Teksid, the foundry arm of Fiat Group, is to boost its production of cylinder blocks and other engine components in compacted graphite iron (CGI).
This is an important move for Fiat as it consolidates the technical agreement established between the Teksid group and SinterCast in 2002. Fiat's FPT Industrial already uses CGI for the cylinder heads of the Cursor 16 commercial vehicle engine.
Under the terms of the agreement, SinterCast will install a Mini-System 3000 process control system at Teksid’s Funfrap foundry in Aveiro, Portugal, some 75km south of Porto.
Significantly, in anticipation of future series production, Teksid will construct the CGI infrastructure and develop the process flow to be compatible with a planned upgrade to a fully automated System 3000 Plus installation.
The installation will be commissioned during the third quarter of this year and will be used to support "ongoing product development of passenger vehicle cylinder blocks" and other engine components.
The Funfrap foundry specialises in the development and production of parts in various types of cast iron for the automotive industry, namely, Ni-resist and SiMo; it also machines some components. Soon it will be able to include CGI material to its compamy statement raising the prospect of CGI use in passenger car powertrains.
According to Funfrap its main products at present include bedplates, crankshafts and turbine housings, manifolds and turbo manifolds as well as differential housings.
Funfrap is owned 84 per cent by Teksid with Portuguese investors holding the balancing 16 per cent. The output capacity is 30,000 tons a year. Funfrap is certified to ISO/TS 16949, VDA 6.1 and ISO 14001.
Funfrap’s principal customers are General Motors, Renault, Fiat and Garrett (Garrett is part of Honeywell Turbo Technologies of Rolle, Switzerland.)
The foundry has four electric furnaces, three power (4,500kVA) installations and one Mezger automatic pouring line. There are also core making machines for cores from 3kg to 150kg.
In addition, there is one finishing line for bedplates and cylinder blocks with facilities for grinding, trimming and painting; three finishing lines for manifolds and other engine compoinents; and two crankshafts finishing lines. There are also the CNC machining centres.
From the nature of these lines it is clear how the foundry’s end products are divided.
"The installation of the SinterCast technology in our Funfrap foundry marks another important step for the Teksid group as a leading provider of technology, components and solutions to the passenger vehicle, commercial vehicle and industrial power industries" said Dr Riccardo Tarantini, president & chief executive officer of Teksid SpA. "As the global CGI market continues to grow, we are pleased to invest in the latest CGI process control advances to provide our customers with class-leading CGI capability. We remain committed to establishing Teksid as one of the leading suppliers of CGI to the global automotive industry."
"SinterCast has supported Teksid since 2002, conducting product development trials in Europe, North America and South America, and installing our automated System 3000 technology at the Teksid Hierro foundry in Mexico,” said Dr Steve Dawson, president & chief executive officer of SinterCast.
“It is rewarding that this support has provided the confidence for Teksid to extend its SinterCast-CGI installation base to include the Funfrap foundry in Portugal," Dawson added.
"We look forward to supporting Teksid's product development and series production to broaden the supply, awareness and confidence of CGI around the world. Repeat business is the strongest endorsement of any technology, and one of our core objectives," he concluded.
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