One of the biggest buzzwords currently in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry is “lightweighting”. This refers to the attempt by auto and truck design and manufacturing companies to come up with the lightest weight vehicles possible, in order to be as fuel efficient as possible. There are many schools of thought as to the best approach for lighter vehicles – in the auto industry, many companies are substituting aluminum, carbon fiber, and other composites to try to save weight and maintain durability. Designers are scrutinizing every piece of the vehicles, from the frame to the engine, for new and innovative ways to make lighter parts but still provide the same loadbearing and safety capabilities as heavier vehicles.
For the trucking industry, alternate materials aren’t as much an option because of the need to bear higher loads, at higher tolerances. This means that many are using higher grade steels, with higher tensile strength – but at thinner gauges. Stronger steel, however, is tougher to manipulate. The higher grade the steel, the more pounds of force need to be behind the machine that makes the part, and many designs call for steel that is stretching the boundaries of what many manufacturers are capable of. Fortunately for us at Ohio Valley, our specialty is in heavy gauge stamping, and our 4000 ton press can handle what most others can’t.
As designs call for stronger steel gauges, and the lightweighting trend continues, Ohio Valley Manufacturing will be ready to accommodate our customers with their heavy gauge stamping needs. Make sure to check back here at our blog for more insight into how this trend is affecting the agricultural and construction industries, or in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts and get in touch with us on social media.