eTruckPro | Flexible and adaptable production systems for electric and conventional trucks

The truck assembly of the future

The growing globalization of value chains has increased freight transport so that CO2 emissions for light trucks have risen sharply. The transport sector is thus one of the biggest CO2 polluters of our time. To achieve climate targets, the European Commission envisages a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions for light trucks. Also, diesel driving bans exist in some cities, and the demand for green logistics is becoming louder and louder.

The commercial vehicle industry is thus faced with the challenge of promptly offering cost-effective electric trucks on the market to comply with the corresponding limits. Due to high investment costs and low unit numbers, integration into existing production systems is being sought to keep manufacturing costs as low as possible and at the same time enable a gradual transformation.

Integration of electric trucks into existing assembly lines

This is where the joint project eTruckPro comes in. The project's aim, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, is to develop adaptable and flexible production systems for the symbiotic manufacture of conventional and electric trucks. Costs, such as acquiring additional operating equipment and production areas, are avoided, and transformation paths are developed using existing production facilities and adapted line balancing. A modular assistance system is being developed to reduce the start-up time and prepare the plant workforce for their new work content.

Ongoing changes in vehicle architecture are resulting in new requirements for the flexibility of upstream vehicle batteries, which must be taken into account as part of cross-company value chains. The technical, temporal, and organizational transformability of existing assembly lines can reduce the manufacturing costs for electric trucks, enabling increasing market penetration.

Development of a demonstrator platform at Fraunhofer IGCV

To achieve these goals, various strategies for adaptable production systems in vehicle manufacturing will be developed. The implementation and evaluation of the expected increases in adaptability and flexibility are carried out using real, tangible, and comprehensible application examples with a high multiplier effect. In this context, a demonstrator platform is to be established at Fraunhofer IGCV, which will ensure the transfer of knowledge to industry and other research activities. To ensure a consistent provision of information for the employees in assembly for the new work processes, in cooperation with ciplenu work instructions from a developed database will be linked to the production system structure. This assembly assistance system is also prototypically connected to the demonstrator of Fraunhofer IGCV.

Together with Hörmann Rawema, Fraunhofer IGCV has created a digital image of MAN Truck & Bus's assembly system. For this purpose, 196 laser scans and several hundred photos were photogrammetrically processed. Focus processes were then derived using a specially developed methodology for determining adaptation requirements in production. This data is now being transferred to simulation environments to validate transformation scenarios virtually. Software tools are used from the production structure to the process level. The focus processes determine the level at which individual assembly stations are virtually mapped. If no adjustments need to be made to the station, it is only modeled at the structure level. If significant adjustments are required, then the individual assembly steps are modeled in detail at the process level.

Thus, the research project results contribute to Germany's essential competitiveness in the field of electric commercial vehicles. Besides, they thus also lead to job security and a global reduction in CO2 emissions.


We are shaping the way into the future of efficient engineering, networked production and intelligent multi-material solutions.

Industry solutions

The key sectors of Fraunhofer IGCV:

  • Mechanical and plant engineering
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive and commercial vehicles

Cooperation with Fraunhofer IGCV

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