Klarius was formed in 2007, a new European company which took over the former operations of ArvinMeritor Light Vehicle Aftermarket emissions group.
Since then the company has invested heavily across its operations and transformed itself into Europe’s leading exhaust / emissions business, by implementing continuous improvement, lean manufacturing and rapid product development.
More recently the Klarius Group has acquired Quinton Hazel, to make it Europe’s largest automotive supplier, with a turnover of >£350m. The company also offers all the QH brands of automotive parts, supplying daily across Europe, from a massive range of parts (c100,000) across >95% of the European car market.
Since January 2010 Klarius has been using a Faro Laser ScanArm – consisting of a FaroArm Fusion and a Laser Line Probe V2 – at its Technical Centre for the inspection and reverse engineering of castings, complex profile flat flanges, surface shapes (pressed exhaust boxes) and whole exhaust assemblies.
Before this the company measured the parts and either avoided complex work as oldfashioned techniques were not suitable (e.g. height gauges etc), or outsourced it.
“We needed in-house capability to reverse engineer complex shapes in order to design our products,” explains Doug Bentley, technical manager at Klarius. “We had tried the idea by outsourcing the work and found the method to be suitable but the time and cost of out-sourcing did not fit into our objective of rapidly developing a high number of designs.
“Additionally we are working on a new method for manufacture of pressed exhaust box shapes with rapid and low cost tooling, and this also benefited from the equipment being in-house, not outsourced due to confidentiality around the project.”
Doug describes the main benefits as being able to quickly and accurately design new products, immediately without the time delay of outsourcing. The measurement allows reverse engineering to take place in hours rather than weeks / months, and due to the high number of designs that are worked on, the cost per design is significantly lower than outsourcing, and payback is less than 12 months.
Klarius is now working on a new OEM exhaust system for off road vehicle application, and has been using 3D CAD for the design. The team then had to make a prototype and fixture which matched the 3D model exactly and the FARO ScanArm allowed them to adjust and build the prototype as it was developed, and to check the shape very quickly and accurately, ensuring their physical part matched the 3D model.
“The FaroArm is helping Klarius to achieve its objective to be Europe’s leading emissions supplier, by providing rapid development of even complex parts, at a pace which consistently outdistances its self from the competition,” concludes Doug.