Can you comment on the article in the 9 October issue of Dagens Industri where comments from Volvo suggest that improved high speed machining solutions are required before the production can be changed from grey iron to CGI. How can Ford start series production if the machining is not solved?


Shareholder, name withheld

Each company will independently determine its own engine development strategy depending on the needs of its products and its existing infrastructure. For example, a company that will build a new machining facility for its CGI products can specify and install a production line that is designed and optimised for CGI. For companies that will upgrade existing grey iron machining facilities, the extent of the upgrade depends on what type of grey iron they are currently using (standard grey iron vs. alloyed grey iron) and what type of machining approach they have adopted (conventional speed vs. high speed). For the combination of alloyed grey iron plus conventional speed machining, which is most common for commercial vehicle cylinder heads, the technical and economic change toward CGI is relatively small, perhaps only 10-20%. For high speed machining, the change is bigger and the necessary investment to modify the machining must be motivated by the need and benefit of the product. Certainly, not every car or truck company will arrive at the same conclusion at the same time. As the question correctly notes, the Ford-PSA start-of-production clearly demonstrates that CGI can be machined in high volumes, and many companies, most notably Lamb-Technicon, continue to promote their high speed CGI solutions.

We regard the Volvo comments as positive. Mr Hultman has specifically underlined that Volvo may adopt CGI in the future. This again reinforces the trend toward higher engine loading, the merit of stronger materials, and the industrial awareness of CGI. It is also positive that, so far this year, both of the major Swedish truck manufacturers have publicly referred to CGI, and specifically to SinterCast, in articles published about their investment strategies in Dagens Industri.