Automotive production ramp-up aided by new casting innovations

Castings firm Grainger & Worrall has used its rapid end-to-end approach to fill product requirements in order to avoid costly delays in automotive production restarts after the pandemic.

This has enabled the company, which won a Queen’s Award for Innovation earlier this year for its next generation castings, to play a key role in helping to restart the automotive industry in Europe.

“We’ve been working in carefully controlled conditions throughout lockdown on areas of development, which has put us in a strong position to be able to respond as we come out at the other side,” said Phil Ward, sales director. “While it’s certainly been a very difficult period for many, we are now finding that our ability to take a component concept and turn it into a fully validated, production item ready for the line in a very short timescale is ideally suited to the requirements from manufacturers during restart.”

The award-winning company has utilised its expertise in casting design & simulation, materials development and dimensional & integrity validation to help deliver new components for vehicle product launches delayed due to Covid-19.

“Our rapid turnaround and ramp-up production facilities means we’ve been able to fill gaps in the supply chain which otherwise could wreak havoc with launch timetables,” said Mr Ward. “In one example, we’ve been able to design from concept, test, validate, produce and machine a cast suspension component for a major manufacturer in what would normally been seen as an impossibly short timescale.”

Grainger & Worrall has had a key role to play in new propulsion systems too, as Mr Ward explained: “We were recently asked to respond quickly to the need for a hybrid vehicle battery casing, which of course has a completely different set of requirements to ICE castings. Here, the battery casing is expected to elongate and deform under impact to protect its contents, and we were able to validate a design and start manufacture within days of the request being received, something which was certainly a pleasant surprise to the customer.”

With its site outside Bridgnorth having a large, modern machining facility as well as numerous testing laboratories, including a some of the largest CT scanners in the country, Grainger & Worrall’s ability to develop and validate components looks set to play a part in metal component development throughout the recovery.

Grainger & Worrall
www.gwcast.com

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