TRW Rack and Pinion Division 
COMPANY/LOCATION: TRW Rack and Pinion Division, Rogersville, Tennessee 
PRODUCT: Rack and pinion steering gear components for the automotive industry 
SITUATION:   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). 
PROJECT:       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. 
RESULTS:       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. 
    For information or assistance, call the Manufacturing Technology Information Service at 1-800-356-4USA or visit the
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