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Glossary

Technology

B

Bipolar plates

Bipolar plates are the key mechanical components in fuel cell stacks (cf. Stack). Their function is to create an electrical interconnection between two cells. In other words, they transmit the electricity generated, supply the cells with hydrogen and oxygen, and distribute the coolant. ElringKlinger develops and manufactures metal bipolar plates. Among the technical requirements for these components are high-precision metal-forming within the contact area (in the micrometer range); accurate, low-distortion laser welding of the cathode and anode plates; and suitable conductive and anti-corrosion coatings.

C

CAFE regulations

The CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations are the US equivalent of European CO2 legislation. They impose average permitted fleet consumption limits on US manufacturers. Failure to comply with the strict CAFE regulations can result in substantial fines.

Catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon (HC)

Method used for the purpose of reducing carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in the exhaust gas. Carbon monoxide is mainly produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. It is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas. When the hazardous exhaust gases pass through a catalytic converter (usually made of a ceramic material) and come into contact with its active surface usually featuring a precious- metal coating, a chemical reaction takes place and the gases are converted into non-toxic components (carbon dioxide and water).

Cell connector/Cell contact system

The cell contact systems developed by ElringKlinger for lithium-ion batteries consist of cell connectors and a cell carrier in which the connectors are integrated as a robust laser-welded construction. Via the cell connectors, the individual battery cells are connected both in a row and parallel to one another. They act as conductors, absorb cell energy and contain sensors. The system consists of a control interface with thermal and electric monitoring.

CleanCoat™

See “DPF coating”

Combined heat/power generation (CHP)

This concept involves actively reusing the waste heat created as a by-product of electricity generation in order to heat domestic or industrial premises. This leads to a particularly high degree of overall efficiency. High-temperature fuel cells can be used in various fields, e. g. in single-family residences, trucks or recreational vehicles, as these areas of application call for high electrical efficiency combined with low noise emissions. In addition, the high temperatures can be used to produce warm water.

D

Downsizing

In the automotive industry, downsizing is a concept that refers to a reduction in engine capacity while improving the engine’s efficiency. One of the most common ways of achieving this is to feed in air under increased pressure (compressor/turbocharger). A reduction in engine size means lower fuel consumption and therefore lower emissions. At the same time, higher injection pressures generate greater thermal and mechanical stress in the engine compartment. In turn, this makes greater demands in terms of gasket design and thermal management.

DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter)

The job of a diesel particulate filter is to filter out the harmful particulates (soot) from diesel engine exhaust gases. One of the most common designs involves a wall flow filter made of ceramic (e. g. silicon carbide). The porous filter walls extract over 99% of the particulates contained in the exhaust gases. Stricter Euro exhaust standards for both passenger cars and trucks prescribe specific limits on particulates. In response, virtually all new cars and commercial vehicles in the EU are now fitted with a DPF. Increasingly, filter systems are also being fitted to ships’ diesel engines, which are often powered by heavy fuel oil, and to locomotives and stationary diesel and gas engines. ElringKlinger’s subsidiary Hug develops filter technologies for numerous niche applications such as the shipping industry and for stationary plant and equipment in power stations and greenhouses.

DPF coating

The soot particles deposited in the diesel particulate filter (DPF) must be burned off in order to regenerate the filter. Most filters have a catalytic coating to accelerate the reaction. The catalytic effect lowers the temperature required to burn off the soot particles and oxidize any remaining hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide into CO2 and water. In most cases, the catalytic coating material is based on precious metals (platinum, rhodium and palladium). However, ElringKlinger uses its own coating material known as CleanCoat™, which is based on an alkali silicate substance. CleanCoat™ is free of precious and heavy metals and is highly active even at low temperatures. It is used at series production level in the mobiclean™ R diesel particulate filter systems made by ElringKlinger subsidiary Hug.

E

EGR

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) refers to the reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions produced when fuel is burnt in a combustion engine. Where exhaust gas recirculation is deployed, some of the fresh air taken in is replaced by exhaust gases. This reduces the excess oxygen in the cylinders. Due to the higher thermal capacity of the exhaust gases relative to the fresh air, the combustion temperature is lowered. As a result, production of nitrogen oxide is reduced.

Elastomer

Plastics/polymers can be divided into three main categories depending on their processing properties: thermoplasts, duroplasts and elastomers. The distinctive feature of elastomers is that their shape can be changed temporarily through the application of pressure or stretching before they return to their original form (“rubber”). The final material varies according to the raw materials, manufacturing process and additives used. In the field of sealing technology, ElringKlinger utilizes its own elastomers that have been specially developed and optimized to meet individual customer requirements. ElringKlinger has developed more than 5,000 different formulas in this area.

European emission standards

The emission standards prescribed by the European Parliament specify emission limits for HC (hydrocarbons), CO (carbon monoxide), NOx (nitrogen oxides) and particulates with regard to all newly registered vehicles in Europe. Different limits apply to diesel and petrol engines. The Euro 6 standard, which introduces much stricter limits on nitrogen oxides in diesel-powered vehicles, came into force for passenger cars in 2014. Effective from 2014, Euro VI also imposed drastic reductions on heavy truck emissions of NOx, in particular, but also HC and CO.

