When it comes to feasibility studies, our developers never really ask themselves whether something works, but always how it works. This was also the case with the project that ALU-CAR, the proven lightweight construction specialist in the csi Group, completed for Volkswagen AG. This time, they were looking for a solution as to how individual body work could be replaced by aluminium large-format cast components in future to make production even more efficient and the chassis lighter – this is critical as weight is an extremely important aspect, especially in electric cars. That is why the issue of large-format casting or “gigacasting” is on the agenda in Wolfsburg, as it is with virtually all car manufacturers worldwide
Finding a solution in no time.
The “Adaptation of large-format cast components for the MEB platform” pilot project ran for one year. During this relatively short, we defined all the relevant details regarding the structure, component dimensions and strength in close consultation with the responsible department at VW and the VW foundry in Kassel, and also completed the pilot project on schedule. We had this capability because at ALU-CAR we have over 20 years of experience in the design of die-cast components and their integration into various body structures. This involves factors, such as the correct, that is technologically appropriate joining sequences and techniques, as well as their accessibility, corrosion protection and adaptation of peripheral components.
From safeguarding the concept to creation of real components
Our (development) team could draw on experience gained in body development and especially die-cast components with orders from various automotive manufacturers in response to many questions that arose during this exciting project.
VW wanted to go one step further to safeguard the concept that had been developed. Therefore, ALU-CAR also produced prototype components to ensure that they could also be manufactured in practice. This was done at the Group’s foundry in Kassel, Germany.
We are pleased that we were able to take a further important step into the future together with VW by developing and integrating large-scale cast components into a hybrid body structure.
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ALU-CAR | Winterberg