Not since the 19th century, with arrival of the first motor vehicles, including electric, have we seen such upheavals in the automotive industry. Consequently, new uses for plastic tubes are showing up under the hood. The changes are coming at a steady pace. How ready are you to respond to new demands coming from the tier 1 suppliers?
While number of vehicles is on the rise worldwide, there is mounting pressure for responsible fuel consumption, environmentally friendly energy sources, lighter vehicles, more technology and higher safety levels. International standards and norms are trying to keep up, which allows smart players to fill the void. The result is a growing range of tube constructions, specific to markets and automobile manufacturers. Take for example emission standards that introduce the use of fuel vapor return tubes, or electric vehicles that count on cooling tubes to keep batteries operating at optimal temperatures.
Maillefer’s multi-layer co-extrusion cell provides the maximum flexibility needed to produce the automotive tubes in demand today, as well as for tomorrow. The key lies at the heart of an array of our five or six single screw extruder group. Our newest multi-layer ECH crosshead is at the center. It has the capacity to extrude one, two or up to five even six layers. That flexibility combined with the possibility of swapping layer positions is giving manufacturers a multitude of choices. Mathematically, more than 150 combinations are possible with the five layer head, while many more are possible with the six layer version. Indeed, the options are there.
Allowing operators to prepare for the next product run by optimizing set-up and clean operations at the head makes for faster product changes. The head’s indexing feature gives the ability to assign layer positions with a simple twist. Reducing the number of layers to be extruded is possible by employing thicker distributors or by combining extruder flows. The head has an improved design that allow easy removal of parts, which is well appreciated during cleaning operations. The ease at which a product change is made may define your ability to capture new market opportunities.
Having options when faced with new requirements coming from the tier 1 suppliers, certainly can play to your advantage. The business in automotive tube is rapidly changing. Maillefer’s automotive extrusion cell helps open up the possibilities, thanks to the arrival of our ECH head for multi-layer tube.
Technical Director Pipe Solutions