Last time we talked a bit about the “lightweighting” trend, what it is, and how it applies to one of the primary industries we’re involved in, namely the trucking industry. This time, we’d like to examine more specifically how the trend and our expertise therein dovetails with other more heavy duty applications of heavy gauge stamping and blanking, particularly within the agricultural industry.
While the basic idea of lightweighting is found across multiple industries, the particular goals and factors differ slightly for the heavy duty nature and specific needs of the agricultural industry. Generally, the maneuverability, fuel efficiency, and transportability that is achieved with lighter weight is advantageous in all applications. The extreme example here is with racing – the design specifications, advanced materials, and other efforts to make the cars as light as possible are incredible, making complementary technology necessary (spoilers and other airflow manipulation techniques) to keep the super light cars on the track. On the other end of the spectrum we have heavy duty, rugged equipment, such as is found in the agricultural industry. The primary considerations here are durability, resistance to extreme weather and corrosion environments, and load-bearing capabilities, while still maintaining the lightest weight possible. All of these particulars make using alternate materials more difficult, as only higher grades of steel have the tolerances necessary for such specifications. For instance, the field disks found on tractors often come with strict specifications for emerging engineered steels (like these advanced high strength steels or AHSS), to be able to withstand the continuous use and corrosive conditions of the soil. This goes for other parts of the tractor too, from wheels to drive idlers, and other parts that require high load bearing capabilities.
At Ohio Valley, we have long been a leader in heavy gauge blanking and stamping, and we’ve recently made some pretty exciting investments to increase our capabilities in those areas. Make sure to check back here at our blog in the future for some more information about how we’re pushing the envelope of heavy duty offerings in our industry to new heights.