Category Archive: Automotive and Heavy Truck Industry

Demands on the Trucking Industry This Holiday Season: Outlook & Solutions

The holidays are a busy time for everyone—especially for the trucking industry. Black Friday – and the ensuing holiday season shopping frenzy – leave the transportation industry moving extra freight from early fall through the end of the year and beyond. Heavier than usual traffic and a greater consumer demand for on-time delivery add to the strain, which is even more important this year as tight capacity and a shortage of drivers burden the industry even without the added peak season stress.

Ohio Valley Manufacturing supports the trucking industry with design solutions to help keep up with the chaos. Our services help fleet managers and truckers optimize their truck designs to withstand not only the holiday season, but all year round demand.

Here’s an overview of what’s to come for the trucking industry this peak season, as well as Ohio Valley Manufacturing’s answers for this high-stress time.

Peak Season Demands on the Trucking Industry

There’s good news this holiday season: the economy is thriving, and business is booming. In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts sales will increase between 4.3% and 4.8% this November and December. That figure will translate to as much as $720.89 billion in total.

A healthy economy and strong consumer confidence have primed shoppers to spend. The retail industry, as well as customer service and logistics, are recruiting additional employees to keep up with the expected increase in demand.

Of course, the transportation sector is also hiring. Amazon, FedEx, and other transportation stakeholders of all sizes are bringing on tends of thousands of additional drivers for the holidays.

This peak season is panning out to be one of the busiest in recent years. Ohio Valley Manufacturing is ready with solutions that help the transportation industry operate at peak performance.

Trucking Solutions at Ohio Valley Manufacturing

Ohio Valley Manufacturing designs metal components for trucks through services such as heavy-gauge stamping and precision blanking. Our products are strong enough to endure the rigors of the holidays, as well as any other time of the year.

Heavy-Gauge Stamping

Since 1999, Ohio Valley Manufacturing has produced industry-leading stampings. Commercial trucks require robust metal components to support heavy loads, making such vehicles an ideal application for heavy-gauge stamped parts.

Our facility houses state-of-the-art presses to produce durable metal components. These machines can handle up to a 4,000-ton press capacity and 24-inch maximum press stroke. These qualities enable the presses to work with carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel between .020 and 0.625 inches in thickness.

A wide range of stamping products, such as circle blanks and surface mount pins, are made from this process. Many other heavy-duty truck components are also created in this manner.

Precision Blanking

Precision blanking creates durable sheet metal for further use in trucking applications. Ohio Valley Manufacturing offers eight blanking production methods that can handle material sizes measuring from .020 to 0.625 inches in thickness, 72 inches in width, and 100 inches in length. The procedure works well with many common materials used for transportation applications, including:

  • Carbon steel
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel

We tailor our precision blanking process to each individual client’s needs. Our team handles a variety of orders, from prototyping to contract or custom projects. We possess the capability to fabricate first operation blanks, and can work a range of order types, including bulk orders, imports, or other more intricate projects. We possess the capacity to handle small- and large-scale production runs. No matter what the demands of your project, we’re here to handle your truck component fabrication needs.

Let Ohio Valley Manufacturing Help You This Holiday Season

The holidays are here, along with increased pressure on commercial trucks. Ohio Valley Manufacturing is ready to support the transportation industry during this time of increased demand and throughout the upcoming year, where capacity will likely remain tight.

To learn more about our services for the trucking industry, contact us today.

The Work Truck Show’s Role in Industry

Once per year, work truck industry professionals convene at the Work Truck Show. This year’s event is March 6-9th, 2018 in Indianapolis, IN. The Show provides a great opportunity to learn about new products, attend industry trainings, and network with engineers and other representatives from companies you may be interested in working with.

Work Truck Show LogoThe Work Truck Show allows buyers and suppliers to get together and find the right solutions for their products and projects. It is also collocated with the Fleet Technical Congress and Green Truck Summit so that participants can get the most from their experience at the event.

Helpful sessions cover a wide range of subjects that impact work truck companies and professionals. Topics covered include insurance classifications, commercial vehicle updates by major brands, building a strong manufacturing workforce, improving ROI and efficiency, and more. The sessions allow participants of all levels and functions to learn and grow within their field.

In conjunction with the Green Truck Summit, the event will also have a special focus on reducing greenhouse gases and pollution in trucking. Alternative fuels and new technologies will be presented and discussed.

With nearly 500 exhibitors at this year’s show, there’s no shortage of presentations, networking opportunities, and activities for participants. Anybody with a connection to the trucking sector can benefit from attending the event.

As a heavy gauge stamping provider that serves the work truck industry, Ohio Valley Manufacturing understands the importance of the Work Truck Show in growing this sector. To learn more about our capabilities, feel free to call us at 419-522-5818.

Tracking the Growth of Aluminum in the Automotive Sector

Under pressure to boost fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and ensure electric vehicles and gasoline-electric hybrids meet toughening regulations, automakers have been “lightweighting” — building cars and trucks that lighten the vehicle load — for at least a decade. Examples include making parts from carbon fiber, windshields from plastic, and bumpers out of aluminum foam.

