Giga Press, an Italian OEM, is changing car manufacturing

21 NDAs

Two years after the Giga press was derided, Idra held an open house in November 2021, drawing 200 guests from around the world to Travagliato to see a Giga press with 5,500 tons of clamping force undergo final testing before shipment.

“After this open house, we generated 21 nondisclosure agreements with potential customers, including several automakers,” Ferrario said.

He said Volkswagen Group and Volvo Cars were the closest automakers to deciding whether or not to go mega-distribution for their future vehicles.

Asked about Tesla again, Ferrario neither confirmed nor denied whether Idra was working with the company, although industry insiders confirmed that Tesla’s new factory near Berlin will use multiple Idra Giga presses to create the platform. – front and rear underbody shape of the Model Y SUV.

Savings potential

Ferrario said a single cast of a front or rear rig from a Giga press replaces up to 250 parts and reduces weight by 10-30% (depending on the mix of steel and alloys used in a traditional build platform).

On the investment side, he said a Giga press saves a customer around 40% because it replaces a series of tools and up to 200 meters of robotic welding lines that assemble the parts to create a plate. – full front or rear shape.

Industry insiders believe it could eliminate up to 300 robots, which is also helping a carmaker reduce energy consumption. Production time is reduced because it is faster to create a single casting than to produce the same part by welding together up to 60 different parts.

Idra estimates that the new production technique can deliver three vehicles in the time it takes to manufacture one vehicle using today’s typical processes.

Building a complete three-piece underframe also means only three product code numbers instead of over 200 for a traditional solution.

“All of the above leads us towards a more sustainable automotive manufacturing process,” Ferrario said.

Future applications

Idra’s Giga press started out producing rear rigs and then added front rigs. In theory, Ferrario said, the center platform is the next piece that could come out of a Giga press.

“But we don’t design cars,” he said. “We design die-casting equipment for the needs of automotive manufacturers.”
He predicts that the Giga Press will then be used to make large battery boxes for all-electric cars.

A next step would be to include the battery box in the center platform, making it a structural part of the vehicle.

When asked if a Giga press could ever make an entire traditional touring car platform in one cast, Ferrario said it wouldn’t work for larger traditional cars because the machinery needed would be too big. .

He said, however, that a Giga press would create a complete platform for a small battery-electric car.

“In China, we are seeing growing interest in minicars the size of the original Smart ForTwo, where a one-piece 2.2-meter platform cast by a Giga press could work well,” he said. .

About Frank Torres

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