VAVE optimisation in the automotive industry? Identifying competitive advantages during product development and series production – igus Blog

VAVE optimisation in the automotive industry? Identifying competitive advantages during product development and series production

Sebastian Bloechl | 15. July 2021

Constantly increasing price and cost pressure is forcing product development towards innovative alternatives. And this is just where value engineering (VAVE) comes in.

What is VAVE, and how can it be used?

VAVE is an enormously effective method of optimising technology, processes and costs. In the automotive industry with its focus on efficiency and quantity, VAVE project implementation is the order of the day. Its primary goal is to achieve competitive advantages.
VAVE’s history is long and its insights notable. In the 1940s, engineers discovered that replacing conventional materials and components delivered significant benefits for the final product.
Costs were frequently reduced or the product improved, and often both.
What started as a necessity caused by the scarcity of goods became a systematic process and a highly innovative tool. The approach has been steadily refined over the years. Value analysis became value engineering, which in turn became comprehensive value management. It is a technique that provides permanent customer utility dependent on the resources and materials used. Today, VAVE is a fixed component of cost reduction measures for series and pre-series products.
But it is not always easy to replace product components or to find the right replacement product with a VAVE background. igus offers various options, for example, to obtain free samples of VAVE-optimised plain bearings. More information about this process can be found in the last section, entitled “Initial test samples for your application – including those based on VAVE”.

Commonly used abbreviations, spellings and terms for VAVE

  • VAVE
  • VA/VE
  • Value analysis/value engineering
  • Value engineering
  • Value-added value engineering
  • Value analysis and VAVE engineering 
  • Value management

VAVE background of igus

Our company, igus, is based on this idea. “Give me your most difficult part and I will find a solution”, was the challenge our founder, Günter Blase, issued to Pierburg, an automotive supplier in 1965.
At the time, no one would have come up with the idea of using plastic to make this small metal component, much less doing it with an injection moulding machine. The manufacturing process was just too complicated. For Günter Blase, this was no reason to lose heart. He went into his double garage and experimented until the first perfect plastic plug valve emerged from the injection moulding machine. The result was a plastic part that gave Pierburg a longer service life at less cost than the commonly used metal plug valve.
We still follow this approach and have summarised it in our motion plastics® slogan: Tech up, Cost down. It’s our job!®

VAVE in igus products

Cost down

  • Costs 40% less than conventional bearing solutions
    • Large selection of materials for the ideal VAVE solution, including plain bearings
    • Greater savings with replacements for components such as stainless steel composite bearings, ceramic bearings and graphite-carbon bearings
    • Cost-efficient manufacturing methods including: Micro injection moulding: low cycle time, less material for cutting and cold distribution, smaller machines, less power consumption and improved sustainability.
  • Component reduction: replace solutions with a one-piece plastic part
  • Self-lubricating: no external lubrication necessary
  • Save installation time and process steps with improvements such as the innovative designs of our clip bearings

Tech up

  • Weighs up to 80% less
  • Noise reduction (#NVH #BSR)
  • Low wear and coefficient of friction
  • Self-lubricating: no external lubrication necessary
  • Reduces emissions
  • No corrosion
  • Longer service life of the application
  • Vibration-dampening
  • High chemical resistance
  • Design freedom
  • Easy assembly
  • Improved CO2 footprint

Value engineering for mobile applications in vehicles

igus products can be found wherever there is movement. The focus is on reducing friction, wear and noise in components and counter partners. From the pedal mount to the windscreen wipers to the car seat adjustment mechanism, from plain bearings and gears in actuators and small motors to high temperature ranges in the gearbox, the list of products is continuously being expanded. Our engineers are researching materials and developing new, innovative products and designs. The basis of our ideas is always Tech up, Cost down. Our dry-tech product range currently encompasses products such as tribologically optimised plain bearings, gears, lead screw nuts and lead screws, spherical bearings, ball bearings, and much more.

Areas of use for mobile applications in vehicles – implemented with VAVE-oriented plain bearings

Initial test samples for your application – including those based on VAVE

It is not always easy to replace a product’s components. That is why we are offering the following options for receiving samples quickly and cost-effectively.

  • Extensive catalogue programme with more than 6,500 dimensions and no additional tool costs
  • Bar stock in the form of round bar or plate material for the mechanical processing of individual samples
  • 3D printing: low-wear plastic components for the automotive industry – blog
  • Series injection moulding and special designs: customised dry-tech products with tools manufactured in our own tool shop with low proportional cavity costs. Wide material selection for the ideal solution which lowers costs and improves technology for your application
  • FastLine: customised injection-moulded plain bearings and thrust washers in a maximum of seven days with fully automated processes

Consultation with personal support, digital or on-site in >35 countries

Virtual or on-site visits: we would be pleased to present further advantages and possible applications of our tribologically optimised polymer plain bearings

With 35 subsidiaries around the world and partners in another 55 countries, we can offer ideal co-operation. At our igus Motion Plastics Show (IMPS) this year, we will be exhibiting 168 new products that can help you implement your VAVE product range.
We would be pleased to present our advantages and possible applications using our tribologically optimised products for your specific application. On site and in person or virtual and live right at our trade show stand in Cologne or at a local subsidiary.
Your value engineering partner? igus Automotive!
We would be pleased to present further advantages and possible applications using our tribologically optimised polymer plain bearings.
Do not hesitate to call me:
Sebastian Bloechl
Phone: +49(0)2203-9649-7718
Mobile: +49(0)173-4537974
Online: LinkedIn
Free online consultation: igus Chat, MS Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat
Follow us on: LinkedInInstagramFacebook
Have fun browsing and thanks for your time.
PS: plain bearings, spherical bearings, linear bearings, ball bearings, special sliders, gears or customised designs – the iglidur® Designer leaves nothing to be desired. Query your part now and receive a quote today.
More information: automotive industry, plastic plain bearings for automotive interior, exterior and engine compartment applications

igus value engineering slogan: Tech up, Cost down. It’s our job.
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Reidar Kjær

Great article and presentation

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