Many automakers and engine builders prefer forging steel to casting or CNC machining for producing camshafts. Mubea Motorkomonenten GmbH developed a hydroforming technology for producing camshafts — which Linamar Corp. is buying to add to its process capabilities.

Linamar Buying Mubea Camshaft Operations

June 9, 2013
Three plants, 110 employees Hydraulic pressure, plastic deformation to produce camshafts

Linamar Corporation – an Ontario-based, multinational manufacturer of components and systems for passenger car engines, transmissions and drivelines — is buying three camshaft assembly plants from Muhr und Bender KG. The terms and value of the transaction were not announced.

A Muhr und Bender subsidiary, Mubea Motorkomponenten GmbH, operates the three plants in Hildburghausen, Thale, and Thale-Warnstedt, Germany. Their primary activity is a patented hydroforming process, in which hubs of varying widths and different materials are attached to lightweight tubes.

“In this process, hydraulic pressure is applied in a tube functioning as the support and the tube undergoes plastic deformation against the hub,” according to Mubea’s published statements. “The plastic deformation remains in the tube and the particular add-on part is ‘stuck’ on the tube due to its elasticity.”

The process is also notable because it works with different materials, according to customers’ specifications. Sintered, cast, or steel cams made of different materials (e.g., C55, 100Cr6) can be joined to “low-cost tubes” formed of stainless steel.

Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar's CEO, stated the " Mubea has done an excellent job of developing very high quality and highly efficient camshaft hydroforming technologies which we feel will allow us to further penetrate this exciting global market.”

Linamar also noted the new operations would add hot forging to its range of capabilities.

“In addition, their capabilities in hot forging production will provide a significant enhancement to our machining and assembly operations globally," CEO Hasenfratz said. "We welcome this addition to our team and see great opportunity for this technology and its growth potential for the future."

The three German plants have approximately 110 employees.

Linamar called the acquisition “another example of its dedication to innovation in manufacturing and advanced process capabilities and furthers its strategies of globalization, diversification and green technologies.”

According to Mubea, the camshaft business represents less than 2% of its total revenues. It said the sale is in line with its strategy to focus on weight-reducing products, including engine valve springs, suspension coil springs, and transmission disc springs."