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How Re-Shoring Can Boost Production Grinding

"From a business perspective the COVID-19 pandemic showed one thing very clear: the vulnerability of global supply chains," said a Bahmueller Technologies spokesperson. "As a result, it appears very likely that we will see an increase of re-shoring efforts coming out of the crisis. This means companies will try to establish more domestic sources like component suppliers within North America, bringing back manufacturing business that was often outsourced overseas, especially to Asia. While this is a great opportunity for domestic suppliers to boost their local manufacturing business, it also comes with some challenges. These include the shortage of skilled labor as well as an ever-increasing pressure for price competitiveness. Machine tool builders like Bahmueller have recognized this trend and developed solutions designed to help overcome these challenges and make their customers successful."

Within the automotive industry, for example, there are many precision machined components that are vital in order to build and complete even a single engine. One common part is a latch adjuster. "This component is part of the valve train of a combustion engine. Several hundred millions of these precision workpieces are consumed every year in North America alone," said the spokesperson. "The fact that the part itself has been in production for decades and manufacturers' margins are tight requires an innovative approach in order to create an attractive business case."

The Bahmueller solution for the latch adjuster is a combination of a new machine concept in conjunction with a specially developed grinding technology that provides enhanced cycle times and workpiece quality. "The new machine concept, called MAXX, incorporates the latest machine technology, including features like linear motors, hydrostatic guideways, direct drives and of course the connectivity that is key for any industry 4.0 application," said the spokesperson.

The MAXX takes advantages of a dual station approach, which allows simultaneous but independent grinding of two workpieces at the same time. This multi-station concept enables a more economical solution by utilizing the same machine bed, control system and even post-process gauging for two work spindles. The MAXX can also run two different part types on each of its totally independent and separate stations. This feature provides flexibility to customers who need to deliver different components to multiple OEMs, for example. "In terms of output, the MAXX is capable of grinding about six million latch adjusters per year, of the same type or a mix of different ones. This high level of output allows customers to justify the investment and maximize their ROI," said the spokesperson.

The optimized grinding technology for the latch adjuster was developed and tested in Bahmueller's TecCenter in Germany. "In addition to the very aggressive cycle time, the innovative solution also provides excellent workpiece quality with roundness values inside the ground bore well below one micrometer (forty millions of an inch)," said the spokesperson. "Bahmueller is even addressing common concerns about typical burrs generated from the cross holes of the part."

"Bahmueller solutions and the MAXX machine concept can also be used for other precision components such as bearing cups, rollers or cylinder deactivation components, all of which provide even more opportunity to grow customers' domestic manufacturing capabilities and help them benefit from the re-shoring effects," concluded the spokesperson.

For more information contact:

Bahmueller Technologies, Inc.

10815 John Price Rd., Suite A

Charlotte, NC 28273

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