An eventful visit to SAAB Technologies & GKN Automotive
Been away for a while but now I am back in the blog-game again. To start off, who doesn’t enjoy spring & May? I just love to surround myself with birdsongs and warmer degrees outside… Somehow it just puts a smile on everyone’s face.
Nonetheless, back to what we trainees have been up to the past week. To start off spring in the best kind of way, we set course toward Linköping to visit SAAB Technologies and their trainees. During this visit, we had discussed the possibility of having the Volvo trainees, whom visited us in January to join us on this trip and they gladly did! There we had the opportunity to get a thorough presentation of how SAABs market looks like, the strategy they use to seize the opportunities they encounter, how they work with material properties in regards to stress but most importantly we got to see the production line. The production line encompassed no less than the Gripen C/D & E/F fighter jet. It feels like I always retreat back to “I am a finance guy so I don’t know what this means…” but this time I actually knew what C/D & E/F stood for and perhaps a lot of you already do though. C/E is basically a single-pilot configuration on the fighter jet and D/F stands for dual-pilot, so now you know! Other than that, being an OEM as they are brings along a lot of perks and I have to say that their facility in Linköping was astonishing! If you have the possibility to go there and visit, you definitely should!
To make the most of our trip, we decided to use the next day to visit our dear GKN-colleagues from GKN Automotive in Köping to get a closer look on how we are differentiated from each other but also what aligns us. This visit was a bit shorter than the one at SAAB but it felt the schedule included more things to see in the different value streams. Once again, we all were amazed over how “good-looking” the manufacturing areas were. Well done GKN!
GKN Automotive can be divided into two product divisions. In one of the product divisions CVJs (constant velocity joints), prop shafts and drive shafts are being manufactured. But this is mostly done in other sites, one being in England. A CVJ enables the drive shaft to transmit power through a variable angle at a constant rotational speed without significant increases in friction.
In the second product division, AWD (all-wheel drive) is manufactured. This product is produced in Köping. The PTU (the rear power transfer unit) and FDU (final drive unit) is what makes up the all-wheel drive. The parts needed for the all-wheel drive system that are not machined or manufactured at GKN Automotive Köping will be purchased before assembly. In Köping, aluminum housings, pinions, crown wheels and shafts are machined. What makes the site in Köping unique is their expertise within the area of the hypoid gears, where they are helically shaped and can transfer power at almost any angle (very useful in torque-demanding applications).
Moreover, we would like to thank both SAAB Technologies and GKN Automotive for two really exciting days, it gave us a lot of interesting inputs.
Until next time!