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Powder Metallurgy Highlights

Andrew Reynolds Smith - Chief Executive Powder Metallurgy and OffHighway

Powder Metallurgy comprises: GKN Sinter Metals and Hoeganaes

GKN Sinter Metals is the world’s largest manufacturer of sintered components. It uses powdered metals to manufacture precision automotive components for engines, transmissions, and body and chassis applications.

It also produces a range of components for industrial and consumer applications, including power tools, bearings, white goods and garden equipment.

Hoeganaes produces metal powders, largely ferrous based, used in the manufacture of sintered components.

Sales* 13% of total Group sales
Trading Profit/(Loss)* £(2)m (2007 - £29m)

* on a management basis

Automotive and industrial components
A new plant in Chivilcoy was officially opened by the President of Argentina

GKN is a world leader in powder metallurgy, a technology which can produce a wide range of automotive and industrial components more efficiently and at less cost than conventional processes such as casting and forging. It is well placed to serve global markets with operations across the world; a new plant in Chivilcoy was officially opened by the President of Argentina during the year.

Technology and Innovation

Continuing evolution of powder metal technology

With around 80% of Powder Metallurgy’s sales to automotive customers, alignment to the developing technology trends in automotive markets such as improved fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions is a key focus of the business.

Latest developments driven by demand for high precision and the use of new materials have led to successful contract wins for components such as helical gears for e-steering systems, ramp thrust drives for torque vectoring, high strength synchroniser hubs for new transmissions, and rotor and stator sets for variable valve timing systems.

Powder metal technology enables a flexible design of complex shapes which can be manufactured from a wide range of material: low alloyed steels for structural parts of engines and transmissions, stainless steels for corrosion resistant applications, and special alloys for environments subject to extreme temperature and corrosive conditions.

In addition, the ferrous based metal powder used by GKN is manufactured using approximately 98% recycled steel and is complemented by the ability to produce components at, or close to, net shape enabling a reduction in material waste and associated energy consumption.