 

Aluminum has replaced low-carbon steel on vehicles because it is lightweight, easy to work with, durable, and more corrosion-resistant.

 

By using aluminum and other materials such as high-strength steels, automakers have been able to shave hundreds of pounds off vehicles in some cases. Among the manufacturers robustly lightweighting are Chrysler, Toyota, and GM, which use sheet aluminum for body panels, frame rails, and intricate castings to replace parts that used to require dozens of small pieces to be assembled into one large unit, which reduces weight and complexity, as well as improving crash performance.

 

In ways, though, lightweighting is just beginning. The auto industry must keep the momentum going and find more places to lighten the load — and do it while balancing demands for safety and customers’ desires for the latest vehicle features. Now that aluminum has made inroads in wheels, engines, and cylinder blocks, the major growth area during the next 10 years is expected to be in body components. Low-weight aluminum in new car and truck construction during the next decade is expected at a faster pace than any time in history.

 

“On top of 40 years of uninterrupted growth, the aluminum industry is experiencing a level of sustained growth not seen before in any market or product sector. However, the true winners of this change are American consumers who can choose next-generation cars and trucks that are high performing, efficient, safe, sustainable and more fun to drive,” says Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association.

 

Need to find a manufacturing partner for aluminum parts for the automotive industry? Request a quote for our heavy gauge blanking services.

The Growing Focus on Electric and Self-Driving Vehicles

Electric and hybrid-electric vehicles have been around for a number of years now, but their appeal is finally beginning to catch on among the masses. As prices become more comparable to traditional fuel-powered cars, and more EV charging stations pop up around the nation, there are fewer roadblocks to purchasing an electric car.

And now that these EVs are becoming more mainstream, heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks are following the trend. With Tesla preparing to launch a fully electric Tesla semi model, it’s clear this movement is going nowhere but forward.

There aren’t many details about the electric trucks themselves as far as design, travel range, or reparability. But since Tesla already has so much R&D testing under their belt thanks to the adoption and success of their luxury cars, it’s a safe bet that the electric trucks will have the same attention to detail and achieve similar success.

EVs aren’t the only development in the automotive sector, as autonomous vehicles edge closer to public release. Numerous automakers and tech companies are already working toward a self-driving future, with well-known automotive suppliers such as Delphi Automotive now focusing efforts on next-generation vehicles. In fact, the company decided to split off into two distinct entities – one focused on traditional combustion engines, and one focused on electric and self-driving technologies. Investors clearly supported this move, with shares rising as much as 12 percent following the announcement.

The public is interested in vehicles that can safely get them where they need to go with limited involvement on their part. The result will be similar to the experience of taking mass transportation, but in a more private setting to work done or catch up on sleep on the go. And as more vehicles go electric, the environmental benefits of mass transportation will also be translated to this segment.

As a heavy gauge stamping provider, our services are often applied to truck, trailer, and automotive manufacturing. We’re excited to see how our customers will be incorporating new technological advancements into their own manufacturing efforts.

Clearing the Air with Electric Trucks

The news is full of innovations in electric vehicle technology. Most of the new technology that is reported on is about the car industry. But truck manufacturers have been working on electric vehicles that can meet the challenging requirements of cargo transportation and delivery.

Working toward this goal, the world’s largest truck manufacturer has been working on the first fully electric truck for commercial use. With the unveiling of the new Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, Daimler Trucks has developed an emission free truck that has capabilities to deliver heavier cargo loads.

Development of a truck that can carry heavier loads without greenhouse gas emissions is a huge boom for the industry and the environment. As cities across the globe aim to reduce pollution and ease climate change, restrictions on combustion engines are on the horizon. Electric trucks that can meet these new restrictions are greatly needed.

The Urban eTruck features a pack of three lithium ion battery modules enabling the truck to travel 200 km without recharging. This travel range is sufficient for typical urban deliveries. The company has future plans for developing electric drivetrains that have automated and connected driving systems with the commercial launch of a heavy-duty eTruck in 5 years or so.

To read more on the Mercedes-Benz electric truck, see the full article here.

Roller Leveling Capabilities Improve Quality and Consistency of Finished Parts

At Ohio Valley Manufacturing, we understand the importance of proper material preparation. To ensure that steel blanks are flat enough for processing, the material is run through a leveling or flattening machine. This leveling process uses rollers to gradually flatten the material to a uniform thickness, hence roller leveling. We utilize a Hammerle Leveling Machine to complete the roller leveling process.

We chose the Hammerle machine because it can flatten blanks down to 0.005 inches. This range of specs allows us a wide variety of flatness to. Because we are a full-service fabricator specializing in heavy gauge stamping and precision blanking, it is important that we can prepare blanks to meet any customer’s specifications.

In addition to creating a flat metal blank, leveling also creates a ripple-free surface and neutralizes internal stresses that could cause twisting and bowing when the material is stamped. These stresses are tensions within the material that work against each other to move in different directions, which causes a twisting or bowing effect that can distort the stamped components. By running the metal through the leveling process, the material is stretched, releasing the tensions and making the material more predictable.

