Each production process within the cell is interrelated, requiring Bühler to have oversight of each process. The furnace used to melt the aluminum needed to be at the right level for the larger machine while Magna required a unique laser etch that needed to be incorporated into the cell. Such a high level of inter connectivity meant close collaboration.
Bühler worked with Magna at every step of the way. Each cell involved a unique approach to both incorporate Magna’s existing production processes as well as adapting to handle much larger component sizes with all modifications designed to improve quality and improve efficiency. Originally planned for eight die-casting machines the entire team showed a lot of flexibility by incorporating a ninth into the plans.
The building of the facility than involved some unique challenges, again including the sheer scale of the machines being installed. “We only had one door through which to get the large parts of the die-casting machine, which weighs 87 tons, with only centimeters spare either side of the lorries when they were trying to reverse each move had to be plotted and planned to know exactly where the lorries would be to install the lifting equipment to lift such heavy weights,” explains Mitchell. “The most exciting part of the project was when the first shot of the first die-casting cell was successful, after working towards this for almost two years.” The first part Magna needed from the die-casting cells was a two-cavity shock tower for Jaguar Land Rover. “That night, Ben Goater took out the entire team for a joint dinner to celebrate the successful first shot.”