Value engineering for motion applications in vehicles by igus

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igus says it is using value analysis and value engineering – or VAVE – principles to offer automotive suppliers high performing parts at low prices at a time of fierce cost pressures on the industry.

VAVE is a method for improving value by either increasing the functions of a product, reducing its cost of manufacture, or both. In the 1940s, engineers (initially at General Electric) discovered that replacing conventional materials and components with different parts delivered significant benefits for the final product. Costs were frequently reduced or the product improved, and sometimes both.

Today, VAVE is a fixed component of cost reduction measures for series and pre-series products.

Part specifications from automotive OEMs to tier 1 and 2 suppliers change frequently, but this rate is increasing with higher NPI rates and new electric and hybrid-electric model launches. Input costs are rising as raw materials like polymers, aluminium, electronics and – above all – semiconductors are going up as supply is squeezed. Automotive suppliers are under extreme pressure to remain competitive.

In response, igus has a series of VAVE offers to the auto industry and other highly cost-sensitive manufacturing industries, for receiving samples quickly and cost-effectively. It offers a catalogue programme with more than 6,500 dimensions, bar stock in the form of round bar or plate material for the mechanical processing of individual samples, 3D printing, series injection moulding and quick-turnaround customised injection-moulded plain bearings and thrust washers.

The igus dry-tech product range currently encompasses products such as tribologically-optimised plain bearings, gears, lead screw nuts and lead screws, spherical bearings and ball bearings.