Gestamp is an international group dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of metal automotive components.
It operates a number of factories in the UK, supplying directly to high-profile car makers including Jaguar, Volkswagen and Volvo.
“From the very start of the relationship, Flowdrill experts spent a great deal of time understanding our issue and how its unique technology could potentially hold the answer. It wasn’t always easy as dealing with the automotive sector isn’t, but together we proved to Volkswagen that the process worked and would importantly deliver ‘part price’ savings.”
The global automotive sector is continually looking at ways in which it can achieve cost downs whilst still delivering the high-quality consumers expect of it.
Gestamp Tallent’s Newton Aycliffe plant in the North East of England specialises in producing welded assemblies for use in suspensions and body and white and has a strong reputation for manufacturing performance and problem solving.
More than 14 years ago, the production team was faced with an issue concerning how they applied cable fixtures to a subframe for Volkswagen, with the traditional welding approach not possible due to space constraints and the angle needed to apply the fastener.
If not addressed, this would cause a significant production bottleneck and would be very costly in terms of cycle time and the additional material required.
The decision was taken to explore different options and, part of this exercise, involved discussions with Flowdrill on utilising its ‘drill and tap’ technology.
This was the start of a 12-month ‘proving out’ process that involved testing the method to see if it could deliver both a cost-effective solution and the quality performance required by Volkswagen.
The results were impressive and the decision was taken to invest in a robotic line that would be used to complete the Flowdrill process, removing manual operators so they could be deployed elsewhere.
Using a mixture of M6 and M8 drill applications, Gestamp Tallent started production of the subframe in 2006 and have continue to use this process ever since, manufacturing more than 400,000 units every year.
The Flowdrill difference
The long-term relationship underlines the strength of the partnership and the effectiveness of the process with it seamlessly fitting into the automotive supplier’s assembly line.
By using Flowdrill, Gestamp Tallent has:
“There is no place for sentiment in automotive, so the fact we have been working with Gestamp Tallent for nearly 15 years tells you how successful our process is. We haven’t stopped there, always asking how we can adapt our drills to deliver other solutions and are close to completing another installation to support another OEM.”