Roller leveling offers many benefits when compared to other types of methods. It is a simple and quick way to achieve flat parts. Our capabilities enable us to level multiple grades of steel, stainless, and aluminum that range from 0.020 inches up to .250 inches. The Hammerle machine uses 19 rollers to process blanks up to 29 inches wide with a minimum length of 4 inches.

To serve our diverse customer base, we take all the necessary procedures to continue to deliver the highest quality parts our customers expect. Investing in roller leveling equipment and expertise enables us to maintain our top-quality manufacturing operations.

If you would like more information on our roller leveling capabilities, please contact us or explore our website for examples of projects we have completed.

5 Reasons To Trust Ohio Valley for Your Heavy Gauge Stamping Needs

Ohio Valley Manufacturing has been in the heavy gauge blanking and stamping industry since 1999. As ISO 9001:2008 certified custom manufacturer of stampings we take pride in our services and high-quality production.

If you’re in need on heavy gauge pressing here are five reasons why you should contact and trust us with your patronage.

Production Volume
No production volume is out of reach for us at Ohio Valley. We can provide anything from a large run to high volumes, to as small as a single coil runs. No job is too small or too large scale for Ohio Valley.

Materials
We have the capability of working with carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel from .020″ to 5/8″ in thickness. We specialize in a variety of markets including light & heavy trucks, military, and construction just to name a few.

On-Time Delivery
On-time delivery is a staple in our services that is critical to ensuring our customer’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. Ohio Valley’s commitment to innovation and customer service is evident as we continue to supply products and services that meet the highest tolerances and most stringent specifications and to deliver it exactly when it is needed.

First Operation Blanks
Our other services include first operation blanks. Through our first operation blanks services our customers are given the opportunity to receive a press-ready, scrap free shapes ready for final forming. Potentially using our first operation blanks can save our customers on both material and labor.

Industry Standard
ISO 9001:2008 TS – Compliant

If you need reliable, high quality, on time heavy gauge stamping contact us or visit our website today for more information.  For a inside look watch this video of our heavy gauge equipment and capabilities.

Steel Blanks from Ohio Valley Manufacturing

At Ohio Valley Manufacturing steel blanking is at the core of our business. We have established ourselves to our customers with our key components and equipment that allow us to handle both heavy and light weight gage steel. Steel blanks have a variety of applications and can be used across many different industries, including automotive, appliances, heavy truck manufacturing, trailer manufacturing, material handling equipment, lawn and garden equipment, and construction.

At Ohio Valley Manufacturing we have the capabilities to accommodate material ranging from .020” to 5/8” in thickness and up to 72” wide, with an advance of 100” in length. We primarily manufacture first operation blanks, which means there will generally be subsequent operations after we blank it such as forming, coating or holes added, but our facility can also handle bulk, imported, and intricate orders.

We can also fabricate a configured shape such as a circle and we can run tooling that requires cut through, compound blanks, and more. In addition to our carbon and stainless steel blanks we also have experience working with aluminum.

To learn more about steel blanks and how we can help you with your low or large volume run, visit our website. We also post more company news on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Increase in Truck and Trailer Manufacturing

We’ve been seeing a lot of good news in the trucking industry recently. Not only has the US manufacturing sector have been seeing stronger and stronger rates, but we’ve also seen an increase in Class 8 tractor sales. According to data from Wards Auto, the first quarter of 2015 was the best for Class 8 tractor sales in nine years.

As more and more companies are manufacturing tractors there is also a rise in trailer manufacturing. ACT Research found that trailer manufactures will ship approximately 303,000 trailers this year, an increase of 12% from last year. There are several factors impacting the increase of trailer manufacturing, including pent-up demand from the Great Recession and the overall improved economy, which has increasing freight volumes.

At Ohio Valley Manufacturing we have been experiencing this growth firsthand. We have been busy quoting and starting on new work and have our facility running six days a week to keep up with production. We’re happy with the first half of the year and we aren’t currently anticipating a slowdown in the second half.

To find out how Ohio Valley Manufacturing and how we can help with your trailer manufacturing needs, visit our website. We also post more trucking industry news on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Tier 4 Final Emission Standards

You may have heard that this is the last year for Tier 4 standards to take effect. Tier 4 emission standards were first signed by the EPA in 2004 to help reduce fuel emissions from non-road diesel fuel engines, which can apply to construction equipment, agricultural equipment, and more.

The standards began being phased-in in 2008 and 2015 is the last year, which means manufacturers should now be producing engines that meet Tier 4 standards. The final Tier 4 standards require that engines reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 90%, specifically nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. Once the full inventory of older engines have been replaced by Tier 4 engines, annual emission reductions are expected to be at 738,000 tons for nitrogen oxide and 129,000 tons of particulate matter. These reductions will help improve the environment and reduce premature deaths.

Some equipment manufacturers have already introduced the new engines into their equipment, such as Caterpillar and Cummins and we will continue to watch the industry for our readers. To learn more about Ohio Valley Manufacturing and how we can help with your heavy equipment production needs, visit our website. We also post more company updates and industry news on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

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