Rack and Pinion Division
||TRW Rack and Pinion Division, Rogersville, Tennessee
||Rack and pinion steering gear components for the automotive industry
|YEARS IN BUSINESS:
||TRW's Rack and Pinion Division, headquartered in Rogersville, machines
components for rack and pinion steering assemblies for the automotive industry.
After switching to a steel containing vanadium for increased strength,
the plant began to experience premature cutting tool failure in their machining
operation because of the machinability of the steel. Looking for technical
assistance with this machining problem, plant engineers contacted the Oak
Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology (ORCMT).
||Plant personnel at TRW had decided on specific changes in tooling in
order to increase tool life and increase production runs. Their ORCMT contact
provided third-party advice on the changes.
||The changes made by the company allowed their production runs to increase
from about 2,000 pieces per cutting insert to 16,000 pieces per insert
without tool failure a five-fold increase in production that lowered
production costs by up to $100,000 per year.
David Wolfe, manufacturing engineer at the company, said that ORCMT
had been a very good source of technical expertise. "Their help allowed
us to make intelligent decisions and get our production back on schedule.
We were well pleased."
Technical assistances provided to the private sector by the Oak Ridge
Centers for Manufacturing Technology (ORCMT) and its manufacturing extension
partners throughout the United States.