STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
The first of its kind in Mexico, DMG MORI‘s DMU 340 Gantry machining center was successfully installed in one of Martinrea‘s plants located in Querétaro, Mexico.
In black ink, the inscription DMG MORI can be read printed on each of the three huge wooden boxes carried in a caravan of equal numbers of trailers on its journey along several hundred kilometers of Mexican highways, from the port of Veracruz to the booming capital of the state of Querétaro. A transit that began in the city of Pfronten, in southern Germany, crossed the Atlantic by boat and now culminates in the Mexican Bajio with the mission of satisfying the growing demand for automotive components in Mexico.
Aldo Domínguez, Engineering Manager of the Martinrea plant, prepared the space that will be home to the new DMU 340 Gantry machining center. "It will give us flexibility, speed of response and, above all, depth in our offerings to our customers.
Domínguez, together with a team of technicians from DMG MORI, led the installation of the new 5-axis dynamic machining center. During the first week, each of the large components contained in the three wooden boxes was unpacked. By the second week, once the cast iron body made in one piece was in place, the first components were placed, such as the magazine with the carousel with a capacity of up to 183 tools.
By the third week, the work team was already assembling the electrical and electronic components that give life to the high-precision automated movements of this machining center that can perform roughing and finishing operations on parts weighing up to 30,000 kilograms.
As of the fourth week they were already in the fine details of the machine and preparing it to enter the production process of the plant belonging to the Agility Tooling Division, which was inaugurated only in August 2019 with the purpose of providing the other two Martinrea plants, established in the same industrial complex, with the necessary tooling for the production process. It should be noted that these factories were established on Bajio soil, the first in 2011 and the second in 2015, to produce aluminum parts with low pressure injection processes. Among their main clients we can identify NISSAN, GM, FORD and BMW.
“The idea is to support the production plants for the manufacture, maintenance and repair of our own aluminum injection molds,” said Domínguez, who said that the DMU 40 Gantry is in addition to four other DMG MORI machines already installed in the Agility Tooling plant. These are a DMU 125 duoBLOCK, a DMU 65 monoBLOCK, a DMU 86 monoBLOCK and a NHX 4000 DCG horizontal milling center.
Now, with the addition of the DMU 340 Gantry, “we add great flexibility and the ability to work with very large parts. We are as well equipped or even better equipped than the workshops in the region”. And the head of engineering at Martinrea does not talk in circles, since the new machining center is the first of its kind to be installed in Mexico. "Now we can produce a complete mold and we are going to reduce maintenance times, but the most important thing is that we have everything in house.
Rapid response to meet the needs of your plants has always been crucial. Domínguez warns that the automotive market is changing very quickly. “In this industry (the automotive industry) the cycles are getting shorter and shorter. In addition, we are already seeing the arrival of new structures, with different and in some cases, in fact, larger components. The electric and autonomous cars will face new challenges for those of us who are in the manufacturing of components”.
The objective in Martinrea is, on the one hand, to maintain the key technology at home and, on the other hand, to develop the know-how that allows them to stay close to the client. The first point involves bringing the auto parts manufacturer‘s engineering team closer to the assembly plants to offer turnkey solutions, from design to delivery of the final product. With this, the manufacture of the moulds becomes an elementary part of the equation. “We can follow up on the performance of our own molds and maintain an extra service,” said Domínguez.