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Glossary

Technology

B

Bead

In this case, beads refer to stamped indentations on a metal surface; they are used for sealing purposes. Beads in multilayer cylinder-head gaskets are stamped into the so-called functional layers and are designed to provide macrosealing, while the elastomer coating offers microsealing. Full beads are used for the purpose of sealing the combustion chamber, whereas half beads are deployed in the area of fluids. ­ElringKlinger uses the term “nano bead” to refer to beads with a height of up to 30 micrometers. They are used, for example, in transmission case gaskets to facilitate the best possible distribution of (often inadequately distributed) bolt forces.

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.

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.

Cockpit cross-car beam

Structural component located behind the interior panel of the vehicle’s cockpit; it supports elements such as the dashboard, steering column, heating modules, glove compartment, etc. Applying HFH technology (hydroformed hybrids), ElringKlinger manufactures cockpit cross-car beams as lightweight components. This involves producing so-called hybrid parts from polymer and metal materials by means of the hydroforming method (cf. Hydroforming) and plastic injection-molding in a single step. Similar structural components include front-end carriers, to which the headlights or other vehicle parts are fitted.

Cryogenic application

Cryogenic applications use liquefied gas at extremely low temperatures. Fields of application include flash freezing in the food industry or the area of food preservation. Cryogenic systems are engineered, among other things, from products made of high-performance plastics. Due to the material properties and functional specifications of these products, they can be deployed at temperatures below - 200°C.

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.

E

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.

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 gasoline 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. As from September 1, 2017 the new standards 6c and 6d-TEMP have been in force. These stipulate more stringent test procedures. Effective from 2014, Euro 6 also imposed drastic ­reductions on heavy truck emissions of NOx, in particular, but also HC and CO.

F

FEM

The finite element method (FEM) is a computer-aided numerical method used for the purpose of solving complex problems relating to mathematical physics and product engineering, e.g., as part of strength and deformation analyses. ElringKlinger applies this method in order to optimize the functional “bead” and “stopper” elements in its cylinder-head gaskets. In this case, FEM can be used to calculate the best possible stopper topography while taking into account influencing factors such as the rigidity of adjacent components, ignition force, and bolt tightening torque.

Front-end carrier

cf. Cockpit cross-car beam

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 also be obtained from a hydrocarbon-based fuel. This involves a so-called 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), which is usually deployed in stationary applications, as well as the PEM low-­temperature fuel cell (cf. PEM fuel cell).

Fuel cell 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.

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. Vehicles can be categorized according to the level of hybridization:

  • Micro hybrids feature an automatic start-stop system and, additionally, a brake energy regeneration system to charge the starter battery.
  • Mild hybrids have an electric drive that supports the combustion engine for more performance.
  • Full hybrids deliver an output of 20kW/t, which makes them capable of being propelled solely by an electric engine.
  • Plug-in hybrids are comparable to full hybrids. Additionally, the accumulator (i.e., the rechargeable battery) can be charged via the combustion engine or the electrical grid.

 

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.

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

Nano bead

cf. Bead

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 prescribe strict limits for NOx.

O

Organo sheet

Lightweight, fiber-reinforced organo sheets can partially replace sheet steel or aluminum in vehicles. They are planar semi-­finished parts that have been reinforced with a material made of glass, carbon, aramid, or mixed fibers. The mechanical performance of components made of organo sheet materials is particularly high.

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.

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 Moldflon®, which is registered as a trademark, ElringKlinger has an injection-­moldable PTFE high-performance material with a wide range of potential applications, for instance in the field of medical technology.

R

Rightsizing

From 2017 onward, the WLTP cycle (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure) is to be applied for the purpose of determining car emission levels under realistic conditions. In the case of conventional engine downsizing, however, the difference between cycle-based consumption and real consumption can be significant depending on the style of driving. Therefore, the focus with regard to new generations of engines is on ensuring that various factors, such as engine capacity, torque, or consumption, are synchronized in such a manner as to create the best possible match.

S

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.

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 suppliers, Tier 3, 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 gas purification 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 results in fuel savings.

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

Includes the entirety of rules, regulations, and values 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’ operating 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, for example, in terms of the financing structure, national jurisdiction, or reporting standards applicable to the entity.

F

Financial covenants

Financial covenants are contractual clauses within loan agreements. Under these terms, companies obligate themselves to meet specific financial requirements.

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 of free float and average trading volume on German stock exchanges.

N

Natural hedging

For the purpose of reducing transaction costs and risk, transactions leading to income and expenses of a foreign subsidiary can be made in the same currency, usually the local currency, as a form of natural hedge.

Net debt

Figure that describes the level of indebtedness of a company if all current assets were taken into account for the purpose of repaying its liabilities. Net debt is calculated on the basis of interest-bearing liabilities (primarily bank borrowings) less cash and cash equivalents.

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 (before acquisitions)

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. Operating free cash flow does not include cash payments in respect of acquisitions and cash payments for investments in financial assets.

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 and liabilities acquired as part of this transaction. As part of the formal procedure of consolidation within the Group, for example, it is possible to capitalize assets of an acquired entity, such as the customer base and order backlog, that would not otherwise qualify for capitalization in normal business. This leads to write-downs that have a dilutive effect on operating profit at Group level.

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 interest-­bearing non-­current provisions such as anniversary and ­partial-retirement provisions. The average value is calculated as the aggregate of the carrying amounts at the end of the reporting period of the previous year and the current year, divided by two.

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 below the DAX and MDAX in terms of market capitalization and trading volume.

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 reporting period. 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).