Brembo Invests Big in Brake. . .Castings
Generally, it seems that when people think about high-tech automotive components, they tend to think of things that are more along the lines of things silicon-based.
But arguably, companies like Brembo, as in the innovative company that produces brakes for a wide variety of automotive products, with some of the leading cars among them (e.g., Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4, Lexus RC F Sport, McLaren 650S, Corvette Z06), are as technologically sophisticated as any out there.
And so it is surprising yet satisfying to learn that Brembo is investing $100-million to build a new foundry for cast-iron brake discs. . .in the U.S. Specifically, in Michigan.
While many companies have outsourced things like foundries, Brembo is going to be building one that will have an annual output of 80,000 tons of brake disc castings. The plant is expected to go into production in 2017.
It is all part of a strategy for more vertical integration. When announcing the new foundry, Alberto Bombassei, Brembo S.p.A. chairman, said, “The increasing number of global platforms being built by vehicle manufacturers prompts us to seek the best possible integration between the different stages of the value chain, replicating the integrated production model that we have adopted for some time now in our facilities in Italy, and recently in Poland and China.”
Who would have thought that there would be a $100-million investment in a cast-iron, not silicon, foundry in the U.S.?
PennEngineering offers a global supply for a wide range of fasteners for the automotive industry, including China-based facilities that manufacture standard and custom products to world-class standards of quality at lower cost.
Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.
According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?