Machining and tool making facility
Magna International Autolaunch Ireland Limited is a highly successful machining and tool making facility, with multinational automotive industry customers worldwide. Autolaunch is a subsidiary of Magna International Inc., a multi-national corporation worth over $40 billion. Based in Carlow and employing 285 people, its tools are used to manufacture components for Bentley, BMW/Rolls Royce, Mercedes and other leading high-end car brands.
3D modelling and 3D printing capabilities
Autolaunch approached Design+ to assist them with in creating 3D prints of their positioning templates. Positioning templates are used on their factory floor to check and confirm the correct positions for holes and brackets on automotive panels when they are taken from the stamping press. Up until this point, Autolaunch had used 2D templates which had some limitations. 2D templates can only work on a single plane and are difficult to correctly position, which can decrease overall accuracy, increasing room for error.
Collaborating with Autolaunch, Design+ used their 3D modelling and 3D printing capabilities to design and 3D print reusable, highly accurate 3D templates. These were printed on the high-res SLA 3D printer, using a plastic resin type material. This machine prints to an accuracy tolerance of 20 microns or .02mm. The 3D printed templates and are now used on the factory floor on a regular basis.
Direct funded project
The Autolaunch & Design+ Technology Gateway partnership
Autolaunch has been collaborating with Design+ since 2018 to avail of their design expertise and state of the art 3D printing equipment. The production of 3D positioning templates has resulted in both cost and time savings for the business on their production line. The location of Design+ in Carlow town is also very convenient for Autolaunch, especially when a fast turnaround of 3D prints is required.
“Working with Design+ has been of great benefit to Autolaunch. When our customers asked for additional quality checks and quality reassurance, because of the ability of Design+, we were able to react in a prompt manner thereby giving our customers peace of mind. Now that we have a relationship built up with Design+ they understand our needs and as such give a very quick and satisfactory turnaround for us. This helps us greatly especially with in the launch phase of a project.”
The Technology Gateway Network delivers innovation expertise to industry across Ireland. It is run by Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the Institutes of Technology.
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