Monday, April 30, 2012

Tooling around

Another great example of VW Group's development of innovative production technology happened with the launch, and later refinement of the Bentley Continental range, starting with the GT coupé in 2002.

When the design concept was translated into demands for production tooling the VW production engineers told the Bentley designers that conventional tooling to 'draw' such a large front fender in steel were not available, so the original front fenders were made in a composite material.
Note the area of the front fender I have marked, which includes a number of complex styling lines and profiles. The production engineers were asked to create suitable tooling which could economically fabricate the fender from steel, and this occurred in 2005. There were also advances in steel manufacture ensuring not only was the strength, and production quality maintained, but the metal fender was no heavier than the composite version.

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