Prototype Case Study
Replacement body panels. This included Front Bulkhead, Side Windows, and Rear Fenders.
Due to pressure from the end customer, regarding build gaps, and form and finish it was decided that a different process/method of manufacture was needed. The method of fabricating parts could only guarantee a ± 0.5mm tolerance. The new quality tolerance needed to be ± 0.25mm.
With no original 3d data the only process that could match the customer expectations was to scan an existing panel, produce a surfaced model and from that data produce a tool.
The pressure to bring this new process to production was immense as customers required the replacement panels immediately. From the outset, it was envisaged that design and engineering would take 6-8 months.
There were several iterations of design and 12 prototypes manufactured before a signed off design was mutually agreed between the customer and Coventry Metalcraft. The first off prototypes were delivered on a much-reduced Leadtime of 12 weeks.
This was the first time that the current existing panels had been scanned and tooling made from them. The prototypes proved the dimensional accuracy but modifications to m/c programs and fixtures were made to ensure we produced parts within tolerance.
Coventry Metalcraft had never machined Press Tooling from Donor panels before. Thickness of material, weight, dimensional accuracy, assembly fit and finish, production rates of manufacture, surface quality, material selection, fixing strategy, competitive pricing and surface finish concerns were all under consideration.
The project involved the Senior Management, Design and Engineering, Project Management, Logistics, Sales, Manufacturing and Quality team. After a couple of modifications to the prototypes, we were able to overcome any issues and provide good quality parts with the required tolerancing.