housing in the field of electromobility. The focus is on innovative materials and processes for function-integrated lightweight construction and resource efficiency. iPoint’s involvement lays in the ecological evaluation with consideration of the entire product life cycle with different scenarios. The software Umberto and the web application iPoint Product Sustainability is meant to be used to reach the goal of the project.
Project partner: iPoint-systems gmbh, Fraunhofer IWU, Fraunhofer IFAM, Fraunhofer IST, Fraunhofer WKI, Auto-Entwicklungsring Sachsen GmbH, Basdorf Lampe und Partner GmbH, Compositence GmbH, INVENT GmbH, LXP Group GmbH, MID Solutions GmbH, Synthopol Chemie Dr. rer. Pol. Koch GmbH & Co. KG, Tigres GmbH, Trimet Aluminium SE, Daimler AG
Keywords: LCA, Umberto, iPoint Product Sustainability
Integrated Catalytic Recycling of Plastic Residues into Added-Value Chemicals
Project period: Q4 2018 – Q3 2022
The main goal of the iCareplast project is to develop a cost- and energy-efficient recycling process for a large part of today's non-recyclable plastics and composites from municipal waste. In this process, heterogeneous plastic mixtures are converted into valuable chemicals via chemical routes with successive catalyst and separation steps. iPoint is developing its Umberto LCA software and iPoint Product Sustainability web application to assess the environmental impact of the iCareplast pilot plant. As part of the project, iPoint is developing interfaces and tools to machine monitoring and energy management system to enable a dynamic live LCA based on real-time data.
Projekt Partners: iPoint-systems gmbh, Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Universitat Politècnica de València, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, I. P., BioBTX B.V, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Twente, Kerionics S.L., URBASER S.A.
Keywords: Live LCA, Umberto, iPoint Product Sustainability, Plastic recycling, Chemical recycling
Life Cycle Technologies for Hybrid Structures
Project period: Q1 2020 – Q4 2024
The aim of the LCT project is to develop methods and technologies for the design of components in multi-material construction with integrated, holistic consideration of technical, economic and ecological target variables and, above all, to investigate the use and end-of-life options in greater detail with the aid of targeted condition monitoring. iPoint develops an intelligent and automated data selection that can be used for LCA models (especially for serial production). Apart from that iPoint is also building a powerful interface for dynamic modeling of production processes and developing an automated scenario calculation. Umberto and iPoint Product Sustainability applications are used to assess the environmental aspects of the production process-, material- and component-specific data with subsequent storage in a database.
Project partners: iPoint-systems gmbh (formerly ifu Hamburg),Institute for Joining and Welding Technology of the Technical University of Braunschweig, Institute for Machine Tools and Manufacturing Technology of the Technical University of Braunschweig, Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, INVENT GmbH, Procon X-Ray GmbH, Surfactor GmbH, Volkswagen AG, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe SE, ZwickRoell GmbH & Co. KG
Keywords: iPoint Product Sustainability, Automotive Innovation, LCA, Product EOL
Design, simulation testing, and life cycle analysis of Brake Calipers made from carbon-fiber-reinforced composites
Project period: Q3 2021 – Q3 2024
The main objective of the project is to develop a Process-Structure-Properties linkage methodology to optimize thick-walled carbon fiber reinforced composites for complex, functional applications. The brake calliper is a visionary demonstrator with high thermomechanical and vibro-acoustic requirements. iPoint is conducting a quantitative Life Cycle Analysis that enables product developers to consider ecological aspects like the Carbon Footprint.
Project partner: iPoint-systems Austria, GDTech, MSC Software Belgium S.A, Université de Liège, Graz University of Technology, JKU Linz IPPE, Hintsteiner Group, Fagor Arrasate, RUIMOLDES
Complex lightweight structures for electronic applications within the mobility
Project period: Q1 2022 – Q1 2025
The Kolibri project addresses new concepts for the production of mass-reduced and sustainable power electronics modules. The aim is to develop several lightweight heat sink prototypes for various mobility applications in the automotive, aerospace and rail sectors. Both aluminum foams and additively manufactured and galvanized plastic foams will be used. The project takes into account the entire life cycle of the prototypes and designs it to be as resource-efficient as possible. In the process, iPoint is preparing life cycle assessments for the various prototype demonstrators and developing an interface that enables access to environmental data in the CAD software at an early stage of product development.
