A Birmingham, UK based stamping specialist has started on a GBP1m project which will develop a new process to support the UK’s acceleration into automotive electrification.
Brandauer, which claims to already produce components for use in more than half of the world’s cars, has secured around GBP300,000 of funding from UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to help it set up a high volume e-machine stack line to produce thin laminates required by the automotive and aerospace sectors.
Working in partnership with WMG and supported by Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover, the 158 year old supplier believes there is an initial GBP500,000 opportunity to secure once the methodology is in place with longer term projections of a market worth between GBP60m and GBP70m.
Engineers and academic experts will be working to create an in line adhesive dispensing process to support the volume challenge while the second part will see them work towards the integration of an advanced stamping line capable of creating 0.1mm laminations with very narrow iron bridges.
“This project is a game changer for our business but importantly a game changer for the UK power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) supply chain and its ability to supply an increasing demand for e-components from Tier 1s and car makers,” said Adam Burgoyne, the new product introduction & quality engineer at Brandauer.
“Our laminations business is growing, focused initially on aerospace and defence work. However, the really big opportunity is in electrification and, to put us in that global arena, we need to be able to stamp extremely thin laminations to a high quality in large volume.
“This is what we’ll be working towards over the next year, bringing in the knowledge of WMG and the guidance of JLR. Taking on a project of this magnitude during COVID-19 is a big challenge and has been made possible thanks to the financial support secured from UK Research and Innovation.”
Brandauer, which developed its own range of nose clips for face masks and a new visor to support the fight against coronavirus, will start by developing its own in house methodology, transferring expertise from applying lubricant surface coatings to stampings during manufacture.
This will reduce cycle times whilst also improving productivity and allowing capacity growth of 50%.
The second stage will use the existing design of a rotor/stator stack with 0.2mm laminations as a base, before changing the material thickness to the required 0.1mm. Proving out stamping feasibility and preparing for manufacture will take place, with narrow bridge trials completed to identify the exact production process and the required manufacturing technique.
“There is a clear market signal, with our sales engineers regularly fielding GBP10m enquiries a year for this capability,” Burgoyne said.
“This isn’t just about Brandauer though. This is about creating a process and technology that will deliver the UK a vitally important technology which will not only drive the sector’s growth in electrification but will also support the net carbon 2050 target.”
A little known UK supplier, Brandauer produces millions of high tolerance metal pressings and stampings each week for plumbing, automotive, domestic products, electrical, medical and renewables sectors.
It is part of a new manufacturing cluster established to target multi million pound electrification opportunities over the next year which includes Alucast, C-MAC SMT, PP Control & Automation and industrial automation specialist Balluff.