True to our “finding a better way…” motto, Rosler partnered with thyssenkrupp AG to create a continuous flow shot blasting operation for the fastest crankshaft forge shop in the world.
World renowned for its drive trains, chassis, and automobile manufacturing equipment, the automotive division of thyssenkrupp AG significantly contributes to the technical progress and efficiency of motor vehicles. The thyssenkrupp Gerlach GmbH plant in Homburg, Germany, is a leading partner for the development of automobile engine components, offering a full-service package ranging from component design, prototype fabrication, and full-scale production.
Developing a Solution
To improve cost efficiency at its Homburg plant and to meet all customer requirements, thyssenkrupp AG installed its high-tech “production line 19” for forged crankshafts for engines with one to four cylinders in 2016. For this line, Rosler developed an innovative shot blast equipment concept known as the Rosler RKWS crankshaft shot blasting system.
For transmission components like gears and shafts, shot peening has become an indispensable step in the overall manufacturing process.
With the RWT swing table machine, Rosler developed a modular equipment concept that can be easily adapted to different technical requirements and offers a maximum in process stability paired with absolutely repeatable peening results and high cost efficiency. One of the numerous customers within the automotive industry utilizing the RWT is an Asian automotive supplier.
As part of a capacity expansion for minivan transmissions, this customer increased annual production to 40,000 units and decided to carry out the required shot peening operation in-house instead of subcontracting it to an external job shop.
The specifications called for a system that can handle around 560,000 single work pieces per year, including 15 different types of gears and shafts. Each work piece type required the development of a specific peening program based on drawings and various work piece materials.
When it comes to high-volume production of complex aluminum die-castings, Kovolis Hedvikov a.s. (Kovolis) is a sought after partner by numerous car manufacturers and their suppliers. To expand its capacity and achieve more flexibility in the overall manufacturing process, the company purchased a continuous flow vibratory finishing system from Rosler designed to handle a wide work piece spectrum and custom engineered to fit into the available space at the customer’s premises.
Founded in 1816 as an ironworking operation, Kovolis has focused entirely on aluminum die casting since 1945. Today, Kovolis produces components from nine different aluminum alloys weighing between 7 oz (200 grams) and 18 lbs (8 kg) with different casting technologies including vacuum investment casting and rheocasting.
Their product range includes brakes, power steering systems, turbo chargers, and compressors for air conditioning systems. Kovolis customers are renowned car manufacturers and tier-1 suppliers that also utilize the company as an important partner for product development, machining, heat treatment, and surface finishing services.
Crankshafts are an integral automotive component. Utilized to convert piston movement into rotational motion, these work pieces must provide reliable stability and withstand tensile, compressive, and shear stresses.
Let’s take a closer look at mass finishing
machines offering outstanding processing for crankshafts.
Built with specific work pieces in mind, Rosler designs
several machines to process crankshafts and other automotive work pieces.
Due to their considerable size and weight, the only mass finishing machines capable of handling the deburring of crankshafts after machining are mid- to large-sized tub vibrators or linear, continuous flow vibrators.
Selecting one machine type over the other largely
depends on the work piece’s size.
Used in heavy trucks, heavy equipment, and, even,
large ships, crankshafts enable an engine to move a vehicle by converting the
reciprocating (up/down) movement of the pistons/connecting rods into a
rotational movement that propels the vehicle forward.
Depending on their size, weight, and production volume, crankshafts can be blast-cleaned in different machines. Rosler Metal Finishing offers solutions for a wide range of crankshaft types with weights from 15 to more than 500 lbs and lengths from 10 up to 80 in and more.
Built with specific work pieces in mind, the
machines designed to process crankshafts are as diverse as the work pieces they
Considering that automotive crankshafts weigh around
40-60 pounds and rotate approximately 100 times per second, these parts are
exposed to tremendous tensile, compressive, and shear stresses. In addition,
combustion forces and piston acceleration in an engine can also cause
Therefore, crankshafts must be made from tough,
wear-resistant materials, usually high alloy carbon steel. Typical alloying
elements are manganese, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, cobalt, or vanadium.
Alloy Wheel polishing has been significantly improved by optimising both the processing times and final results. These improvements have been achieved by mounting two motors on the process bowl, providing a stronger and uniform circulation of the grinding and polishing media.
Conventional machines have only a single motor in the centre and on more complex designed alloy wheels, additional machine inertia is desirable.
Automatic blast cleaning with high flexibility for production lines. A robotic blaster is a combination of a shot blasting unit and a multi-axis robot specially engineered to suit specific applications. It can be deployed for different blast cleaning tasks – from deburring and desanding all the way to evidenced documented shot peening.
Typically automobile manufacturers utilise this highly efficient, compact and noise protected blast system to deburr and surface finish bell/gearbox housings made of magnesium alloy in extremely short cycle times, as low as just 26 seconds. In order to handle the components from two parallel pressure die casting lines and place them into the shot blasting unit, the robot can be equipped with a double gripper. In the blast cabin, the bell and gearbox housings are shot blasted by six high performance and efficient blast wheels.
Leading manufacturers of engine valveand piston ring springs utilise general blast cleaning and shot peening systems.
There are various blast treatment options adapted to a multitude of spring sizes and geometries, depending on your treatment objectives.
No other industrial item is produced in such a wide variety.
Blast cleaningwith a suitably soft media, cleans fast and is environmentally friendly. It provides a quick reconditioning, reclamation and renewal of dirty, corroded, worn machined components. And is of vital importance to mechanical engineers, in the process of maintenance, component re-claim, rebuilders and re-manufacturers.