Manufacturing

From Concept to Production

Overview

We produce wheels to ECE or TÜV standard and we work to a certified IATF 16949 standard. We can take any wheel project from design to production for requirements from 100 pcs to tens of thousands. Our service covers the concept and design, technical appraisal, mold production, testing and manufacturing.

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Wheel Production

Wheel production and manufacturing stages are detailed below through the primary areas of the service that we offer, view each stage by starting the tour below. For further details and specific enquires please contact us.

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Concept

We work from any start point, from brief through to working design. We work with client’s to understand the requirement and provide designs from the concept or completely from scratch. We can pick-up the process from any stage of the project and provide as much input as is required.

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Design

Wheel design is a key part of the service, affecting cost, efficiency and load capacity. We have taken projects from any stage: An existing model, concept drawings or completely from scratch.  We can pick-up the process from any stage and produce a design that meets the project, technical or regulatory requirements.

Every wheel that we design is evaluated and re-engineered to maximise strength and reduce mass. We call this process ECO FEA. Through intelligent Finite Element Analysis technology , our engineers are able to pin point excess material, maximise pocket contour affectivity and therefore ensure that the efficiency of the wheel structure is maximised for strength with the minimum mass. The result of this process ensures that the wheel performs economically, more responsive in use whilst optimising load capability.

EO FEA Logo

Within our design process we consider all E.T.R.T.O universal European regulation. See our technical section below for more detail.

Once the wheel design and engineering process is complete, we can offer rendering and vehicle simulation or begin with the tooling and manufacturing phases of the project.

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Technical Appraisal

We’re the leading technical knowledge in the wheel industry for homologated and accessory wheels and tyres, advising on: Wheel specification, application and European regulations. Within our technical appraisal process we consider E.T.R.T.O universal European standard elements such as: Bead seat profile, hump type, valve seat and TPMS valve provisioning along with technical requirements such as pitch circle diameter (PCD or stud pattern), offset (ET), hub flange and bore (CB), bolt/nut seat, engagement phase, brake clearance and arch positioning, along with many other key areas such as the intended tyre size and many more routine areas of consideration that should occur at the design stage of a wheel including centre cap design.

Our technical appraisal considers: The brief, route to market, wheel and tyre specification and capacities, standardisation, European regulations and approval certification.

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Testing

Our comprehensive testing and approval service allows us to gain any level of wheel approval in Europe. Our standard wheel testing procedure that is supplied with any wheel we make for you match the highest level of testing in Europe. We also offer third party testing by TÜV Germany application approval by the ABE in Germany, we are the only UK company that can grant this type of approval. We are also very experienced in working from the client standard and specification and can meet all standards required.

Wheel testing is performed according to the load requirement determined by the application, the wheel will be: Impact tested (with a tyre), bend tested (cornering fatigue strength test) which is in two parts both short and long term, finally the rim rolling tested which is tested over a distance of 2000km. These are all completed as standard and a test report is issued as standard.

Our internal process management works to ISO 9001 + KBA Annex standard which is audited annually by TÜV Nord and accredited by DAkkS Germany. We are a KBA certified type approval holder for wheel production intended for use in the German market.

TÜV Testing
TÜV is a third party laboratory recognised all over the world for testing all types of goods. Specifically for wheels, they approve and independently certify products in the same testing methods as our standard tests including: Impact, bending and rim rolling tests, and an independent certificate is issued. The second part of the TÜV test is by application and approving a wheel for a given vehicle or vehicles. We will advise of the benefits of this test and if you choose this option we will arrange and manage your project through this stage of testing and approval. This particular service is useful where homologation or type approval has already been completed, or the wheel is intended for sale in Germany and other parts of Europe.

ABE Certification
This certification is made in addition to the TÜV testing certificate and certifies a wheel type for a given list of vehicles for use on German highways, as a type approval holder, we can have wheels certified in this way.

Other Testing
There are many more tests completed in production that ensure quality and continuity. These are: X-Ray tests, scratch tests, Salt Spray, Gauge tests to name a few. All of these tests are completed at appropriate frequency to ensure the highest standards in quality.

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Production

We specialise in production of small and medium volumes of wheels, from as little as 100 pcs.

Our partner factories are located through the world, each working to the same standard. We offer various production methods from various locations. Wheel type, production method and location will be led by the requirement. Production quantity, capacity, intended approval body, lead time, shipping costs and duty calculations all contribute to the best suited location for your production.

Our expertise in wheel production methods will ensure that your wheels are produced in the most cost effective, reliable and appropriate method according to your project and timescale. We will recommend the most suitable method of production according to your project requirements and also highlight the benefits of alternative methods.

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Tooling
A wheel mold will be produced according to the production method. Alloy wheel mold type costs vary and the number of molds required will depend on the project quantity required and the delivery timescale. Our responsive service means that we can produce a wheel mold from the final drawings from as little as 8 weeks and have a sample within a further 1-2 weeks.

Casting
We offer two types of wheel casting, these are: Gravity and low pressure. Both of these methods will yield consistent high quality wheel casts over a guaranteed life-cycle.

Flow Forming
Our specialist flow forming treatment called ‘Inteliform’ is a sophisticated process of applied pressure on the wheel rim causing the material to flow in a precise direction. This stretching process strengthens the material meaning that less is required and as a result the wheel is lighter (weight savings of up to 25% can be achieved), and has many of the qualities of a forged wheel, but at a far reduced cost. 

Forging
Forging is a low yield and high cost manufacturing method that essentially machines a wheel from an alloy billet. The result of this method is wheels that are extremely light in weight and very strong. This production method is ideal for clients who need a high performance wheel in lower volume.

Heat Treating (T4/T6)
Heat treating an alloy wheel increases it’s tensile strength and is common in OEM wheel projects and contract manufacturing. T4 and T6 are the available treatments and which (if any) you need for your project can be advised according to your requirement.

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