F

Fuel cell

Fuel cells are a highly effective method of converting chemical fuel energy into electrical energy. In order to perform this reaction, the cell requires oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can be obtained from a hydrocarbon-based fuel. This involves a reformer providing the cell with hydrogen gas derived from diesel or natural gas, for example. Unlike batteries, fuel cells do not store energy, but rather convert it. There are different types of fuel cell technologies that offer specific advantages depending on their application. ElringKlinger develops and manufactures components for the SOFC high-temperature fuel cell (cf. SOFC fuel cell) as well as the PEM low-temperature fuel cell (cf. PEM fuel cell).

H

Hybrid drive

In the automotive industry, the term refers to the use of two different energy sources to drive a vehicle. This usually involves combining a combustion engine with an electric motor.

Hydroforming

Hydroforming is a method that involves forming a metal tube in a forming tool with the help of a fluid that is injected under pressure of up to 1,000 bar. As part of this process, the tube expands by up to 5% and the geometry of the tool is shaped as required. See also PMH (Polymer Metal Hybrids).

I

IMO Tier III

IMO stands for International Maritime Organization. Based in London, IMO is a specialized agency within the United Nations (UN). Among its other tasks, it determines upper emission levels aimed at preventing and combating marine pollution. Since January 1, 2016, newly built ships have been subject to stricter standards governing nitrogen oxide emissions. The upper limits specified in Tier III apply solely to specially designated areas defined by the IMO.

L

Lithium-ion battery

Lithium-based batteries are rechargeable, durable, high-energy batteries with high energy density. They are primarily used in electric and hybrid vehicles. ElringKlinger develops and produces, among other products, modular cell contact systems for such batteries.

M

Metal-elastomer gaskets

Gaskets made from a metal core with vulcanized elastomer profiles for sealing power-transmitting connections, for example oil pump gaskets and timing case gaskets.

N

Nitrogen oxides (NOx)

The internationally recognized abbreviation NOx is used for compounds of nitrogen and oxygen. These gases, which form in the exhausts of combustion engines, are harmful to humans and the environment. Emissions standards are becoming increasingly stringent worldwide and now prescribe strict limits for NOx levels. SCR technology can be used to neutralize nitrogen oxides (cf. “SCR”).

O

Organo sheet

Innovative method of lightweight construction as part of which so-called organo sheets – particularly light yet extremely sturdy thermoplastic structural components with embedded fiber-reinforced composites – are processed and plastic elements for additional component functions are injection-molded in the tool itself.

P

PEM fuel cell

PEM stands for “Proton Exchange Membrane”. PEM fuel cells work at low temperatures of around 90 °C and have a polymer membrane as their central element. In the synthetic reaction known as cold combustion, oxygen and hydrogen react with one another, aided by a catalyst, releasing electricity and causing water to form. For PEM fuel cells used in passenger cars, ElringKlinger has developed metal bipolar plates. Several hundred such plates are incorporated within a single cell stack.

Plug-in hybrid

This is a specific form of hybrid technology. The on-board energy storage unit is recharged not only from a combustion engine but, alternatively, also from an external electric power source. This technology, however, is associated with relatively high production costs.

PMH

PMH stands for polymer-metal hybrids. These are structural components made of polymers and metal that are manufactured in a single tool using a combination of hydroforming (glossary) and plastic injection molding techniques. The process involves a single step and, besides combining the strengths of both materials, allows the manufacture of very light components with complex geometries. At ElringKlinger, this new technique is used, for example, to make cockpit and front-end carriers.

Polyamide

Polyamides are polymers (plastics) and usually refer to synthetic thermoplastics. ElringKlinger uses polyamides in the production of lightweight plastic housing modules.

PTFE

The thermoplastic high-performance plastic PTFE (abbreviation for “polytetrafluoroethylene”) – commonly known by the trade name Teflon – has a very low coefficient of friction and is particularly resistant to most aggressive chemicals and external influences such as moisture and UV radiation. PTFE is resistant to temperatures as low as - 200 °C and only melts at over 320 °C. With its modified material MoldflonTM, which is registered as a trademark, ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik has an injection-moldable PTFE high-performance material with a wide range of potential applications, for instance in the field of medical technology.

S

SCR

Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is a technology used to reduce toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx). This technique involves adding a urea solution to the exhaust gas mixture. When this mixture passes through the catalyst, the nitrogen oxides react with the urea solution and are converted into harmless nitrogen and water. Incorporating SCR modules, the exhaust gas purification systems developed by ElringKlinger subsidiary Hug are able to reduce NOx levels by up to 99%.

SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell)

Solid oxide fuel cells are also known as “high-temperature fuel cells” owing to their high operating temperatures (approx. 800 °C). This type of fuel cell can be operated with a wide range of fossil fuels, from which hydrogen gas is obtained using a reformer.

Stack

In a fuel cell context, the term “stack” refers to a complete stack of individual fuel cells, including bipolar plates and retaining and connecting devices. To boost performance, the individual fuel cells are connected in series.

