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What is Multi Part Integration (MPI)?

Multi Part Integration (MPI) is a new concept from ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks which is designed to incorporate many parts into one laser welded blank (LWB). MPI uses press hardenable steels (PHS) and laser welding technology to create the single part. Patches can be applied when needed to adapt the part for different powertrains. The goal is to simplify production for OEMs.

The viability of the MPI concept has already been proven through studies of the rear H-frame and double door ring. Further studies are ongoing. You can view the results of the latest MPI research here

What are the benefits of Multi Part Integration?

The MPI concept brings significant benefits for OEMs including:

  • Radical simplification of the vehicle production process
  • One common and modular solution for multiple powertrains
  • Enhanced crash management
  • Considerable sustainability gains including a lighter finished vehicle
  • Potential cost savings of up to 10 percent.

Building on our experience

The MPI concept builds on the success of ArcelorMittal projects such as S-in motion® and the single-piece door ring. The door ring has been adapted for different vehicle segments and successfully introduced into several vehicles by the global automotive industry.

To help prove the practical viability of the MPI concept, teams from ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks and ArcelorMittal Global R&D have completed several studies to determine how MPI can be applied to different parts. The results show that significant cost, weight, and process savings can be generated using the MPI concept.

For more details, visit our MPI results page

Further studies are already in progress. The results of those projects will be announced later in 2021. ArcelorMittal plans to undertake further studies and continue to develop the MPI concept in response to new challenges in the automotive market.

A simplified production process

Combining multiple parts into one greatly simplifies the part production process and associated costs. Advantages include:

  • Only one stamping tool needs to be produced, and it can be used in one stamping operation.
  • Just one blank is produced. The only finishing work that needs to be done is trimming the part and applying patches to enhance strength and accommodate different powertrains. As there is only one final part, less assembly steps are required.
  • A reduced shopfloor footprint as the OEM needs fewer process steps to manufacture the MPI module.
  • Almost unlimited design freedom to create complex geometries which optimize the advantages of the hot stamping process.
  • A finished part with excellent geometric accuracy.

One common modular solution for multiple powertrains

Using Multi Part Integration, one modular solution can be developed for multiple powertrains. The part shape and distribution of material is similar for every powertrain.

Patches can be applied to the part to add reinforcement for a specific powertrain without increasing costs.

Multi Part Integration solutions can be used with a variety of powertrains including:

  • Internal combustion engine (ICE)
  • Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV)
  • Battery electric vehicles (BEV)
  • Future powertrains based on technologies such as hydrogen and fuel cells.

Improvements in safety

The use of hot stamped press hardenable steels (PHS) in a single LWB is key to Multi Part Integration. The LWB ensures that the right PHS steel, in the right thickness, is in the right place. LWBs have continuous weld lines which enhance energy absorption and the behaviour of the part during a crash. LWBs also eliminate weak points in the part.

ArcelorMittal PHS families such as Usibor® and Ductibor® are ideal material choices. Usibor® offers the strength and anti-intrusion properties required to protect the vehicle’s occupants and power system. Ductibor® provides ductility, enabling crash energy to be controlled and directed away from the passenger compartment and fuel source. Working in combination these grades enable engineers to dramatically enhance safety while reducing mass.

Sustainability gains from the MPI approach

By integrating multiple parts into one, OEMs can reduce the overall mass of the part. This approach offers many sustainability benefits including:

  • Lower CO2 emissions from reduced steel production:
    • Less steel is required to achieve the same functionality. This avoids emissions from steel production.
    • Even further reductions in steel usage are possible with the deployment of advanced nesting techniques which enhance material utilization. Advanced nesting optimises the amount of steel used and reduces the amount of scrap steel that must be shipped back to the steel plant for recycling.
  • Less CO2 emissions during the vehicle’s life. A lighter finished vehicle will have lower emissions over the use phase of its life.
  • Reducing the plant footprint required to manufacture and store parts for different powertrains of the same model. Depending on the part, the space required can be reduced by almost half.

Cost reductions in production

ArcelorMittal has contracted an independent external partner to calculate the cost savings from every MPI project. The methodology uses an ideal, virtual plant which produces 150,000 vehicles annually. The calculation assumes that the same vehicle – in different powertrain versions – is produced for five years.

Each MPI study will contain more information on potential cost reductions.

MPI case study results

ArcelorMittal’s MPI concept has already been applied to several vehicle parts. The results of these case studies have shown that significant emission, cost, and process savings can be generated using the MPI concept. The following MPI case studies are already complete

One-part rear H-frame

 

Double door ring

 

Further studies are under development. The results will be published on this page as they become available.

For more information, read also:

Press hardenable steels (PHS)

 

ArcelorMittal unveils world’s first inner and outer door ring system

 

Watch our webinar

 

Contact us for more information

 

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