Double-digit sales for specialist PTG machines

Date published: 18 October 2021

Local manufacturer Precision Technologies Group (PTG) has achieved double-digit sales of a specialist dual weld-head friction stir welding machines in the automotive construction industry, launched just two years ago.

Rochdale’s PTG has been a leading name in the manufacture of friction stir welding machine tools for transport applications ever since its Powerstir range was launched at EMO Hannover some 20 years ago.

More recently, however, it has used its considerable knowledge of the process to assist car manufacturers in producing lightweight, robust and aesthetic components for both battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The company’s dual weld-head process is aimed directly at manufacturers of skateboard chassis structures, ensuring a tight flatness tolerance is achieved during battery tray floor construction – essential for each battery cell to sit level.

The Powerstir range also has further applications for electric vehicle manufacturing, including battery trays and boxes, chassis and structural components, control box panels, vehicle body panels, brake regeneration systems, and coolant units and heat exchangers.

PTG sales director, Mark Curran, said: “We are delighted to have achieved this level of sales for our new dual weld-head Powerstir machines in such a short space of time and during such a challenging trading period for manufacturing industry.

“Clearly, the benefits of the PTG Powerstir dual weld-head process have made us a major contender among organisations that are looking to invest in advanced friction stir welding technologies for the manufacture of electric vehicles.”

“In addition to providing automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) with a state-of-the-art means of joining metals and achieving extremely high-strength results, it is also important to consider that in many instances, the use of friction stir welding also allows for reduced wall thickness – an important aspect in reducing vehicle weight,” he added.

“As the friction stir welding process generates very little heat, the crystalline structure of the metal remains unchanged, retaining its original strength. There is no need for inert gas, no need for heat-treating post weld, and no requirement for additional surface finishing.”

PTG is widely considered to be a leader in the development of friction stir welding technologies for transport applications. Organisations involved in the manufacture of aerospace components and the production of aluminium carriage panels for high-speed trains were among the first to recognise the benefits of Powerstir friction stir welding.

PTG is currently developing new friction stir welding processes for several automotive OEMs. 

In addition to building Powerstir machines specifically for the production of battery tray floor assemblies, PTG is also creating friction stir welding techniques for the production of coolant units, control box panels and car body panels, as well as body panels and components for commercial vehicles.

Through its recently opened friction stir welding research centre, the company is also assisting a number of organisations in developing friction stir welding processes for specific manufacturing challenges.

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