Camtec cam units are part of the EV-olution!

Another voestalpine success report: over the past two years, the Camtec business unit has made the leap with its cams into tools for many new electric vehicles. Consequently, its motto is “Full speed ahead with E-nergy.”

Some good news. “Tesla has listed us as a direct supplier!“ When Claudia Robineau, Managing Director of voestalpine Camtec, received this news from her Canadian colleague at the beginning of December 2022, she knew all their hard work had paid off. For two years, the global Sales Team at voestalpine Camtec had been working on acquiring the electric vehicle manufacturer as a customer. During this period, the global Camtec team also took the deliberate step of coming together to gain access to the production processes of many new e-vehicle manufacturers—a goal they have achieved. From now on, the high-quality cams used for pressing, punching and cutting processes will be employed by almost all electric vehicle manufacturers in constructing body parts. In addition to Tesla, manufacturers Fisker, Rivian, Canoo, Li Auto, and Polestar are also on the Camtec customer list. This is a particularly significant success in view of the challenging market situation.

LET’S BUILD A CAR. The Camtec business unit is a global leader in the manufacture of cams and maintenance-free sliding elements, and its customers are primarily automotive manufacturers and suppliers. As an established partner to major customers, voestalpine Camtec has years of experience and an international service, sales, and marketing network which is controlled from its base in Linz, Austria. While the boom in electromobility has caused new electric vehicle manufacturers to mushroom, they often have little experience with automotive construction and its sophisticated production processes. Almost none of the new manufacturers have their own toolmaking capabilities. For that reason, the companies source components or even complete vehicles directly from system suppliers, so-called Tier 1 suppliers. These suppliers, in turn, use Camtec cam units in their tools. As a result, the Camtec business unit has largely gained their entry into the electromobility market via long-term partnerships with Tier 1 suppliers already convinced of the quality of Camtec cams.

"With our durable cam units, we too are making a small contribution to more sustainable electric car production." Claudia Robineau

YES, WE CAM—WITH GLOBAL COOPERATION. It was only because the global team pulled together that voestalpine Camtec was able to convince the Tier 1 suppliers, which means having a business unit with a global presence was a key success factor. “There were certainly occasions when we worked with one manufacturer on three continents simultaneously. That is only possible when the internal coordination works and all the cogs mesh together,” explains Claudia Robineau. The challenge of persuading EV-OEMs to use higher quality products demanded persistence from the global Camtec team as well as the Tier 1 suppliers. Many e-startup projects set off at a great pace and with high expectations, but without understanding either the ordering and advance processes, or toolmaking delivery times. It was precisely this know-how and tenacity, plus partnerships with established toolmakers and Tier 1 suppliers, that finally smoothed the way for voestalpine Camtec. Incidentally, in the past two years the Camtec business unit has established itself not only with the e-vehicle manufacturers, but also with famous automotive names outside the electromobility sphere, such as Maserati, Lamborghini, and Hyundai/Kia.

FULL SPEED AHEAD INTO THE FUTURE. The new business relationships are creating promising opportunities for the Camtec business unit. Although there are far fewer models of electric vehicle compared to traditional vehicles, entry into the e-vehicle business helps compensate in part for existing manufacturers’ shrinking diesel and gasoline-driven fleet volumes. “We have already achieved a lot, and strongly believe that, by being close to the customer and having innovative products, we can further strengthen and expand these business relationships,” says Marlene Sturm, Managing Director of voestalpine Camtec Corp. in Canada. “Being alert and open to new concepts and markets, and always ready to exploit potentials and opportunities will remain our credo over the years to come,” adds Claudia Robineau. Other emerging electric vehicle manufacturers in Asia and Saudi Arabia are also potential customers for the Camtec business unit. Its already full agenda also includes intensifying activities in other segments such as mechanical engineering, entering new business areas, enhancing existing products, and greater investment in marketing activities.

by Michaela Funkl