Rapid response automotive machining requirements have developed over the years – initiating with Professional Motorsport’s influence from aerospace standards and manufacturing techniques, from the 1960s and onwards, and which subsequently penetrated into consumer automotive manufacturing. Considering that aerospace, motorsport and automotive are now intrinsically linked in technological and manufacturing terms it’s not entirely surprising that each of these sectors influence each other in the quest for new innovation. Rapid response automotive machining is one of these influences which initiated within aerospace and aviation. It’s no secret for instance that Formula 1 benefited from aerospace manufacturing techniques and still does so, and that aerospace has learned lessons from Formula 1 innovations along the way. The introduction of sub-frames in the early days of motorsport and subsequently consumer automotive manufacturing, was indeed an idea ‘borrowed’ from aerospace and Colin Chapman/Lotus, were the first Formula 1 constructor to implement the idea of the engine being part of the structural integrity of the car – using the Cosworth DFV – a significant weight saving exercise, which went on to dominate Formula 1.
Rapid response automotive machining, and just-in-time machining has become an essential manufacturing tool within the automotive and professional motorsport sectors. With the latest iteration of Formula 1 engines and the growing popularity of alternatively powered motorsport, such as Formula E, combined with the global trend towards cleaner engines in the consumer market, it’s clear that the evolution of motorsport is heavily influenced by the consumer sector – in fact it always has been, but now the focus has shifted. Efficiency, cleaner emissions and a smaller ecological footprint are clear selling points. This evolution of engine design, energy recovery systems and vehicle efficiency place renewed demands on manufacturing – in terms of assured quality, stock control, budget control and minimal waste.
The rapid response automotive machining sector has evolved from AS9100 aerospace rapid response machining techniques and just-in-time machining strategies – which assist lean manufacturing principles and minimise waste within aerospace manufacturing. The once-smaller and specialist sports car manufacturers have developed into much larger businesses with significant global markets, and this has created an evolved machining and manufacturing perspective for these automotive companies. The arrival of rapid response automotive machining is a common-sense evolution to the manufacture of world-class, high quality automotive and motorsport components within lean manufacturing limits.
How is Rapid Response Automotive Machining Achieved?
Rapid response automotive machining ensures that ultimate efficiency is achieved at each stage.
- At the outset, STP files are immediately examined and the CAD team work closely with the customer to iron out any improvements that can be applied to the resulting CAD model.
- The most efficient route of manufacture is determined, ensuring the strongest integrity of component via multi process machining, using processes such as 5 axis machining, large 5 axis machining, automated mill-turn, wire electrical discharge machining (wire cut) and spark electrical discharge machining (die sink).
- Production control plan the manufacturing route and schedule manufacture, agreeing on-time delivery with the customer
- AS9100c Quality Control ensures that quality is maintained throughout the manufacturing process, human error is removed as a possibility and zero defects are insured
- Manufacturing bottlenecks are spotted and mitigated ahead of time using MRP software and supply chain management
Di-Spark Ltd are a supplier of sub-con Rapid Response Automotive Machining.
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