Application: Rolling the edges of stamped aluminum heat shields for improved safety
The Challenge: A major OEM automotive parts manufacturer turned to QDP to solve a concern they were having regarding the level of safety in the heat shields they manufacture. Tens of thousands of aluminum heat shields are manufactured each year and installed on vehicles of different models, oftentimes in difficult to reach places. There was a concern that the edges of the heat shields were too sharp and may put the people who install and provide maintenance on these parts at risk for accidental lacerations.
The heat shields are stamped out of aluminum and are have a rather complex geometry with several tight radii curves. Stamping is the right manufacturing process to generate the high volume of flat parts, but they have a sharp edge when they leave the press. The incumbent stamping provider could not find a way to roll over the edges while still maintaining the tight tolerances required for these parts. With annual production in the tens of thousands, the OEM needed a solution that was in-line with existing processes to avoid production delays and/or steep increases in cost.
The Solution: The experienced staff at QDP Inc. worked with the OEM to prove they could use a stamping process to roll the edges of the parts for a safer end product while still holding the critical tolerances demanded. Once the prototypes were approved a proof of concept had been established for high volume production. QDP developed special tooling with 4 different forming dies for each type of heat shield manufactured by the OEM. It is a complex 4 step process to stamp these parts to satisfaction, but it’s much faster than the alternative solutions under consideration. It’s also exactly the kind of special application challenge that QDP solves regularly for their customers.
The solution went beyond the stamping process itself, because rolling the edges required the original design to be re-engineered to allow for enough material to roll over. QDP collaborated with the OEM to assist in re-engineering the parts in a way that allowed them to make basic modifications to their tooling and not have to completely modify their up-stream manufacturing processes. The re-designed parts contain enough material along the edges to roll over while still maintaining the same critical specified geometry.
Benefits: QDP was able to solve a component safety concern which the end customer demanded to reduce potential injury to assembly workers. The ability to solve this issue without requiring the OEM to completely re-tool their production processes was a huge area of savings.
Do you have a complex stamping issue that needs a resolution? Maybe even a component safety concern that demands your attention? Contact us today to discuss how QDP can solve your problem and provide you with the quality you demand.