Reducing Costs and Lead Time in Manufacturing with Next-Day Custom Jigs
April 16th, 2018
Pankl Racing Systems specializes in developing and manufacturing engine and drivetrain components for racing cars, high performance vehicles, and the aerospace industry. The company recently opened a €36 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Kapfenberg, Austria, and is in the process of ramping up production of entire gearbox assemblies for a wellknown motorcycle manufacturer.
Manufacturing these gears is an elaborate process. Forged steel parts go through multiple stages of machining using automated lathes, followed by heat treatment and stress relief. Each stage of turning in the automated lathes requires custom jigs for every individual gear type, and these jigs are normally machined from metals. The result is a proliferation of custom tools, adding significant cost and complexity to the manufacturing process.
Due to an increase in order volume, Christian Joebstl and the process engineering team at Pankl would have faced a substantial delay if they opted for the traditional route and outsourced the production of these jigs. By using in-house 3D printing, however, the team managed to rapidly manufacture hundreds of custom jigs for a fraction of the cost, saving weeks of lead time.
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