When it comes to automotive metal parts, looks matter. Interior and exterior aesthetics can make or break a sale, so only the highest quality will suffice. However, there are manufacturing challenges associated with producing parts such as automotive trim, especially when it comes to producing eye-catching value at a reasonable cost.
Raw aluminum extrusions, with quality forming and finishing, can achieve a superior metal trim with precision and reduced waste and cost.
Adding Value to Raw Extrusions for Automotive Manufacturing
From fuel-efficient compacts to heavy work trucks, automotive consumers want the look and feel of luxury without breaking the bank. Automotive manufacturers are now tasked with trying to create lighter, stronger parts that are also affordable.
Automotive metal parts that have generally been extruded for years without added finishing or secondary solutions offer limited complexity and do little to empower OEM designers to meet the higher-end design that consumers increasingly demand from automakers.
Virtually any metal part can benefit from effective secondary solutions, especially automotive trim. In the case of a raw extrusion, a forming and finishing expert can take a long, lack-luster piece and transform it into a pleasing, complex shape. The process, with proper in-house expertise and forming and finishing capabilities, can help OEMs make the most of the unique characteristics of a particular metal.
For example, aluminum may have multiple compositions and lack a uniform finish. Extrusion finishing can add value to the piece with burnishing, polishing, anodizing, plating, and/or painting. Additional extrusion forming capabilities include cutting, bending, brushing, and machining — all of which can help automotive OEM designers achieve a part with a high level of finishing or forming complexity.
A Manufacturing Process with Bottom-Line Benefits
Extruding is a process that involves moving metal through a die opening to produce the correct length, width, and shape for hollow tubes, small diameter rods, u-shapes, and other desired forms. Only a full-service manufacturer can manipulate these raw extrusions into complex bends and angles, and then assemble the parts properly for form, fit, and function. Understanding the basic grades of the metal and the appropriate types of finish is key to bringing value to each part.
Even though raw extrusion forming and finishing can produce high-value metal parts, this value-added process is not yet widely utilized in the automotive industry. The challenge is locating full-service OEMs that can manufacturer and assemble metal parts in-house, with the capability to complete the finishing process and avoid the added expense and challenges associated with hiring multiple vendors.
Full-Service Extrusion Finishing and Forming for Automotive
When searching for a full-service OEM to bring value to raw extrusions, it is critical to work with a partner that can design, produce, machine, and assemble products in-house to reduce capital expense and improve part consistency.
While we are not an extruder, Mills Products can provide a variety of finishing and post-extrusion capabilities, including cutting, bending, brushing, machining, and more. Whether simple or complex, we can help you gain more value from your raw extrusion by transforming lackluster parts into finished, superior automotive parts.
With 70 years of experience under our belt, we take pride in being the finishing and forming experts that the automotive industry turns to for highly aesthetic, superior class A surface parts.
To learn how we can add more value to your raw extrusions, please contact us today.