Focusing on Engineering Excellence enables DTI to provide OEM and Tier One customers with tooling designed to achieve the lowest overall production cost, including by incorporating secondary/offline operations into the base stamping operation. This enables our Tier One customers to quote lower piece prices and our OEM customers to reduce vehicle production costs.
One example of focusing on the final production cost is DTI’s experience with building tools with in die fasteners. Our most recent tool with in die fasteners was with Ford Motor Company where DTI installed four nuts on both P702 Tailgate Strainers. These are 6000 series Aluminum parts with a 1.0 mm positional tolerance on nut location and extremely close mating surface tolerance.
Complicating the build was the fact that these nuts were required on flanges that would not be accessible in the completely formed part.
To resolve this, DTI worked closely with the fastener supplier to develop a solution where the first two nuts are installed mid-process, before forming the flanges. The flanges and additional forming are completed with these nuts already in place and the final two nuts are installed in the last station.
The end result is a tool that not only lowers production costs but one where the in-die process exceeds the process capabilities of the offline operations required to add the same fasteners.
Designing and building this process increased the cost of the build by about 15% but drastically reduced production costs. Using forecasted vehicle volumes, the additional investment will be recovered within two months of the start of production. With the fasteners already in place, the Tier One did not need to build, maintain, and staff a separate station to install fasteners after stamping.
This is just one example of DTI’s focus on designing and building robust processes to solve our customers’ most difficult tooling challenges. Whether it’s due to material type, product geometry, or cost considerations DTI engineers are known for developing innovative tooling solutions.