As lightweight materials become more reliable, automotive OEMs depend on them more to reduce the weight of their automobiles. Naturally, that trickles down to their suppliers who now struggle to incorporate lightweight materials into their castings without sacrificing on quality, performance or durability. So how do suppliers keep up with the demands the industry puts on them while keeping their good name? We’ll tell you how the Japanese automotive parts company, Nissin Kogyo, did it and gained even more confidence from customers like Honda and Toyota.
To reduce vehicle weight, aluminum has replaced heavier metals previously used to manufacture brakes. Designs are constantly evolving yet the strength, performance and durability are expected to improve. Nissin Kogyo needed to meet the complex specifications set by OEMs, find a way to manufacture a wide variety of products, and produce high quality castings without any delay in production.
Before the introduction of ESI ProCAST, the percentage of defects was relatively high, leading to a smaller yield. It was impossible to accept this with an increase in production and the diversification of products. We were able to reduce the percentage of defects to a very large extent thanks to a high accuracy simulation tool like ProCAST.Chief Engineer, Development Operations Nissin Kogyo Co. Ltd
Nissin Kogyo Co. Ltd., established in 1953, develops, manufactures, and sells brake equipment for two- and four-wheeled. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation are among their largest customers. One of their main challenges is meeting crucial demands of such OEMs, including reducing the weight by using lightweight aluminum as an alternative without sacrificing performance and durability.
Brakes are the primary safety device of an automobile and at the same time are often visible and must be aesthetically pleasing. They typically experience temperatures of 200° - 300°C as a consequence of friction during braking and must function well under the adverse environments of dirt, water, snow and salt. The challenge for many manufacturers, such as Nissin Kogyo, is to deliver, in the shortest time, optimal designs that meet the stringent requirements of automobile OEMs.
The level of defects Nissin Kogyo experienced in their product lines was too high and was delaying deliveries to their customers. With increase in production and product diversification, the problems amplified.
Their main task was to produce a “quality casting” (right size, shape, weight, strength) without internal defects and with a good after machining surface finish. At the same time, the manufacturing process had to be designed to provide the highest possible yield. Nissin Kogyo realized that their success depended on understanding the casting process inside the mold cavity.
Image courtesy of Nissin Kogyo