Jaya Hind Industries, a part of the Dr Abhay Firodia group of companies, recently entered into manufacture of structural components for automobiles. The company has a technical agreement with a leading European company for producing complex aluminium structural parts. It has just concluded the development and manufacture of its first structural part for an auto OEM’s forthcoming model using the high pressure die casting route.
The use of aluminium for various engine components like engine blocks, cylinder heads, clutch housing and transmission components, has been proven and adopted for a long time. However, adoption of aluminium for structural parts has not been on most OEMs’ agenda in the Indian environment, primarily due to non-availability of component makers who had capability to do concurrent engineering with OEMs and develop such complex structural parts. In its drive for improved fuel efficiency, lower emissions, the vehicle manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce weight of the vehicle. Light-weight cast components made from aluminium are becoming increasingly popular as they meet the weight reduction objectives without compromising on strength, reliability and durability. In this case, the component identified for replacement with aluminium was a critical part, the chassis cross member assembly that supports and takes the load of the transmission.
Moving to the aluminium cross member helped the OEM achieve a weight reduction of 4kg (35%) without compromising on bending or torsional strength. In fact, the simulation tests indicate improvement of bending rigidity and torsional strength by over 60% as well as better NVH performance and consistency. The other advantages for the OEM were that this is a single stage manufacturing, with higher dimensional accuracy, without any additional processes like machining, primer application or top-coat paint application. This part goes straight to the final assembly line.
Introducing aluminium for large structural components, Prasan Firodia, Managing Director, Jaya Hind Industries said, “Though automobile manufacturers abroad are regularly using aluminium structural parts, in India this is being done for the first time. I am sure it will open for Jaya Hind Industries, a whole new avenue of opportunities given the severe pressure on OEMs to light weight the vehicles.”