On June 13th and 14th, regional selections for the best innovations were held at Rajhenburg Castle in Brestanica and Otočec, organized by the Posavje Chamber of Commerce, Krško, and the Chamber of Commerce of Dolenjska and Bela krajina. TPV AUTOMOTIVE received two gold and eight silver awards.
Innovation is undoubtedly a key factor that helps companies stay ahead of the competition. This is especially important for companies in the dynamic automotive industry, where TPV AUTOMOTIVE is recognized as a global player. Their commitment to innovation results in continuous improvement of products and processes. The company strives to maintain an innovative culture, promote creativity, and support innovators in developing and realizing their ideas. According to the CEO of TPV AUTOMOTIVE, Dr. Ivan Erenda, ‘the path to successful innovation is never easy. It requires courage, determination, and perseverance. It is also important to realize that innovations are the result of teamwork, which plays a crucial role in achieving our goals. Our teams of innovators are an example, not only for today’s but also for future generations of innovators, and I am extremely proud of them.’
This year, they submitted 10 innovations to the regional selection for the best innovations, and all of them were awarded.
The GOLD awards were received by the following innovations:
Development of innovative methods for reducing environmental impact and material consumption in advanced sheet metal forming processes.
Authors: Tomaž Habinc, Janez Hočevar, Miran Penič, Boštjan Piletič, Miran Podpečan, Patricia Šašek, Jurij Švegelj, Dejan Zajec
Brief description of the innovation: The innovation involves technological solutions to reduce sheet metal consumption, which posed a significant challenge due to the complexity of forming processes in high-volume production of complex products. By introducing a new technology of combined progressive-transfer forming, using simulations for optimization of sheet metal plate shapes and sizes, analyzing different variations of sheet metal plate arrangements, and implementing scissor cuts, they managed to reduce sheet metal and energy consumption, as well as the CO₂ footprint.
Development of a solution for improving the dynamic durability of a weld on a spring support under new load requirements.
Innovators: Jurij Švegelj, Davor Tramte, Patricia Šašek, Janez Jereb, Mag. Rajko Marinčič, Tjaša Zabukovec, Boštjan Piletič, Mag. Vili Malnarič, Jurij Kranjc
Brief description of the innovation: TPV Automotive d.o.o. is an established development supplier in the automotive industry. They developed a vital safety element of the chassis for BMW, which is subjected to high dynamic loads. Due to the additional electric vehicle models with stronger springs to accommodate the increased load on the rear axle, the customer raised the requirements for the dynamic durability of the carrier. The company developed an innovative solution that meets the required criteria.
The SILVER awards were received by the following innovations:
Digitalization of the organizational process in the company.
Authors: Stefan Cvijanović, Toni Petrič, Boris Praprotnik
Brief description of the innovation: The innovation successfully addresses the challenge of managing escalation activities within TPV AUTOMOTIVE. By using their own expertise, they managed to digitize the organizational process and implement a transparent and agile activity management system. The new digitalized process enables the connection of activities between different departments, provides an overview of the entire process, improves communication, and facilitates decision-making processes.
Optimization of Rubber Damper Insertion
Authors: Boris Antolovič, Mitja Drenovec, Martin Erjavec, Miran Ferenčak, Tomaž Habinc, Tomislav Klarič, Miha Končar, Mag. Vili Malnarič, Miran Penič, Patricia Šašek, Jurij Švegelj, Davor Tramte
Brief innovation description: In collaboration with partners, the company has optimized the insertion of rubber dampers, from product shape optimization to process improvements. They have determined the optimal geometry of the steel part of the joint and optimized the manufacturing costs. Additionally, they have optimized the insertion process, eliminated the need for lubricants, and defined a non-destructive method for performance monitoring. This has resulted in a functional, cost-effective, and environmentally optimal solution.
Development of an Innovative Washing Line
Authors: Primož Kozan, Boštjan Piletič, Samo Tomc
Brief innovation description: TPV AUTOMOTIVE, as a development supplier for BMW, produces vital safety elements for the chassis. Since safety is paramount in the production of chassis safety components, all assembly elements are washed prior to the welding process to remove any impurities that could affect safety. In collaboration with partners, they have developed a cost-effective solution for high-volume production products that require washing, with a positive environmental impact.
Development of Optimal Media Outflow by Changing Product Design
Brief innovation description: The innovative design of the product extends the product’s lifespan and reduces the possibility of failure in its main function – ensuring rigidity and driving dynamics. The new design of the bushing solves the problem of media and air outflow, which caused accumulation, excessive application, and subsequent detachment of the surface protection. They effectively addressed this challenge by optimizing the placement, number, and size of additional holes, as well as modifying the existing screw hole.
Development of a Serial Method for Cathodic Electrodeposition Painting of Lightweight Welded Joints from High-Strength Steels
Authors: Uroš Brinc, Zdravko Bučar, Tatjana Lamovšek, Mag. Vili Malnarič, Živa Novak, Ines Rajkovič, Jurij Švegelj, Tjaša Zabukovec
Brief innovation description: The company has developed an innovative cathodic electrodeposition painting process for intensively reshaped high-strength materials within the existing serial process. The innovation solves the problem of incomplete paint adhesion on various material batches, where surface structure fluctuates due to prior chemical and mechanical processes. With the developed method, they have met high requirements for product durability and gained a competitive advantage in related products.
Development of Lightweight Front Suspension
Authors: Marko Malnarič, Mag. Rajko Marinčič, Boris Menič, Davor Tramte, Boštjan Piletič, Patricia Šašek, Jurij Švegelj, Dejan Zajec, Doc. Dr. Tomaž Savšek (Faculty of Industrial Engineering Novo mesto)
Brief innovation description: In collaboration with FINI, TPV AUTOMOTIVE has successfully developed a new generation of front suspension made from high-strength steels for a specific MacPherson suspension variant in a particular vehicle, replacing the previous solution manufactured by hot forging. The new solution is 12% lighter, economically more favorable, and more environmentally acceptable than the previous one. It also demonstrates significant potential, as MacPherson suspension is the most common type of suspension in vehicles.
Ensuring the Sealing of Battery tray
Authors: Mag. Vili Malnarič, Gregor Jordan, Ernest Frigelj, Damjan Zupančič, Gregor Zaletelj, Boris Menič, Jure Kokalj (KNT d.o.o.), David Logar (KNT d.o.o.)
Brief innovation description: TPV AUTOMOTIVE d.o.o. produces a crucial part, the battery tray, for the customer Volvo, where ensuring sealing is a significant requirement. Due to the complex geometry, achieving sealing is not straightforward. Therefore, in collaboration with external partners, they have developed an innovative operation to detect leaks in batterytrays . This new method enables faster achievement of sealing with less waste and increased energy efficiency.
Development of a New Robotic Grinding Cell
Authors: Tomislav Klarić, Boris Antolovič, Žiga Nadu, Peter Pšeničnik, Martin Povše, Uroš Rangus, Kristjan Kežman
Brief innovation description: The company has developed a robotic grinding cell equipped with an industrial robot for grinding 13 different types of products, with the possibility of grinding additional similar products. The products are inserted into encrypted storage pallets, and their presence is detected by an inductive sensor that identifies the product type and activates the appropriate processing program. By developing the robotic grinding cell, they have eliminated manual grinding and improved efficiency.