ATS opens a new production plant for forged alloy wheels in Fußgönheim and continues to reinforce its pioneering role in the high-tech "made in Germany" alloy wheels sector.
Forging technology allows alloy wheels to be manufactured with the highest possible stability. In the newly-opened ATS production plant in Fußgönheim, extremely light and resilient motorsport and tuning wheels will be manufactured along with premium wheels for high-end vehicle manufacturers.
Bad Dürkheim, September 2011: The ATS SUPERLIGHT high-performance wheel was the first trick, and now the next one is here. The talk is of top-class alloy wheels which are manufactured in an extremely-sophisticated forging process. In order to fine tune and update the way the wheels are manufactured, the UNIWHEELS subsidiary ATS Leichtmetallräder has now put a production plant for forged wheels into operation. A whole range of CNC processing centres and measurement stations ensure that the extremely-light and resilient forged wheels are processed as precisely as possible.
"With the modern production plant, we want to continue to fine tune and update the expertise we already have in forged wheel technology," says Simone Maier-Paselk, Aftermarket CEO at UNIWHEELS. "Here, the high-tech machinery does not just ensure the highest level of quality, but also allows us to guarantee optimum production rates."
Image 1: The highly-resilient ATS asphalt and gravel wheels used by Prodrive for MINI Motorsport in the FIA World Rally Championship will be manufactured in the new ATS production plant, together with the alloy wheels for the reigning champion of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (Chevrolet).
The new production plant is ATS' reaction to the constant rise in demand for even-lighter wheels of even higher quality, both in the accessories and in the OEM markets. With this production plant, the existing range of forged wheels for exclusive sports cars is being expanded successively – and not just in the form of ultra high-performance wheels for the tuning sector. More and more vehicle manufactures are also choosing to go for "made by ATS/UNIWHEELS" forging technology for their sportier models. Rolf Graf, CEO at UNIWHEELS, therefore has a positive view of the future: "With our new production plant, we have created the best possible platform from which we are able to offer our customers the highest quality standards in the production of forged, highly-resilient and lightweight alloy wheels." And these customers include some very famous names such as AMG or Jaguar.
Alongside high-tech wheels for top-class road vehicles, motorsport triumphs will also be expected of Fußgönheim in the future. The alloy wheels which were recently part of Chevrolet's successful defence of the FIA World Tour Car Championship title originate from ATS' motorsport wheel production plant. The same also applies to ATS motorsport wheels which are used on the Mini WRC in the FIA World Rally Championship. In order to be in an even better position to serve international customers, all motorsport wheels from ATS will be produced at the new Fußgönheim plant. "Our range of high-quality forged motorsport wheels will also continue to grow thanks to the state-of-the-art production locations," explains Harald Jacksties, Head of Marketing and Motorsport at UNIWHEELS. "Alongside our commitment to FIA WTCC, FIA WRC, the German and European Formula 3 series and the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring, our range of wheels will also comprise high-strength and extremely-lightweight forged wheels for GT vehicles in the near future."
Image 2: In the new ATS plant, extremely-lightweight motorsport and tuning wheels and sophisticated premium wheels for high-end vehicle manufacturers are manufactured according to the highest quality standards.
In principle, forged alloy wheels are more stable than conventional cast aluminium wheels. As a result of the complicated forging technology, the light-metal alloy has a higher material density which provides better rigidity in comparison with conventional casting technology. At the same time, the thickness of the material can also be chosen to be lower than that of cast wheels. Because of the potential for lower material thickness, a finished, forged alloy wheel turns out to be considerably lighter and more sophisticated. The reduction in unsprung mass achieved through this makes a significant contribution to improvements in driving dynamics.
Image 3: The 7.9kg ATS SUPERLIGHT high-performance forged wheel (dimensions: 9 x 19" / front axle Porsche 997) only leaves the ATS production plant in Fußgönheim after the strictest of quality controls.