Greater strength despite reduced weight
On a project for a leading european manufacturer of domestic heating systems we were given the technical challenge to reduce the weight of a steel frame assembly which was in the past made using lasercutting, bending and welding. At the same time the challenge was to give the steel frame assembly greater strength and stiffness in order to withstand the vibrations created when the assemnply is operating.
An Innovation Center team with members from the customer’s technical department and our staff with vast experience in deep drawing and coldforming of sheet metal was established to start an integrated cooperation process and this yielded several proposals to meet the requirements of the customer and the production technical challenges.
Not only was the technical aspect of this component a great challenge. The timeline for the development process was very short and demanding due to the very tight deadline for market launch of the end product. But this challenge was also met and only 8 weeks after completing the technical design the deep drawing tooling was ready and first out of tooling samples were ready for shipment.
Customer reaction after receipt of first samples: ”Thumbs up – fantasctic job considering technical challenge and short delivery time for prototype samples.”
Now that the component is in series production there was opportunity from both parties to reflect on the Innovation Center cooperation. Conclusion is that the early and close integrated cooperation between the respective technical departments enabled the great improvement of the component in terms of reduced weight, greater strength and stiffness within the short time available for the re-design.
Furthermore that this re-design brought a cost saving in comparison with the previous design of course was an added advantage.