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Under the Hood: Automotive Machining

New powertrain components. More sensors and electronics parts. Increasing part complexity. Difficult to cut materials. Faster delivery. How do automotive suppliers navigate to profitability through this stormy sea of lightweighting and driverless cars? 

Posted: April 18, 2016

Cylinder blocks with adapter plate being machined on a two-spindle SPECHT 500 DUO 5-axis horizontal machining center from MAG. 

The lightweighting of body construction is not the only segment of new vehicle design being driven by aggressive fuel economy demands in the automotive industry. For cars and trucks to meet an equivalent of 54.5 mpg by 2025, new powertrain components are being introduced. And then there is the future of driverless cars, which will place an ever-growing emphasis on precision electronics parts. All of these innovations that are being introduced can profoundly impact the machining processes being used by suppliers. For these shops to remain profitable, they must be able to respond to increased part complexity and precision, process new materials that can be difficult to cut, and accommodate shifts in production – all without losing valuable time. This requires a focus on flexible automation and machine tools that can deliver more uptime and less maintenance to meeting hard deadlines.

Here is a look at some of the latest equipment that can provide the precision, accuracy and reliability necessary to answer the demands of change being placed on automotive suppliers:

Agile Production of Crankshafts, Cylinder Blocks
MAG offers the Boehringer 221/226 Cx that is ideal for milling, turn broaching and turning new generation crankshafts, and SPECHT horizontal machining centers with integrated honing technology for boring cyllinder blocks.

Steering Pinions for Driverless Cars
This modular production line for steering pinions from EMAG turns the raw parts, cuts the teeth, and hardens and finishes tooth profiles.

Machining Cylinder Heads, Cylinder Blocks, Gearbox Housings
The Urane 25 horizontal machining center from Comau handles the most demanding complex machining of lightweight materials, including aluminum prismatic parts.

Honing and More with Vertical Machining Centers
Hurco eliminates the need for dedicated CNC honing machines with the VMX42i vertical machining center, does head porting and head machining with the VMX42SWi vertical machining center, and machines damper parts and more with the TMM8i slant-bed lathe.

Reduce Processing Time of Large Mold Tooling, Die Cast Parts
The dual-head configuration of the EDNC21 from Makino enables shops to process multiple fine details in a part at the same time, reducing total processing time at the same level of accuracy and surface finish as sinker EDMs one-tenth its size.

High Efficiency Turning of Automotive Parts
With a powerful main spindle and dual servo turrets capable of simultaneous, synchronized control, the LU EX Series of turning centers from Okuma has the power and flexibility to produce parts with the highest level of efficiency.

Machining Suspension Brackets, Engine Parts, Gears
Mazak offers a diverse selection of machine tools for machining basic suspension brackets or processing complex engine parts, ready for any shop requirement and reducing cycle time to boost productivity.

Gearmaking for Powertrains
GMTA offers a full line of Rasoma gear machines in a variety of configurations with full automation for milling, hobbing and shaping applications.

Milling and Turning Automotive Parts on One Machine
The Mikron MILL P 800 U ST from GF Machining Solutions machines parts complete to eliminate transfer-related part run out and errors and increase finished part quality.

Economical Multi-Tasking Turning Center
The Nakamura-Tome AS-200LMY-S sub spindle machine from Methods Machine Tools combines a powerful milling drive with a high speed, high accuracy C-Axis and 82 mm stroke Y-Axis to finish parts and eliminate deburring, milling, drilling and repositioning of fixtures.

Drilling Diesel Engine and Transmission Components
The UNI-50BTA from UNISIG rapidly changes from BTA to gundrill deep hole drilling tooling, and drills with either tooling method within the diameter range in the same part without secondary operations.

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