Project partner: iPoint-systems gmbh (formerly ifu Hamburg), Siemens AG, Valeo Siemens eAutomotive, Siemens Mobility, TU-Dresden, Institute for Lightweight Construction and Plastics Technology, NRU GmbH, TU-Dresden – Institute for Lightweight Construction and Plastics Technology, Freiberg University of Technology, METROM Mechatronische Maschinen GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems, Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU
Keywords: LCA, Umberto, lightweight construction, automotive sector, metal foams, cooling performance, iPoint Product Sustainability
Advanced Shaped Sandwich Composites for Mechanical, Thermal, and Acoustic Applications
Project period: Q4 2019 – Q3 2022
The aim of the ACTion project is to research automotive lightweight design with complex sandwich structures based on the IQ-Foam process developed by Volkswagen. In addition, a design tool for sandwich composites is being developed that enables the simulation of thermal, mechanical and acoustic properties. iPoint provides an interface solution for the implementation of a multidisciplinary life cycle engineering approach that enables the automated collection and analysis of manufacturing data in real time. iPoint's LCA software solution Umberto facilitates the modeling and assessment of manufacturing data that can be used to identify and visualize the potential associated environmental impacts and costs.
Project partner: iPoint-systems gmbh, Technical University of Braunschweig - Institute of Acoustics (InA), Institute of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Technology (IWF), Chair of Sustainable Production and Life Cycle Engineering, Institute for Joining and Welding Technology (ifs), Invent GmbH, Volkswagen AG, ElringKlinger
Keywords: Live LCA, Umberto, iPoint Product Sustainability, Lightweight Structure, Automotive Innovation, IQ-Foam process
Design for Circularity
Operationalization in industrial product development (DfC Industry)
Project period: Q1 2022 – Q1 2024
Only if the entire life cycle of products is known already in the design process, companies can evaluate circular economy improvements in terms of economic efficiency, climate friendliness and resource efficiency. This is exactly what this project aims to shed light on. The goal is to develop a set of rules for a Design for Circularity (DfC) that can support circular economy strategies and business models in the product development process. In parallel, the environmental and resource efficiency assessment of products is to be combined with artificial intelligence (AI) methods. iPoint’s focus within this project is the development of data and interaction concepts for the integration of the solution approaches into design and development environments.
Project partner: iPoint-systems gmbh (formerly ifu Hamburg), Institute for Industrial Ecology (INEC/ Pforzheim University), Robert Bosch GmbH, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI-SEE)
Keywords: LCA, iPoint Product Sustainability, Circularity Assessment, Product Development, Automation
Digital Product Passport (DPP) Projects
Digital Product Passport as Enabler of the Transition to a Circular Economy
Project period: Q1 2022- Q4 2024
The project aims to evaluate the feasibility of a product passport and the associated data exchange to improve products’ sustainability and circularity. Use cases include a traction battery for electric vehicles and components of combustion engine. iPoint is working on the development of a front-end prototype of a digital product passport that incorporates the perspectives of selected stakeholders. Relevant automotive industry standards and formats will be considered to ensure seamless interoperability. The project results will significantly support the decision-making processes of relevant actors along the value chain.
Project partner: iPoint-systems Austria,Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft m.b.H., AVL List GmbH, University of Graz– Institute for Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research
Keywords: Battery, Digital Product Passport, Circular Economy
Collaborative Initiative for a Standards-based Digital Product Passport for Stakeholder-Specific Sharing of Product Data for a Circular Economy
Project duration: Q3 2022 – Q2 2024
The aim of CIRPASS is to prepare the ground for gradual piloting and deployment of Digital Product Passports (DPP) starting in 2023, with an initial focus on the electrical and electronics, batteries, and textiles sectors, while laying the foundations for a cross-sector DPP based on common rules, principles, taxonomy, and standards.
iPoint contributes to the analysis of battery stakeholders’ perspectives, technical needs, and requirements and supports identifying relevant data and DPP-oriented reference architectures. In addition it provides input to relevant battery product data standards and formats.
