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by Alexander Fäh

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Innovative 3D Simulation Tool Accelerates Engine Development at PUNCH Torino

  • PUNCH Torino employs Markforged's 3D simulation to optimize camshaft locking tools in engine development.

  • Prior to simulation, numerous test series were conducted to ensure structural integrity of the tool. Markforged's 3D simulation allows precise prediction, resulting in an average time saving of 18 hours per device, and a reduction of development time by over 50%.

  • PUNCH Torino plans to extend the use of 3D simulation to other components and tools to further enhance efficiency and productivity in engine development.


PUNCH Torino Utilizes Markforged Simulation for Optimizing Camshaft Locking Tools in Engine Development.

PUNCH Torino relies on Markforged's cutting-edge 3D simulation to efficiently develop camshaft locking tools, speeding up engine development; Image: Markforged

Renowned company PUNCH Torino has established itself as a leading player in research and development of internal combustion engines and propulsion systems. Since 2005, the Turin-based company has been driving the latest technologies and innovations in the field of propulsion systems. Originally launched as a joint venture between Fiat and GM, with GM divesting the division, PUNCH Torino became part of the Belgian PUNCH Group in 2020.

Since then, the company has been providing support not only to GM but also to a growing number of manufacturers and startups, working on various technology projects, including gasoline, diesel, and hydrogen engines, power units, transmissions, additive manufacturing, and groupware.

One of the major challenges in engine development lies in the assembly of timing chain, which connects the crankshaft of the engine with two camshafts. During the tensioning process, it is critical that the camshafts remain completely stationary in a defined position to ensure perfect synchronization of the control system while the engine is running. To prevent unwanted displacement of the camshafts, the engineers at PUNCH Torino developed a fork-like camshaft locking tool using Onyx with fiber reinforcement.

The fork-like locking tool is used during the timing chain tensioning process and must withstand a substantial torque of up to 120 Newton-meters. It must not allow any rotation, as this could cause the camshafts to shift from their position, leading to severe damage to the engine. The crucial question was how to ensure that the locking tool is strong and rigid enough to withstand the extreme loads.

Before using Markforged's 3D simulation, the development process for the locking tool involved numerous trials and errors. Engineers had to design, print, and test up to eight different devices to find the optimal configuration.

Changes in the design of the camshaft often required a redesign of the locking tool, resulting in additional iterations and testing. However, there was no precise method to predict how a design change would affect the structural integrity of the tool.

By using Markforged's 3D simulation, PUNCH Torino was able to streamline this cumbersome process. The simulation allows engineers to predict the structural integrity of the locking tool and optimize its performance.

Instead of conducting laborious test series, the team can now test the tool in simulation to verify if it can withstand the required loads. On average, this leads to a time saving of 18 hours per device, resulting in a reduction of development time by over 50%.

Valerio Ametrano, Senior Engineer for Production Preparation at PUNCH Torino, expressed his enthusiasm for the new possibilities of the 3D simulation: "By using the simulation, we can eliminate many trials and errors in the design of our camshaft locking tools. This allowed us to shorten the development time by over 50%."

However, optimizing the camshaft locking tool is just the beginning. PUNCH Torino plans to apply Markforged's 3D simulation in other areas of engine development as well. This includes optimizing other components and tools using simulation to further enhance efficiency and productivity. The time and cost savings, coupled with increased efficiency, open up new possibilities and potentials for the company.

The innovative 3D simulation solution by Markforged has proven to be a valuable tool for engine development at PUNCH Torino. With this technology, engineers can predict the performance of their tools, optimize designs, and significantly accelerate their development processes.

The company is confident that this advanced simulation solution will contribute significantly to the development of high-quality engines and propulsion systems while enhancing productivity and competitiveness.


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