Precision steel strip from thyssenkrupp may be partly to thank for this. “We supply hot strip for many major manufacturers,” says Barbara Timm, who works in technical customer support. “For some we are the sole supplier.” Hot strip from thyssenkrupp subsidiary thyssenkrupp Hohenlimburg is used in many important parts in automatic gearboxes, including shift forks and interior and exterior plate carriers.
The reason for this is that increasing demands are being placed on the material. The components in automatic gearboxes are supposed to become smaller, lighter, and more intricately shaped, yet increasingly stable. “It takes more than 30 steps to produce just a single part,” says Timm. Normal margins of error are therefore out of the question. Manufacturers expect the steel at the beginning, middle, and end of a kilometer-long coil of hot strip to have the exact same properties. “We have set extremely narrow boundaries for ourselves as far as thickness tolerance and temperature control are concerned.”
As a specialist in precision steel strip, thyssenkrupp Hohenlimburg is ahead of the competition in the area of error tolerance. That is the only way to ensure that hot strip yields the exact same results in every forming process. Barbara Timm also has a personal stake in the high-quality products that result. “When I get into my car at the end of a day, there’s a gearbox with our hot strip inside.” (fh)