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How ThyssenKrupp Presta saved 90 % on tooling and 30 % on energy?

This is the story, how ThyssenKrupp Presta saved 90 % on tooling and 30 % on energy.

Marcus Hellriegel – an engineer at ThyssenKrupp Presta in Schönebeck (Elbe) near Magdeburg in Germany - tried to find a solution for the very short service life of the so-called hairpin coil used to harden the inner ball track.

  • The main goal was to improve the design of the coil in order to achieve a longer service life and lower production costs.

  • It took about 10 trials to find the new coil shape, which achieved excellent results in tests.

The solution:

For this task, Marcus decided to use simulation software to virtually test the design candidates and 3D print the final coil.

  • He succeeded in designing a new induction coil for hardening the ball raceway in a ball nut (part of the steering system).

  • He reduced tooling costs per part by 90% and energy consumption by 30%.

  • This resulted in seven-figure savings for the company per year.

Marcus was able to complete the new design just in a couple of months in a very cost-efficient way by using CENOS Induction Heating simulation software and 3D-printing technology.

A traditional way:

A traditional approach would be to order conventionally manufactured coils from a supplier.

  • It would take ten design and prototyping iterations, which would take more than a half-year.

  • It would cost around EUR 60,000 just to test different coil design versions.

For such a sophisticated coil type, ordering 3D printed coil prototypes from an additive manufacturing supplier could save time, but the process would still take 3-4 months and cost around EUR 10,000.

Using simulation platform:

Marcus decided to learn simulation software so that he could perform all design iterations using computer simulation and 3D-print the final design candidate for the real-world test.

Marcus chose CENOS over all other simulation software on the market because it is focused on induction heating and provides unrivalled learning speed thanks to its simple interface for induction tasks.

  • So, the new coil design was completed in a few months.

  • The use of simulation unleashed the designer's engineering talent, allowing him to test even the most crazy ideas at no additional cost.

  • Everything was tested virtually on a PC before being fabricated using 3D printing.

When the new coil was 3D printed, it was time for the lab tests.

It was surprising that the test showed an energy saving of up to 30% for the newly designed coil compared to the old one.

The reason for this dramatic increase in energy efficiency is the fact that the 3D printed coil has no solder joints.

  • A conventionally manufactured coil of this type has up to 20 soldered joints.

  • Each solder joint increases the overall resistance of the coil, which leads to higher energy consumption.

A 3D-printed coil, on the other hand, has no solder joints and therefore a lower electrical resistance.

The results:

While the main goal of the project was to develop a new design for the coil that would not break as often, there were huge savings through lower production costs and higher energy efficiency of the coil.

The efficiency of the coil was made possible by 3D printing technology, and the simulation software made the design process extremely efficient.

All of this resulted in saving 90% on tooling and 30% on energy expences.


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