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  • Tata Steel launches new engineering service at Blechexpo 2013

    1 Nov 2013

    Tata Steel is exhibiting at Blechexpo, the international trade fair for sheet metal processing, which runs from Tuesday 5th to Friday 8th November, 2013.

    At the show Tata Steel will be launching a new service for automotive manufacturers: the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Scan. This service assesses how using a particular Tata Steel advanced steel product will create cost benefits for the client, without compromising weight-reduction or performance targets. What is special about this service is that it assesses these benefits for specific customer processes and applications, to ensure they are using the most suitable product for the job. In turn this supports them in making the most of the opportunities for them to reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO).  

    The first new service of this type to be launched is TCO Scan MagiZinc®. MagiZinc is a new hot-dip coating for steel, that in comparison to conventional zinc coatings offers improved corrosion protection and increased press-shop efficiency.

    In order to compare the processing benefits of MagiZinc over a conventional zinc coating, the TCO Scan involves carrying out live trials on the customer’s production lines to assess the press-shop efficiency, and potential improvements. This tailored approach is essential. All production line set-ups differ, and the results achieved will depend on many factors including part geometry, the type of die used, and the stamping process settings. But as demonstrated by the TCO Scan, the benefits of MagiZinc are reliable and replicable. Its lower rate of zinc abrasion reduces tool pollution, and as a result maintenance downtime. For a critical component such as a tailgate, MagiZinc has been shown to reduce maintenance downtime by 25 per cent, with obvious implications for productivity and total cost of ownership.

    This new offering for Tata Steel’s customers builds on the company’s existing TCO Concept Studies. These virtual studies evaluate how using certain product solutions, and design and manufacturing techniques, can offer the customer’s preferred balance between the factors that contribute to TCO: performance, light weighting and cost. Through its strong knowledge of research and product development, Tata Steel is able to address customer problems with solutions.

    One recent challenge to the research and development team was to propose an affordable solution to reduce the weight of a front-chassis subframe. By replacing stamped and welded assemblies with a more structurally efficient tubular design, Tata Steel was able to reduce tooling and investment costs by 45%, the cost of each part by 12%, and mass by 10%, with no reduction in strength. Read the white paper.

    Another example is a study into how using highly-formable steels might allow for weight reduction. As a result of remodelling the front crash structure of a car using DP800 HyperForm®, the study demonstrated a possible cost reduction of €2.15 per component, a reduced carbon footprint over the product’s lifecycle, and a weight reduction of 23% compared to the best studied alternative (HX340LAD), while maintaining the all-important crash strength. Read the white paper.

    Tata Steel prides itself on offering not only a wide product range, but also through its early-vendor involvement process the ability to work with a company’s engineering teams to improve the processes and products they use, in order to get the best results. Through its TCO Concept Studies, and now its TCO Scans, it is able to offer its customers not just the best materials, but the confidence of knowing they are using the best materials for their application.