Nothing lightweight about lightweighting

I​n their quest to create greener and more economical components, manufacturers across many sectors are increasingly moving to lightweighting due to the benefits it brings, but this shift is also presenting some puzzles for machining shops to solve.

Lightweighting involves reducing down the weight of the product, so it takes less energy to move it, but the complex process often cannot be done by traditional turning and grinding equipment, meaning companies must upgrade and invest to keep up. In some cases, standards are requiring measurements down to .5 micron, which is posing a challenge across the machining industry.

The shift is especially taking place in transportation related industries, principally in the manufacture of automotives and in the electric vehicle boom, while more and more aerospace components and parts are being made, due to the need to reduce weight and help cut carbon emissions.

Lightweighting is also on the rise for parts used in the mass transit, rail and maritime sectors, as well as any product that has to be carried, like electronics and consumer goods.

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