U-SHIN is a global automotive parts manufacturer specializing in automotive system appliances and mechatronics. Its main product line includes lock sets, electronic steering column locks, climate control panels, door latches, keyless entry, door handles, switches, power closure systems and rear access modules. U-Shin’s expertise ranges from mechanical machinery design to electronic engineering and software, offering full support from development and design of various parts and systems to manufacturing.
Many of the automotive parts and accessories U-Shin produces are manufactured with zamak, an alloy with a base metal of zinc.
“Approximately 10 tons of zamak per day are produced from U-Shin’s zamak foundry which is one of the largest foundry locations in Europe,” said Ahmed El Abidi, CAE Manager and Senior Expert of U-Shin. U-Shin is a worldwide leader in performing high pressure diecasting with zamak. With the challenge of outputting more than 100 tools per year, U-Shin recognizes that optimizing these tools as well as the design and manufacturing process not only reduces time and cost, but is also a key factor in providing its customers with the reliable solutions they expect and demand in the automotive industry.
Understanding the flow and material characteristics of zamak is crucial in producing a quality part. Being able to simulate, observe and have better insight of this material is one of the many benefits U-Shin has seen by implementing solidThinking Click2Cast casting simulation software.
“By using Click2Cast, we are able to better understand the flow of zamak and identify the causes and location of porosity,” said El Abidi. With the extensive material database that Click2Cast offers, companies like U-Shin can simulate the casting process for various parts under a variety of stresses. One of U-Shin’s most recent projects involved analyzing the failure of an automotive dead lock pin and redesigning the part based on the simulation results in Click2Cast. The point of failure in the dead lock pin occurred during the vibration test.
“While performing the vibration test, the movement of the slider was blocked by the zamak body which resulted in the pin not receiving the proper amount of shocks until breakage,” said El Abidi. After running a simulation in Click2Cast and an experimental test, it was clear the area of breakage occurred where porosity appeared in the casting simulation. “Once we were able to identify this point of failure, we could then redesign the part and remove all porosity from the critical zone.”
U-Shin continues to employ Click2Cast on several automotive projects. By utilizing Click2Cast, U-Shin can better anticipate, modify and improve a design which allows the company to supply the quality and robustness that its customers demand in their parts.
“In regards to future projects, U-Shin plans to work with the Click2Cast team to further explore and develop other functionalities of the tool such as adaptive mesh, stress calculation and thermal optimization,” El Abidi said. “We have seen significant time and cost savings while using Click2Cast: €5,000-10,000 and three weeks for actual trials vs. €500-600 and one day of simulations in Click2Cast.”