Engineering 101

Important Automotive Quality Standard for Manufacture of Gears


Victrex has achieved a new milestone for its automotive offerings. Its gear design and manufacturing facility in Grantsburg, USA, has received the IATF 16949 certification proving that the necessary systems and capabilities in line with Tier1/OEM needs are in place.

VICTREX PEEK has been used in auto gears for decades but since 2015, Victrex has extended its material expertise to the design, development and manufacture of gears, to offer a fully integrated and highly innovative approach to thermoplastic PEEK gear solutions.

Enabling Tier 1/OEM customers to work with one partner from concept to commercialization, the company supports the development and testing of high-precision VICTREX HPG-based gears, as well as manufacturing these gears as a component for integration into larger systems, e.g. within the engine, transmission, pump, actuator and chassis.

“Attaining this certification was a major goal for us. It unequivocally demonstrates that Victrex has the quality systems and capability to supply turnkey PEEK gear solutions into the mainstream Tier1/OEM supply chain,” explained Andy Walton, Director Automotive at Victrex. “A major European car manufacturer has already taken advantage of our gear design approach, as our ability to look at the whole system, not just the gear was invaluable. We are also working on numerous other programs with global OEMs in other geographies, including the US.”

Victrex´s gear solutions include high-precision gear design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing capabilities using VICTREX HPG polymers. Compared to traditional metal-based gears, VICTREX HPG-based thermoplastic gear solutions for ICE and Electric Vehicle Platforms offer decisive benefits such as improved NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) performance as well as enhanced efficiency reducing CO2 and system cost reduction.

Victrex, which started as a PEEK polymer producer, has continually built upon its material, processing and industry know-how, as well as partnerships with processors and OEMs, putting innovation into action to solve existing challenges. In addition, the company is driving adoption and acceleration of new product solutions such as the gears offering. Today, millions of parts based on VICTREX PEEK polymers, forms and parts are at work in automotive applications, contributing to deliver cost-effective solutions that improve reliability, reduce recalls, and increase warranty periods.

At K 2019, the world´s leading trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry (October 16th to 23rd) in Düsseldorf/Germany, performance, power and progress will also take center stage at the Victrex booth (hall 5, stand B 09) and in the automotive section. Several Meet-the-Expert sessions are scheduled on the Victrex booth, including one on “VICTREX HPG gear solutions for future powertrain applications”, with Ralf Weidig, Global Program Manager Gears at Victrex, on Monday, October 21st, 17:30 CET.

PEEK polymer is a member of the PAEK (PolyArylEtherKetone) group of polymers and regarded as one of the highest-performing thermoplastics in the world. It is ideally suited to extreme and demanding environments.

Whilst alternative materials can meet specific needs, PEEK polymers support multiple requirements with their inert properties, including light weight, high strength, and high resistance to wear, high temperatures, fatigue and aggressive chemicals. Together, these contribute to enhanced fuel efficiency, extended part life, greater comfort (smooth operation, less noise), more design freedom and greater cost efficiency.

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