Project partners: cea, SLR Consulting, Fraunhofer IZM, Wuppertal Institute, Tiftelsen Chalmers Industriteknik (CIT), VDE, Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), BAM, TU Delft, TalTech, ERCIM/W3C, F6S, VELTHA, +ImpaKT, CEI Society ApS, GS1, Energy Web Foundation, atma.io, Worldline FRANCE SAS, SyncForce, Innovalia, KIC InnoEnergy SE, Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), Global Electronics Council, DIGITALEUROPE AISBL, Textile Exchange, RI.SE, Global Textile Scheme (GTS), circular.fashion
Keywords: Digital Product Passport
LCA & DPP Projects
Digitalization for Sustainability - Processes, methods and models for fully digital product development of sustainable electric drive architectures
Project period: Q1 2023 – Q1 2026
The increasing importance of ecological and economic sustainability criteria in the development of vehicles and drive architectures poses challenges for product developers, as digital processes, methods, and tools for a development-accompanying ecological optimization of the entire vehicle are lacking and no binding standards for fully digital product development and assessment exist. The DigiTain project will therefore develop processes, methods and models for fully digital product development and certification of sustainable electric drive architectures and test them using a technology carrier.
iPoint has the lead of the work package sustainability, in which the sustainability-oriented product development process (NEP) will be developed as a generic framework. Methods and tools will be developed that enable a semantic description of sustainability contexts and the integration of the information flows needed. In this context, iPoint develops generic, digital LCA models and a concept that enables the creation of a digital product passport at the whole vehicle level. Furthermore, a prototype for a digital battery passport on the component level as well as the ecological assessment of different scenarios along the NEP will be developed.
Project partners (Selection): Mercedes-Benz AG, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, ARENA2036 e.V., AVL Deutschland GmbH, BMW Group, Daimler Truck AG , Forward Engineering GmbH , Fraunhofer Gesellschaft EMI, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft IWM, GreenIng GmbH & Co. KG, KIRCHHOFF Automotive Deutschland GmbH, MAHLE Filtersysteme GmbH, SGS-TÜV Saar GmbH, Technische Universität Darmstadt, TU Dresden, Uni BW München, Universität Stuttgart, Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V., XPLM Solution GmbH, ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, iPoint Product Sustainability, Circular Economy, Digital Product Passport, automotive sector, product development, digital certification
Sustainable Product Management enabling a Circular Economy
Cooperation with Christian Doppler Laboratory
This research project, in collaboration with the University of Graz, is dedicated to application-oriented basic research on the utilization of digital technologies in sustainable product management. The aim is to make sustainability assessment and design methods more efficient, accurate, and suited to corporate decision-making processes. Specific use cases refer to (1) the use of probabilistic machine learning for protecting confidential information when sharing, e.g., environmental impact data, along value chains, (2) assessing the impact of different types of environmental information on decision-makers in behavioral experiments, (3) integrating circular design strategies in early stages of product development or (4) developing a sustainability assessment and optimization method for early phases of automotive product development.
ProjectPartner: University of Graz, iPoint-systems GmbH, AVL List GmbH, ARA AG
Keywords: LCA, Circular Economy, Digital Product Passport, iPoint Product Sustainability, Product Development
Innovation platform of a green, detectable, and directly recyclable lithium-ion battery
Project period: Q3/2021-Q3/2024
With the growing demand for efficient battery systems, the requirements for batteries are constantly increasing. IDcycLIB’s goal is to design and produce a more sustainable lithium-ion battery with a focus on Design for Recycling and the introduction of an efficient recycling process. iPoint is working on the development of the digital battery pass and the sustainability assessment that accompanies the product development.
Project Partner: iPoint-systems gmbh, Carl Padberg Zentrifugenbau GmbH, Fraunhofer-Institute for Silicate Research ISC, Fraunhofer-Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Polysecure GmbH, Pure Devices GmbH, MAB Recycling GmbH, Leclanché GmbH, EurA AG, BASF SE
Keywords: LCA, Digital Product Passport, Lithium-ion battery, iPoint Product Sustainability
Resource conservation through distributed ledger and blockchain technology for industrial production and circular economy
Project period: Q4 2020 – Q4 2022
This project aims to design and develop a distributed ledger technology (DLT) infrastructure that meets the requirements of a sustainable economy and society and increases the efficiency of the circular economy. Hereby, supply chain actors can track the life cycle of raw materials and products in a trustworthy way and make responsible decisions based on it. iPoint in this project supports system analysis and the creation of a design concept. The supply chain of the precious metal sector serves as a use case and supports iPoint’s development of a prototype for a DLT-associated digital material passport.
