Within Italdesign Giugiaro, activities carried out within the styling sector, the engineering sector and in the workshop for the construction of test prototypes form a temporal and logical progression that is now integrated by an approach based on simultaneous engineering. Because the time allocated for implementing a model is mainly expended on aesthetic development, little leeway remains for carrying out subsequent stages within the strict delivery deadlines.
Within Italdesign Giugiaro, we have made major investments to update and reinforce our pool of machine tools, particularly by adding numerically-controlled milling machines that offer higher performance in terms of precision and speed of execution.
The style models are produced using different materials according to requirements: high-density polystyrene is used for quickly expressing style concepts in the form of masses that can be easily assembled and for carrying out the first wind tunnel tests. Plaster, which is just as quick but more final, allows the application of all accessories, such as headlights, mouldings and glazing in addition to partial interiors. It can also be painted to look just like a real car; epowood (epoxy resin) is used when the final touches are already being made to the volumes and allows a better result in terms of precision and approximation to reality.
Although model manufacture involves processing such materials, which may be defined as light, we have nevertheless opted for high-powered milling-machines because synergies implemented within the Group mean these machines may also be used for strictly mechanical activities associated with the construction of dies, which may be metallic and made out of cast iron, steel or zamak.
The gantry-type milling machines, which are suitable for machining one-piece models but only have a single head, are joined by 2 milling-machines installed opposite one another on a single platform that supports the vehicle model to be milled. With this application, where both heads work simultaneously, mirroring one another's movements, and powerful numerical control functions are deployed for the management and control of moving parts, it has been possible to practically halve the time required to build horizontal vehicle parts, such as the bonnet, windscreen, roof and boot - and also to mill two opposing sides, such as the side panels, simultaneously.