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Industry Spotlight: KAD is Your Go-To Automotive Machine Shop

Are you in search of a reliable automotive machine shop?

We help build beautiful products for multiple industries here at KAD, but the automotive industry holds a special place in our hearts. Before launching our precision machine shop in 2011, Founder Brian Kippen worked as an auto mechanic in Vermont. Over a decade later, he remains an avid car enthusiast.

Today we’re taking a deep dive into the precision machining services we provide for automotive customers. 

3 Core Considerations for Automotive Components

Automotive components

We put careful thought into each of these fundamental considerations when manufacturing automotive components:

  • Materials. Materials for automotive components must be strong yet flexible enough to endure torsional and axial stresses. If the material is too hard, it will shatter. If it’s too soft, it will shear. We often use heat-treated material to ensure incredible strength down to each piece of hardware.
  • Fit. We’ve all ridden in less-than-comfortable cars and intuitively understand why exacting standards for fitment are a must. If tolerances are too loose between components in the driveline, for example, the driver (and passengers) will feel it. A jerky, bumpy driving experience is unpleasant and reduces buyer confidence. For a car to succeed on the market, it must meet high standards, which means each component needs to fit perfectly. 
  • Safety. Many people consider aerospace to be the most exacting industry, but driving a car is technically riskier than flying a plane. The goal of a vehicle is to get you from point A to point B frequently and in the safest manner possible. When manufacturing a new automotive component, finding a partner who prioritizes safety is essential.

Standard Materials for Automotive Components

Here are several of the materials we commonly use for automotive components:

  • Steel. An alloy made of iron and carbon, steel is known for being strong and relatively inexpensive. 
  • Aluminum. Lighter but stronger than steel by weight, aluminum is used to produce cars with better fuel economy and fewer emissions.
  • Stainless steel. Stainless steel is popular due to its durability, appearance, and fine finish.
  • Titanium. Strong for its weight, titanium is a popular choice for high-performance vehicles. 
  • Plastic. Plastic is used for everything from fuel tanks to exterior details and trims. The most common plastics for automotive components are polycarbonate, polypropylene, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

Common Parts We Manufacture for the Automotive Industry

KAD has done work for off-road, racecar, and prototype assemblies for the automotive industry. Specific components we’ve made at our automotive machine shop include:

  • Drive axles
  • Suspension components
  • Engine covers
  • Brake components
  • Internal engine components
  • Interior components
  • Connectors (for both electrical and fuel systems)

We’re committed to meeting all requirements for automotive components, including adhering to ASTM standards for production manufacturing. (There are no set standards for automotive prototypes.) We can also secure third-party certification if needed.

An Automotive Industry Mini Case Study

How do you replace old technology with new technology? 

Recently, our team pondered this question during a collaboration with Z Car Garage, a specialist in restoring and maintaining older cars such as the Datsun 240Z, 510, and Skyline. Tasked with creating a component to help up-fit classic vehicles, our team designed and manufactured a specialty part to fill a need in the industry.

While this project isn’t indicative of every job we’ve taken on as a trusted automotive machine shop, it does demonstrate how we bring passion, innovation, and energy to everything we do.

We’d love to work with you on your next automotive project. Get started with a quote today if you’re looking for a precision machining partner.