Extendingthe partnership

The STIWA Group, an experienced partner in the field of product and high-performance automation, has been working successfully with SFS for many years. To date, orders for the automotive area have been fulfilled using the core technology of cold forming. On the latest project, SFS was able to offer convincing solutions via another of their core technologies, namely the plastic injection moulding technique, and thereby extending the offer of their customer.

Added value

  • Change of technology and process automation
  • Extending the manufacturing range for the customer
  • "Local for local" strategy evaluated and realised
The challenge was to enable all design variants of the selector forks to be automatically moulded

Strive for technology change
It was mid-2016 when this customer approached various partners in search of a supply solution for plastic injection moulded gear selector forks for midsize and premium vehicles for a major German car manufacturer. Because of the demanding end-customer requirements, STIWA Advanced Products were looking for an alternative technology option, from ultrasonic joining to injection moulding. The challenge, in addition to process matching, lay in the development and design of a manufacturing solution enabling all seven design variants of the selector forks to be automatically moulded.

Developing the ideal solution
In order to achieve the most cost-effective project solution, the SFS team of experts first needed to choose the ideal manufacturing site. Considering the handling and transport costs of an annual 350 tons of material, it became clear that the manufacturing site had to be situated close to the customer. Thanks to SFS’s international manufacturing platform, it proved possible to identify the plant in Korneuburg, Austria as the best possible location. It was, moreover, not only the physical location, but rather the production costs, problem solving capabilities and adherence to customer delivery dates which were decisive for STIWA Advanced Products in choosing SFS for this project.

This is also the view of Oliver Zeintlinger, the buyer responsible at STIWA:

"Once again SFS identified themselves as a really technical capable development partner in the automotive field.“

The requested process automation was perfectly executed with the help of a complex assembly line consisting of three six-axis robots.

Extending the manufacturing range
Following placement of the order in the summer of 2017, SFS were to benefit from their pre-investment during the quotation stage; rapidly finalising their tooling and handling concepts. Working in unison with STIWA Automation, they soon met the process automation requested by the customer for the injection moulding of the selector forks: perfectly executed with the help of a complex assembly line consisting of three six-axis robots. The alternative manufacturing technology and associated extension of the manufacturing range to include plastic injection moulding is now fully operational at STIWA Advanced Products; with Korneuburg well anchored as their trusted supply partner.

Used technologies

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