Stopper geometries

Stoppers are structural features contained in the spring steel layers of cylinder-head gaskets that help to seal engine combustion chambers. Coined meander, honeycomb and segment stopper geometries have taken over from folded and laser-welded stoppers as the state of the art when it comes to making optimum use of the geometric space available. New embossing/coining and stamping technologies provide engineers with a variety of possibilities for influencing the distribution of pressure in the sealing gap.

T

Tier 1/Tier 2

Automotive companies that supply vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) directly are known as Tier 1 suppliers. These generally source some of their products from their own suppliers, which are then referred to as Tier 2, Tier 3 suppliers and so on, reflecting their position in the supply chain. Most of ElringKlinger’s products go directly to vehicle manufacturers, making it a Tier 1 supplier. With regard to exhaust technology and transmission components, ElringKlinger mostly acts as a Tier 2 supplier.

Turbocharger

Turbochargers increase the air flow rate in engines by compressing the air that is necessary for combustion. The turbocharger is one of the key factors in engine downsizing, as it allows for equivalent or even better performance with a reduced engine capacity. In turn, this creates significant potential for reducing fuel consumption.

Financials

C

Cash flow

Figure used to determine a company’s financial strength. It measures the extent to which cash received as a result of the company’s operating activities exceeds its cash outflows and shows the amount of cash generated by the company itself. For the purpose of determining cash flow, an entity’s profit for the annual period is adjusted for items that do not produce an inflow or outflow of cash, such as depreciation or changes in provisions. Net cash from operating activities is the surplus of cash generated by operating activities.

Corporate Governance

Stands for corporate management and supervision that should be as responsible as possible and focused on sustainability and value generation over the long term.

E

Earnings per share

Earnings per share (EPS) is calculated by dividing the profit attributable to shareholders of a stock corporation by the number of shares outstanding. It is used for the purpose of analyzing profitability and – at a cross-sector level – for evaluating a company.

EBIT margin

EBIT expressed as a percentage of total Group sales revenue. The EBIT margin shows the profitability of a company’s operating business over a specific period of time.

EBIT/Operating result

EBIT stands for earnings before interest and taxes. It corresponds to the operating result before taking into account net finance costs. At an international level, this figure is commonly used to compare companies’ earnings power.

EBITDA

EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is a financial indicator used for the purpose of measuring the profitability of a company at the operating level, as the indicator does not include any elements influencing profit in terms of the financing structure, national jurisdiction or reporting standards applicable to the entity.

F

Free float

Free float refers to a company’s shares that can be freely traded on the exchange and that are not firmly held by certain groups of investors. According to the definition by Deutsche Börse AG, share packages under 5% are counted as part of the free float.

H

HGB

Abbreviation for Handelsgesetzbuch (German Commercial Code). The financial statements of the parent company, ElringKlinger AG, are prepared in accordance with HGB.

I

IFRS

Abbreviation for International Financial Reporting Standards. They contain accounting provisions for exchange-listed entities. The application of IFRS has been mandatory in the EU since January 2005. ElringKlinger has been reporting in accordance with IFRS since 2004.

M

MDAX

The Mid Cap Dax (MDAX) is a German stock market index introduced in 1996. It encompasses the stocks of 50 corporations (mostly small and medium-sized enterprises) that rank directly below the companies listed in Germany’s main DAX index in terms of market capitalization and trading volume.

N

Net debt

Figure that describes the level of indebtedness of a company if all liabilities were repaid by means of current assets. Net debt is calculated on the basis of interest-bearing liabilities (primarily bank borrowings) less cash and cash equivalents. Alternatively, it can be calculated on the basis of the entire liabilities recognized less cash and cash equivalents less pension provisions.

Net finance income/cost

Profit or loss arising from financial transactions, e. g. interest income and expenses, income and expenses attributable to investments or income and expenses attributable to exchange rate differences. Net finance income or cost is a component of pre-tax earnings presented in the income statement.

O

Operating free cash flow

Operating free cash flow represents the funds freely available to the company for distribution. It is calculated by subtracting capital expenditure payments from net cash from operating activities. Payments made in respect of acquisitions are not included in operating free cash flow.

P

Purchase price allocation

Purchase price allocation (PPA) refers to the allocation of the price paid in the purchase of a company or an interest in a company to the individual identifiable assets acquired as part of this transaction. These also include intangible assets such as an existing customer base or order backlog.

R

ROCE

Return on capital employed (ROCE) measures a company’s profitability and the efficiency with which its capital is employed. In this context, EBIT is divided by average capital employed. At ElringKlinger, capital employed includes shareholders’ equity, financial liabilities, provisions for pensions and non-current provisions such as anniversary and partial-retirement provisions.

S

SDAX

The Small Cap Index (SDAX) is a stock index that was introduced by Deutsche Börse in 1999. It measures the performance of the fifty biggest Prime Standard companies ranked directly below the MDAX in terms of trading volume and market capitalization.

Statement of cash flows

The statement of cash flows shows the calculations for the flow of funds generated by a company from operating, investing and financing activities during the financial year. The statement of cash flows helps determine the company’s ability to generate cash and cash equivalents.

W

WpHG

Abbreviation for Wertpapierhandelsgesetz (Securities Trading Act).