Frost & Sullivan Acknowledges the Ease-of-Adoption and Cost Efficiency of Ceratizit’s Automotive Powertrain Tools

July 22, 2010

LONDON, July 22 /PRNewswire/ — Based on its recent analysis of the automotive powertrain market, Frost & Sullivan has recognized Ceratizit SA with the “2010 European Automotive Powertrain Customer Value Enhancement Award.” Ceratizit’s new cutting tool, the Grade CTP3220, exhibits impressive ease-of-adoption, integrating easily into the existing system without reducing production or creating adverse learning curves for its operation.

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Ceratizit has managed to keep changes in production line to a minimum. The only modifications have been reserved for existing clamping solutions and fixtures, as well as for some of the operating parameters, such as the cutting speed and feed. These have reduced the tool implementation time for the customer and, consequently, any production delays.

Increasing the combustion chamber pressure is an important criterion to achieve better combustion efficiency. However, this increase enlarges the load on the crankshaft and on the crankshaft bearing caps. Thus, for a Euro5 engine, with a higher operating pressure, the bearing caps are made of spheroidal cast iron (GGG60), which has better load bearing and vibration damping characteristics, in contrast to the softer grey cast iron (GG25) of an Euro4 bearing cap. The significance of Ceratizit’s tools is sizable, especially when compared to previous tools, which fail to machine different grades of materials.

“The requirement to machine both Euro4 & Euro5 bearing caps and engine blocks resulted in Ceratizit’s response to develop a new cutting tool. The new cutting tool, Grade CTP3220, enabled the manufacturing of different bearing caps in the same production line at a manufacturing plant using the same cutting tool,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Bharath Kumar Srinivasan. “Ceratizit, while designing the tool, ensured that this cutting tool can also address future needs. Future needs refer to the use of Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI), which is considered to be the next generation of material for diesel engines blocks and GGG70 for the bearing caps.”

Ceratizit’s policy of working with engineers from its customer site helps it define its project objective. Ceratizit has eliminated customer concern for the loss of revenues, due to the significantly reduced life expectancy of the machining tool previously employed by the customer.

Ceratizit was not only challenged to create a tool that would manufacture both materials with the required tolerances and surface quality, but also to provide it in the shortest time span. It achieved the target in 2 months through the design, production and testing necessary to confirm the new design’s capability to handle multiple materials.

The short-term effect of this breakthrough is that customers can avoid the issue of daily loss resulting from lower tool life. The mid-term benefit is that Ceratizit can shape both the grey cast iron and spheroidal cast iron of engine components. Finally, the long-term benefit is that the tool is now capable of machining CGI.

An added advantage is that Ceratizit’s new tool saves net costs by 5 per cent to 30 per cent through improved tool life and reduced manufacturing time. Depending on the existing application, the average increase in tool life is around 30 per cent to 100 per cent. Ceratizit’s Grade CTP3220 to OPEL has not only enabled multi-material machining, but has also enhanced the tool life to 1400 units.

A tool possessing a longer working life, when machining multiple materials, reduces the tool changing time, switching between each material in a production line. It also reduces the eventual replacement of the tool. One of the foremost advantages of achieving multi-material machining through Ceratizit’s Grade CTP3220 has been the reduced time necessary to machine the blocks, due to the higher cutting speed and feed.

“The use of directly pressed inserts, and the combination of the above-mentioned features, has resulted in a cost-effective solution in terms of tool life and reduced manufacturing time,” notes Srinivasan. “The most significant part, with respect to cost reduction, has been that Ceratizit did this as part of its normal service without any additional charge.”

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. This Award recognizes the company’s inordinate focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and ultimately customer base expansion.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Ceratizit SA

Luxembourg-based Ceratizit is one of the world’s top five producers of hard materials and it spans over 50 countries with its sales and service support. The global player is a niche supplier active in crankshafts, brake discs and aluminium wheel rims markets with supplies to the global auto industry. Accounting for around 50 per cent of the market share in aluminium wheel rims, Ceratizit is the market leader in this segment.

Ceratizit is one of the top global players in hardmetals and tools with sales of 610 million Euros. The merger of Cerametal and Plansee Tizit in November 2002 resulted in Ceratizit. With both companies dealing with carbide, hard materials for wear protection, and cutting tools, the merger made Ceratizit one of the leading companies in this industry.

    Ceratizit SA Contact Information
    Rudolf Stricker
    A-6600 Reutte

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company’s Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO’s Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.awards.frost.com.

    Frost & Sullivan Contact Information
    Chiara Carella
    Corporate Communications - Europe
    P: +44 (0) 20 7343 8314
    E: chiara.carella@frost.com

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

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