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Automotive - 2017-04-25

NSK has developed proprietary cold-forming technology for manufacturing the shafts of its electric power steering (EPS) systems. The new process not only ensures that shafts are safer and more reliable in operation, but reduces weight, which in turn contributes to vehicle fuel efficiency.

With global warming a topic of global scrutiny, the fuel efficiency of automobiles, particularly in the high-volume compact and medium-sized car market, requires constant improvement. In response, NSK focused its development on an EPS system that would be able to achieve high environmental performance.

Leveraging the benefits of an advanced cold-forming process, the torque transmission shaft on NSK’s column-type EPS now features hollow sections that were once solid, thus offering a significant reduction in mass. In addition, sections that were previously hollow now feature thinner walls, again helping to meet ever-increasing demand for lightweighting initiatives in the automotive industry.

Aside from reduced mass, which also equates to better power, further benefits of cold-formed products include high strength and stiffness, and suitability for high-volume production. In addition, CO2 emissions are reduced during the manufacturing process due to the elimination of welding.

The development is another example of NSK’s commitment to the application of cutting-edge technologies that improve the safety, environmental performance and comfort of automobiles. 

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