The International Magnesium Association (IMA) awarded innovative designers and engineers in the 2009 Awards of Excellence competition. The awards were announced at the 66th Annual World Magnesium Conference held in San Francisco, California in May. The Awards of Excellence competition was open to all companies demonstrating outstanding examples of magnesium's use as well as magnesium products and manufacturing technologies in two categories: Design and Process.
The Design Class encompassed two categories: Cast Products and Wrought Products. The two design categories recognize unique, novel, and creative design and development of magnesium applications, and exhibit a significant advance over current practice. First Place for Design – Automotive Cast Product was awarded to Ortal Diecasting, Beit Shean, Israel for their Integrated Cast Teeth Rack, a component in a steering wheel system. The integrated cast magnesium teeth rack replaces a traditional sinter steel piece. The cast teeth rack is approximately three times stronger than crash test demands. The cast teeth rack that replaced the traditional sinter steel piece has some advantages. Insertion and riveting of the teeth rack was not required. Since riveting was not necessary the roof bracket can be cast with AZ91D which has better casting properties and is cheaper, according to the entry submitted by Mr. Amon Wirthiem, Managing Director for Ortal Die Casting. “This successful development project, which demonstrates the potential of magnesium alloys of high mechanical
properties and highly considerable weight saving, may lead to many innovative solutions in the automobile industry, and may increase the awareness for weight saving potential of magnesium,” noted the company.
First Place for Design – Wrought Product was awarded to Posco, Seoul, South Korea for a Train Seat Pedestal Cover. The new component for seats in the KTX express train of Korea is made with magnesium sheet products. The existing component was made of aluminum and FRP materials. However, the magnesium components could achieve 5 Kg lighter weight than the current 25Kg per seat, and realize an 8- to 10-percent cost reduction, according to the company.
The Process Category recognizes innovation in manufacturing or processing technology leading to higher quality and reduced costs. First Place in the Process Category was awarded to Chicago White Metal, Bensenville, Illinois, USA; Gentex Corporation, Zeeland, Michigan, USA; and Cast Products, Norridge, Illinois, USA for a Rear View Mirror Mount. According to the information provided for the entry, the Magnesium Mirror Mount’s critical features are its structural integrity and dimensional accuracy of the “ball” diameter. The part must be strong enough to withstand years of operation through the wide changes in temperature and humidity experienced in an automobile interior. Also critical is the diameter of the ball. The ball has a tolerance of +/-0.1 mm that must be maintained over hundreds of thousands of casting cycles. If the ball is too large, the mirror is difficult to adjust. If the ball is too small, the mirror will not stay in place when the car hits a bump in the road. The collaborative effort between the customer Gentex and two of their die casting suppliers, Chicago White Metal Casting and Cast Products Inc., and the tooling method of in-die degating, a tooling practice most often reserved for miniature die casting, is what set this entry apart.
The 2010 Awards of Excellence will be held in conjunction with the 67th Annual World Magnesium Conference. A Call for Entries will be distributed in January. For more information visit IMA's website at www.intlmag.org as it becomes available.
Founded in 1943, the International Magnesium Association is an international trade organization representing the producers, processors, fabricators, and marketers of magnesium, along with suppliers to the industry. The IMA’s membership spans more than 30 countries on 5 continents. For more information contact IMA at 1000 N. Rand Road, Suite 214, Wauconda, IL 60084. Telephone: 847/526-2010; fax: 847/526-3993; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.intlmag.org.