Posts Tagged ‘manufacturing’

Cool Tech: ZF Make Carbon Fibre Suspension Struts for BMW


24 Apr

While carbon fibre has been around for decades now and has been lauded as the super composite, thanks to its strength and light weight – we’re yet to really see its use spread wider than for things like body panels, random interior panels or the accasional racing wheel. This probably has more to do with the cost of manufacturing than anything else.

BMW have long been known – along with Mercedes – for pushing automotive technology into new, exciting territories; and they’ve now teamed up with ZF (the mob famous for their 6-speed gearboxes behind the iconic VN Group A SS) who will be designing and manufacturing carbon fibre front Macpherson struts for small cars. Better, the German company say that there’s no reason why the technology won’t spread into large cars, as well.

This is great news, should the rest of the industry take notice and follow suit.; primarily because as emissions standards continue to become more restrictive, it’s going to be harder for manufacturers to keep up. We reckon one of the easiest ways that OEMs will be able to improve emissions is through the use of light weight matierals, such as aluminium and composites. Certainly, there’s been a lot of talk about it within the industry for years. There just hasn’t been a lot of action.

A side benefit to the use of lighter suspension components is a reduction in unsprung weight, which would provide great improvements in on-road handling – especially for the circuit racers.

Plant Tour: A Look Inside Holden's Elizabeth Plant (circa 2006)


25 Mar

I was digging through a bunch of old files looking for stuff for my portfolio when I came across these old pics I took with my mobile phone during a press launch for the launch of the VE back in 2006.

Most of these images were never used anywhere, but they’re interesting for anyone who loves Commodores or wonders what it’s like inside a state-of-the-art vehicle assembly plant. They show quite a bit of detail, including Holden’s then-new rebuilt process line and what at the time was never-before-seen HSV VE front guard treatments.

They also feature the last of the VZ utes to roll through the production line, some wearing VE colours like Ignition. I hope you find them interesting.

There’s about 50 images in total that are free for personal ute only. CLICK HERE to see the entire gallery: