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Tag Archive: lightweighting

  1. Fuel Efficiency in the Trucking Industry

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    At Ohio Valley Manufacturing we’ve been paying close attention to the trucking industry and there are several new announcements, including the president calling for fuel efficiency improvements. Obama has ordered the EPA to draft new regulations by March 2015 and implemented a year later. The goal of the new fuel standards is to limit greenhouse gas pollution, fuel costs, and oil imports.

    This announcement coincided with two new efficient trucks being unveiled. Walmart recently debut its concept truck that it hopes will help it reach its sustainability goals. Additionally, Cummins-Peterbilt announced that its SuperTruck has achieved 10.7 mpg under real-world driving conditions.

    At Ohio Valley Manufacturing we think fuel efficiency and sustainability are a good way to go and we’re fully prepared to help the trucking industry reach fuel efficiency goals. We’ve talked before about the lightweighting trend, which uses lighter gauge material and higher grade to make it stronger. To produce these parts, heavy equipment is required which we can accommodate with our 4,000 ton press and our 1,800 ton press which allows us to handle the manufacturing of type of equipment.

    To learn more about our capabilities, visit our website and to stay up-to-date on industry news follow us on Twitter.

  2. Ohio Valley and the Agricultural Industry

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    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.

  3. Lightweighting in Vehicle Manufacturing

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    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.

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