Peter Mösle of Blum-Novotest talks about the trends happening in the automotive manufacturing industry, and how the company has kept up with manufacturers’ new requirements.
Peter Mösle, Head of Sales of the Measuring Machines business division at Blum-Novotest, spoke about current challenges around post-process measuring technology and the structural changes in the automotive and supplier industry.
BLUM-NOVOTEST HAS BEEN MANUFACTURING POST-PROCESS MEASURING MACHINES FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY SINCE 1983. HOW HAVE THE MARKET REQUIREMENTS CHANGED SINCE THEN?
Our measuring machines are part of the production lines, so changes in the machining centres often impact our area of responsibility directly. In particular, the continuous reduction in cycle times, but also the ever-decreasing tolerances are challenges that we must solve. Where workshop drawings previously specified tenths or at most a few hundredths of a millimetre, today’s requirements are in the single-digit micron range. Another key aspect is repeatability, which means the ability to investigate the fifth or 5,000th workpiece in a reproducible manner.
Ultimately, all these measured results must also be documented with a link to the workpiece. Alongside these technical requirements, there is the need for high flexibility in terms of type diversity as well as a long and functionally reliable service life—all at the lowest possible purchase price. The advent of electric mobility means that the deck is being reshuffled.
HOW DOES ELECTRIC MOBILITY INFLUENCE THE REQUIREMENTS PLACED ON YOUR POST-PROCESS MEASURING MACHINES?
Electric mobility generally results in a substantially lower number of parts. Whereas combustion engines can consist of 1,200 to 2,500 individual parts, electric drives frequently require roughly a mere 10 percent of this number.
Camshafts are a good example of this change. In recent years, they were developed from forged or turned components into what are called “assembled shafts”. With electric mobility, the shaft is retained as part of the rotor—without the cams but with other ultra-high-precision features that must be tested and evaluated. Even our most frequently delivered machines—brake disc measuring machines—must cater to changing requirements. As a consequence of the development of these components, we are confronted with innovative material combinations, coatings, or evaluation features, for which we have already delivered customer-specific solutions to expand our modular machine concepts.
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