From 2022, Handtmann, a strategic system partner for the automotive industry in aluminum and magnesium casting, will start the in-house series production of inverter housings for electric vehicles. Automation specialist Grenzebach will provide the friction stir welding (FSW) equipment, including pre-series monitoring of the component as well as supply and integration of the right welding system. The commissioning of the FSW gantry machine at the Handtmann site in Biberach an der Riß is scheduled for summer 2022.
Solution from a single source: From engineering to commissioning
The partner project has already started in 2019 with the engineering of the inverter housing: In cooperation with a Tier-1 of the automotive industry, Grenzebach assisted in the development and manufacturing of the prototypes. The development phase, with several sample processes, took about one and a half years.
After the successful development phase with the Tier-1, Handtmann was nominated as supplier and is nowresponsible for producing the inverter housing. The pre-series production of the components has started at the end of November 2021 at Grenzebach's Hamlar site.
Handtmann will still rely on Grenzebach's expertise beyond this phase: By the middle of the year, a DSM 14-10 FSW gantry machine will be delivered to the automotive supplier, enabling Handtmann to weld the inverter housings in-house in the future. "Being a direct development partner to the automotive industry, the technological development and casting implementation of intelligent light metal cast components is a significant core competence of our light metal casting business unit. Thanks to Grenzebach's many years of experience and knowhow in friction stir welding, we are able to quickly expand our portfolio with another lightweight design concept and develop our production processes in a future-oriented way", says Patrick Werner, Project Management at Handtmann Metallgusswerk Produktions-GmbH & Co. KG.
High-performance welding technology for e-mobility
Christian Wissmüller, Sales Manager FSW at Grenzebach, adds: "Lightweight construction for e-mobility requires high-performance and innovative welding technologies. In our successful cooperation with Handtmann, Grenzebach demonstrated the capability to supply welding technology as a reliable solution and journey partner, which not only meets the requirements of the automotive industry, but also revolutionizes metal processing. We are happy about the trust in our expertise and technology."
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About friction stir welding at Grenzebach
Friction stir welding (FSW) is the innovative welding process for joining materials durably and robustly. The metals are stirred, not melted. FSW can be optimally integrated into industrial se-ries production. Grenzebach is your automation partner from the very beginning. Different equipment concepts are available – from gantry machines with customer-specific working ranges to robots, which weld 3D geometries. Developing processes and providing friction tools are part of Grenzebach’s holistic approach.
Grenzebach is a leading automatization solution provider for the global glass, building material and intralogistics market. In addition, the company develops new application areas, such as various recycling processes, friction stir welding, the automatization of industrial additive manu-facturing or digital networking. Grenzebach ranks among the international technology leaders in its markets. The global manufacturing footprint with production sites in Germany, Romania, the US and China, as well as additional worldwide locations ensure customer support on-site. More than 3,000 systems installed in more than 55 countries stand for quality and reliability. Since the company opened its doors over 60 years ago, it has been owned by the founding family. With an export ratio of more than 90 percent, Grenzebach is a global player.