Project partners: iPoint-systems gmbh, THINKTANK Industrial Resource Strategies(Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT), Institute for Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (KIT); Institute for Industrial Ecology (Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences)
Keywords: Digital Material Passport, Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
Material Flow-Based Improvement Assessments
Project period: Q4 2019-Q1 2023
The main objective of the project is to further develop the material flow cost accounting (MFCA) method by elaborating methodological principles. MFCA is a method which is standardized according to ISO 14051 with the aim to reduce material and efficiency losses in companies. A prototypical and IT-supported expert system developed within the scope of the project is to enable the simplified derivation of measures. Furthermore, the measures will be evaluated holistically with regard to their costs and environmental aspects. In addition, the MFCA method shall be made better known and disseminated in companies in Baden-Württemberg. Furthermore, general data structures and models are to be developed in order to improve and partially automate the currently still very time-consuming data collection in MFCA projects. The identification of measures is a time-consuming part of a successful resource efficiency project, as it requires a high degree of technical know-how as well as detailed knowledge of the processes. The expert system is intended to support the identification of suitable measures.
Project partner: iPoint-systems gmbh (formerly ifu Hamburg), Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy Management Baden-Württemberg, Project Management Agency Weitere Informationen finden Sie Karlsruhe (PTKA)
Keywords: MFCA, LCA, efficiency, LCC, Umberto, bw!MFCA
Digital mapping of closed-loop systems using blockchain technology
Project period: Q2 2019 – Q2 2022
Resource efficiency in supply chains can only be achieved if details on the product’s origin, composition and production process are known. On the other hand, actors in the supply chain are often not willing to expose their identity or manufacturing details. DIBICHAIN aims to map material and product life cycles using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enhance circular economy. While DLTs are usually known to provide full transparency between its actors, this project considers the concerns of companies exposing their full identity on the ledger. The aircraft component “Bionic Partition” served as an exemplary use case to identify the most relevant categories of needed product information for the development of a software demonstrator. As part of the demonstrator, iPoint provides a SustainHub related prototypical application that enables supply chain actors to request and declare product carbon footprints and recycling information and to publish them anonymously on the DLT.
Project partners: iPoint-systems gmbh, Capgemini, Blockchain Research Lab gGmbH, CHAINSTEP GmbH und Airbus
Keywords: SustainHub, Digital Product Passport, Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
Project duration: ongoing
CarbonBlock enables all participants to share actual carbon footprint information in the supply chain. Since all information is stored in a standardized format in the CarbonBlock network, it significantly reduces the effort between suppliers and customers.
Part of the WBCSD Pathfinder project
Based on the success of the first CarbonBlock project in the automotive industry, iPoint-systems as well as our innovation hub CircularTree have been invited to become innovation member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development SOS 1.5 Pathfinder project. CarbonBlock is now going to be tested in the fast-moving consumer goods industry (FMCG).
Project duration: 02/2018-05/2019
The goal of this project is to create a Blockchain-based system for tracing certain raw materials from conflict-affected and high-risk areas – so-called Conflict Minerals or 3TG – across the entire supply chain via verified, cryptographically secured transactions.
Funded by the EPRM
The SustainBlock project is funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM).
Project duration: 03/2018-05/2020
The Live LCA solution provides quantified sustainability information and cost transparency for each specific product and any production step. This results in improved economic and environmental performance.
Combining LCA and MFCA
The Live LCA solution combines the methods Life Cycle Assessment (LCA, product view) and Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA, production view) and includes live data for energy use, material consumption and waste generation.
iPoint-systems gmbh, TU Braunschweig, dormakaba, brands&values, and eit InnoEnergy.
eLRT - electronic Labor Rights Template
Project duration: 03/2016-11/2016
Development of an open-access, Excel-based template to support companies in their compliance with global human trafficking and modern-day slavery legislation. In cooperation with Dr. Chris N. Bayer, Development International, and an international stakeholder forum of private sector and civil society representatives.
Project duration: 03/2013-03/2014 and 01/2015-12/2018
Design and development of assessment tools for ecologically optimized multi-material automotive components for mass production. 9 project partners. The project contributes to the Open Hybrid LabFactory (OHLF) research campus "New manufacturing technologies for economical and multifunctional lightweight construction", which forms the basis for the development of a Life Cycle Design Lab in which iPoint provides our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software.
Funded by BMBF
Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
> Learn more about MultiMak and MultiMak2 on the project websites of our partner TU Braunschweig.
SustainHub - Sustainability Data Exchange Hub
Project duration: 02/2012-01/2015
Development of a universal data hub for the exchange of compliance and sustainability data along the supply chain. The consortium consists of 15 partner organizations from 7 countries across Europe.
Funded by FP7 Programme of the EU
Funded within the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission (FP7).
> Learn more about the project SustainHub on the project website.
> Learn more about our SustainHub compliance & sustainability platform here.