Delphi Automotive (NYSE: DLPH) has been awarded a $3.7 million grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop an energy-efficient method for micromachining complex shapes using ultrafast laser technology.
The project, a partnership between Delphi and Raydiance and Microlution, aims to improve production of flow control holes in Delphi's gas direct injection (GDi) fuel injectors by implementing a single-step micro precision cutting process. The goal is to increase laser machining energy efficiency by 20%-25% over standard practices, and eliminate secondary processes such as etching, deburring, and surface cleaning. A prototype system will be developed and verified at Delphi's Rochester, NY facility.
"This project has energy-saving implications and applicability across numerous industries," said Jeffrey Owens, chief technology officer of Delphi Automotive, in a statement.
The $3.7M grant is one of 13 grants being handed out by the DOE targeting "innovative manufacturing technologies," targeting new development of new manufacturing tools, techniques, and processes to help US manufacturers "dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs." Among the other projects in this funding group target new (nonlaser) techniques for producing titanium alloys, die casting for thin-walled magnesium, bulk GaN substrates, flash ironmaking, microstructural modeling tools for metals, and ultrahigh-energy-density lithium batteries.
(Image via Delphi Automotive)