To get closer towards achieving the climate targets and the resulting reduction in CO2 emissions, one possible strategy is to consider lightweight activities across all industries. In product development, this means that lightweight design should be integrated at a very early stage, as this is the only way to achieve the highest lightweight potential. However, such an integration is very complex, since necessary lightweight activities cannot be applied sequentially or universally to all products. Even multiple usage of different lightweight design strategies is not sufficient to achieve a targeted lightweight design on the overall system level. Therefore, it is necessary to support the product developer in the application of lightweight design by providing a framework with necessary methods and processes as well as recommendations regarding their timing. The possibility to apply them individually to different systems and related problems has to be given.
To develop such a framework, different projects with respect to lightweight design were analyzed and evaluated. The main focus was on the determination of lightweight design strategies that were applied in the projects and the subsequent derivation of requirements in order to raise further lightweight potential.
Based on this analysis and evaluation, a conceptual framework was developed that focuses on the overall system to be optimized, which can be part of a previous generation, for example. Subsequently, the available lightweight activities and design strategies were linked with supporting tools and methods from knowledge management. Therefore, this conceptual framework provides continuous support for the product developer throughout the entire product development process in lightweight activities.