Eibach Springs, Page 2
In 1951, Heinrich Eibach founded a small production shop in Finnentrop,
Germany that has grown over the years into a leading manufacturer
of advanced suspension components. Eibach is an original equipment
supplier to Ferrari, BMW, Volkswagen, Ford, and other auto manufacturers.
Racing customers include Alfa Romeo, AMG, BMW Motorsports, Ferrari,
Ford, and Lola. Eibach products appear on race cars all over
the world competing in Formula One, Indy Racing League, CART,
Sports Car, NASCAR, German Touring Car, GT Cup, off-road racing,
and Sports Car Club of America professional and club racing.
Eibach also supplies replacement springs and engineered suspension
kits to people wanting to modify their road cars for a distinctive
look and/or improved handling.
Eibach has manufacturing facilities in Germany, Japan, England,
and the United States. Their U.S. plant is in Irvine, Calif.
just south of Los Angeles. This facility houses manufacturing,
engineering, and sales in a building of 50,000 square feet. Another
building nearby provides 15,000 square feet of warehouse space.
Monthly spring production in Irvine is 30,000 to 40,000 units.
Making Springs the Eibach Way
The process starts with the best material for the product,
precision-drawn wire.Most Eibach racing springs are made from
a steel high in chromium and silicon which is slightly more fatigue
resistant. For a product that is subject to cyclical stresses
as is a spring the fatigue strength of the steel is the most
Eibach stocks precision wire in small increments of diameter
so their designs can be optimized, allowing the lightest spring
for the customer's needs. Chrome-Silicon wire is stocked in 1/4
mm (0.010 in.) increments in diameters above 9 mm. Below 9mm
the increment in diameter is 1/10 mm (0.004 in.).
Some springs such as those specified by NASCAR rules are made
of large-diameter chromium-vanadium steel wire and are cold wound
over a mandrel as in the photo above.
Automatic Winding Machine
This is a computer-controlled coil winding machine that is
very impressive to see in action. Wire comes into the machine
from the left and the new coil spring seems to grow out of the
hydraulically-controlled tools. The following three photos show
the machine producing a barrel-shaped spring.
That's a powerful chisle at the middle top of the photo which
cuts the finished spring from the wire stock.
Machine operators check parts coming off the machine as they
adjust the tooling for a run of barrel-shaped coil springs.
Eibach engineers decided years ago that hot-forming springs causes
hydrogen embrittlement and reduces fatigue strength, so all Eibach
springs are cold-formed. This extremely robust, computer-controlled
winding machine uses wire at a rate of 180 ft/min. producing
roughly 400 parts per hour.
Eibach Springs, page 3
After cold-forming, the springs go into this oven for a heat
treatment process that increases strength and fatigue resistance.