Plastic, rubber combine in critical gear-shift component

German automaker Volkswagen (VW) continues to consolidate its part suppliers and this is leading increasingly to development partnerships. Apparently, VW would like to adopt, together with its partners, high added-value solutions through a one-stop operation. Here, medium-sized companies which, as specialists, offer "very interesting technical solutions" are coming into play. Once such processor is KKT Frölich (Osterode am Harz).

Among the specialties of KKT are shift gates and locking device assemblies used in them. The locking device assembly enables smooth gear changes in manual transmissions. One part employed in this assembly is an elastomeric part developed jointly by VW and KKT that inhibits the transmission of vibrations from the gearbox to the gear knob. The multi-component part was formerly a die-cast component.

In all, the locking device assembly comprises seven individual components. Two of these components are combined in an insert molding process. Base bodies injection molded from 30% glass-fiber-reinforced polyamide (PA) are manually inserted into a 2 x 32-cavity tool mounted in a rubber molding machine and overmolded with nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) sheaves, each weighing 5g, in a four-minute cycle....

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