Larger die-casting machines revolutionise body-in-white production

Bühler is expanding its portfolio with the launch of Carat 560 and Carat 610, and the recently announced Carat 840 to meet the trends for larger and more complex parts.

“Structural components have clearly gained in importance in the automotive industry over the last years, with a trend towards even larger parts. This presents a clear opportunity for the die-casting industry,” says Cornel Mendler, Managing Director Die Casting.

“Larger and more complex parts produced in the die-casting process are a current trend. The automotive market is seeing the discussion of new body-in-white-concepts, with a tendency to ever larger parts produced in aluminium die-casting. This offers the possibility to functionally integrate various other parts, producing them in one shot, instead of in various production steps. This, in turn, reduces complexity and increases productivity in the automotive manufacturing process for the body-in-white.”

A complex aluminium die-cast component

“We are seeing an entire front or entire back of a car produced in one shot, coming out of a die-casting machine every two minutes. With this we see huge potential for an even more efficient production process for the automotive industry and a fascinating opportunity for die-casting,” said Mendler.

The force of 1 000 elephants
The new Carat 560 and Carat 610 with locking forces of up to 61 000 kilonewton (kN) are the latest addition to Bühler’s portfolio. In November 2020, Bühler announced the Carat 840 with a locking force of 84 000 kN.

“The Carat platform has been on the market since 2007 and has always been the solution for large die-cast parts. In 2020, we saw a huge increase in the demand for ever larger machines, up to machines double the size as before. Therefore, we are very proud that we were able to announce the Carat 840,” says Martin Lagler, Global Director Product Management & Marketing for Bühler Die Casting.

The new Carat 560 and Carat 610 with locking forces of up to 61 000 kilonewton (kN) are the latest addition to Bühler’s portfolio

“Imagine a die-casting machine as a big as a house, at six meters high and standing on a floorspace of over 60 square meters. It is not only the dimensions that are impressive, but also the performance. The Carat 610 is able to cast over 100 kg of liquid aluminium into a die within milliseconds, thereby holding the die tight by applying a force of 61 000 kN to it. This is comparable to having a thousand elephants sitting on the die,” explains Martin Lagler.

Carat die-casting solution
The application of the Carat die-casting platform has always been for parts with complex geometries such as structural ones. Today, these parts are getting bigger and there are also additional applications. These include battery housings for the batteries in electric vehicles and new body-in-white-concepts.

“With the rise of e-mobility, automotive production is being rethought in many ways, for example even down to how the basic structure of the car is being produced. This opens new opportunities for the die-casting industry,” says Mendler.