Advanced Technologies to Meet Market Demand
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Through a combination of innovative product engineering, and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, AP meets customer demands for advanced product solutions for a multitude of markets. Our capabilities in exhaust and emission product development, and production are extensive. AP through the years has been a leader in original designs that has changed the industry. From our unique muffler designs to our catalytic converters, AP has enabled its customer to lead the market with robust products that solve difficult exhaust system problems.
New developments in rapid prototyping and the use of computer-aided design systems that are integrated with coordinate-measuring machines for precise dimensional measuring, and CNC pipe benders have increased our speed to market with new parts. Use of such tools facilitates precise engineering designs and allows for flexible and rapid adjustments. Our constant search for process improvements is an ongoing challenge that never stops at AP.
Innovation is not limited to just product design. Just as important is the manufacturing process used to make our parts, and at AP we strive to achieve maximum efficiencies in all our production processes. Our facilities employ advanced automation, robotics and computer-controlled monitoring and statistical process controls as part of our quality management system. Our factories and suppliers are electronically connected for high-speed transmission of production and engineering data. This commitment to continuous improvement results in lower costs, improved inventory management, higher quality, and most importantly customer satisfaction.
Catalytic Converter Manufacturing
AP catalytic converters are designed to be durable and our use of stainless-steel materials provides for a long life product. Premium-grade ceramic substrates are processed in our factories to high performance and reliability standards. Our research engineers are specialized in material science, surface chemistry, and metallurgy. State-of-the-art production methods, coating techniques, advanced materials, and chemistry, all come together resulting in industry leading designs and emission control solutions.
Straight Tubing Manufacturing
AP is a leading manufacturer of steel straight tubing used in the automotive exhaust system market. Our exhaust systems manufacturing process begins with steel tubing produced on our high-speed tube mill. Mufflers, catalytic converters, tail pipes, exhaust pipes and components require high-quality, corrosion-resistant, dimensionally precise steel tube.
The process begins with large commercial coils of aluminized steel and stainless steel. Our in-house steel processing center slits these coils into precise widths which will be form through a series of rollers into the exact tubing diameter required for production or resale needs. AP tubing is electrically-seam welded and precision cut to length as required.
AP produces a variety of tubing diameters and styles. Diameters ranging from 1.50” to 3.00” are available.
AP engineers design mufflers using state-of-the-art 3-D modeling programs resulting in rapid prototype and production implementation. Our design process and adaptive manufacturing technologies allow AP to bring to market new products faster in a multitude of muffler configurations.
AP manufactures a vast array of mufflers designed for automotive, heavy duty and off-road vehicles. Using either stainless or aluminized steel, AP offers customers muffler design options for virtually any application. Our muffler assembly lines are design for maximum output providing enough capacity for any level of production requirement.
Muffler dimensional cross sections range from 4” round to 8.5”x11.5” oval. The design spectrum is unlimited within these dimensional ranges assuring that an effective sound and backpressure solution is matched to our customers’ specific exhaust system needs.
Within AP’s production factory sub-component parts are stamped and formed from raw material coils. AP controls the entire manufacturing process from the smallest component to the most complicated assembly. Our expertise in the entire process from start to finish is what enables AP to be a complete exhaust solution provider.
AP is vertically integrated and manufactures vast amounts of strong steel tubing for use as straight and bent exhaust-pipes, tailpipes, and muffler and catalytic converter components. AP forms and bends tubing from 1.50-inch to 5.00-inches in diameter for use in automobiles, light-trucks, medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks.
Tube bending is required in nearly every exhaust system. AP employs many types of bending but mandrel and compression bending are most common.
- Mandrel bending results in a premium pipe product. The process uses a precision mandrel positioned inside the tube during the bending process. This end-result is a smooth, aesthetically pleasing appearance as it maintains the full inside tube diameter throughout the bend area. The use of mandrel bend pipes aids in reducing exhaust system back pressure.
- Compression bending results in some loss of inside tube diameter and is used where high-pressure flow is less critical.
Tubing begins as large rolls of steel that is cut into widths for the multitude of pipe diameters needed. The base material is either stainless or aluminized steel. As the process begins, the steel is drawn into the tube mill and pulled through a series of dies that slowly curve the steel into a uniform round circumference. The seam is welded, by an automated electric resistance welder. Weld flash irregularities are removed from the outside or inside surfaces using a “scarfing” blade. Once the weld bead is scarfed the seam is re-aluminized to prevent corrosion and improve appearance. Tubing is cut on the mill to the precise lengths needed in support of future manufacturing requirements.
Process improvement never stops. That’s why we’ve established vertically-integrated manufacturing that spans the entire value chain, so we can source, retrofit, test, validate and ship products faster than competitors. Our vertically-integrated platform also allows us to quickly respond to our customers’ frequent and diverse product orders while maintaining strict quality control standards.
The manufacturing process used to make our parts is just as important. Our facilities employ advanced automation, robotics and computer-controlled monitoring and statistical process controls as part of our quality management system. Our factories and suppliers are electronically connected for high-speed transmission of production and engineering data. The results are lower costs, improved inventory management, higher quality and, most importantly, customer satisfaction.