Manufacturers in the automobile industry depend on marginal gains to hold competitive advantage in the marketplace. Having a slight edge in mileage or driver experience can mean the difference between choosing one automobile over another. One solution to achieve a competitive advantage is to incorporate a vibration-damping technology—this can provide a lightweight solution that impacts mileage and vibrations.
What to Keep In Mind
In preparing to integrate a vibration-damping solution in the automotive production process, it’s important to establish from the beginning what your goals and requirements are, whether or not those are specific and quantifiable.
Is there a specific weight threshold you’re trying to reach? Are you trying to maximize the mileage in the vehicles you’re producing parts for? Do you have NVH goals to meet or exceed? Asking questions that will define your motivation will help the Countervail team understand how to best implement and measure product performance improvements.
It’s also important to have a plan in place for acclimating to putting together parts made from different materials – composite materials can be molded into aesthetically-pleasing and aerodynamic shapes, but they will feel different to drive, will react differently to various environmental conditions and there may be different equipment required.
Choosing Your Materials
Not all car parts can be made non-metallic – the frame rails, some of the more difficult-to-manufacture components are composed of metal. The automobile components which incorporate plastics or reinforced plastic materials are the areas in which a vibration-damping solution can be integrated.
The automobile industry as a whole is trying to strike a balance between cost and performance. While the raw material cost is higher for non-metallic components, customers have a baseline expectation of NVH performance. Ensuring that vibrations are minimized not only improves the driver experience, but reducing road-induced vibrations can increase mean time between failures.
Most products that aim to solve NVH problems tend to be heavier. Countervail excels in areas where products need to be lightweight, as it adds some structural capacity to the part that it’s being applied to. This adds the NVH-type performance to the component with minimal mass added while maintaining its structural capacity.
Working with Countervail
We want to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the product we produce and how it will work. Creating a prototype will allow you to see and feel the material and determine how it would be best used in your manufacturing, whether it’s more conducive to certain parts or types of vehicles. With a prototype, you will also be able to see our test results and get tangible results on how the product works.
Countervail’s composition of polymers and a patented fiber reinforcement is easy to integrate with composite materials. If you are currently using composite materials there is a good chance we can seamlessly integrate Countervail with no extra tooling required. If you want to start incorporating composite materials, our manufacturing engineering experience can help speed that process along while delivering a solution that outperforms your competitors.
Arming yourself with the knowledge of how and where a vibration-damping solution can be integrated into your automobile manufacturing process is incredibly valuable.
Our team sets out to understand your goals and requirements and work with you to push forward the most high-performing product we can while ensuring it’s a cost-effective partnership.