Monday, December 17, 2007

Buhler Customer Base Opens the Door for Liquidmetal to enter similar markets

The range of equipment offered by Bühler Druckguss AG comprises cold-chamber die casting machines of all sizes – from small “all-purpose” machines with 2600 kN locking force for castings weighing up to four kilograms to “jumbo” units with 40,000 kN locking force for big chunks with a weight as high as sixty kilograms. The customers of Bühler Druckguss AG are predominantly active in the automotive industry. Ninety percent of Buhler's customers are automotive engineering companies or vendors to the auto industry. Only about ten percent of their customers come from other industries. These include manufacturers of laptop casings who are increasingly manufacturing die cast components of magnesium, to which the die casting process is ideally suited. And as the quality of die cast components increases, the first aluminum castings are now also being produced for aircraft applications.

Standardized control system
Despite all their differences in size, Buhler die casting machines do have one thing in common: their control system design. “The quality of a die cast component is determined by numerous different parameters,” explains Achim Klotz. “Our sophisticated sensor system and the appropriate control software allow all our installations to be controlled in real time.” The same control system design is used for all types included in the Buhler range of die casting equipment. This means that an operator trained on one machine will have no trouble operating all the others.

System provider
Though Buhler customers are still ordering stand-alone die casting machines, the trend is increasingly toward purchasing complete systems. Buhler supplies not only of individual machines, but complete die casting cells, including all the necessary peripheral functions such as molten metal feed, die spraying, and parts extraction. Ultimately, Buhler customers want turnkey installations which they can utilize productively without delay.” The Buhler Die Casting specialists master all the intricacies of the art of die casting and are constantly fine-tuning the overall process to increase productivity and reduce unit costs.

Liquidmetal, because of its unique attributes (Strength to weight ratio, Young's modulus, corrosion resistance, etc.) has an excellent opportunity to displace many of the magnesium and aluminum and titanium applications.

No comments: