Super-small gears, solid connecting profiles or very thin strips. Mifa is one of the few companies in the world that produces aluminium profiles with cross-sections from 3 mm upwards, including the Mifa standard: accurate to ±0.02 mm.
We do this for various markets in which accuracy and quality play a major role. You would expect to find miniature profiles in precision medical equipment, microwave and radar components, optics and audio, or measurement and control equipment. You might not expect it on one of the largest cruise ships in the world. However, Mifa developed profiles of 8mm wide and 4.9mm high for a ship 331m long and 43m wide!
Together with the French company Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Mifa developed high quality profiles with a nice surface. Read more about it below.
About the customer
The naval and fleet company Chantiers de l'Atlantique is one of the world's largest innovative shipbuilders. Years of staff expertise and a network of co-directors, combined with first-class industrial tools, have made the company one of the world leaders in the design, manufacture, assembly and operation of highly complex ships and ship installations.
The most recently developed ships is the MSC VIRTUOSA, ordered by the company. The MSC VIRTUOSA is one of the largest cruise ships in the world. The ship is no less than 331 meters long and 43 meters wide. The cruise ship has 2440 cabins and can carry 6334 passengers.
The client was looking for a supplier that would offer a solution for the layout of the suites. The customer's original idea was to produce two profiles, whereby one profile would be screwed to the bulkhead and the other would be mounted on top. The two aluminium profiles are extremely small, which would make it very challenging and time-consuming for the customer's assembly department. To keep this department satisfied, we started looking for a solution.
Co-engineering: cooperation leads to a practical solution
In collaboration with our technical engineers and in consultation with the engineers at Chantiers de l'Atlantique, we developed a new design with an ingenious concept. The proposal developed by Mifa consists of a clever clamping function between the two profiles. Thanks to the clamping function, the customer can assemble the miniature profiles very easily. This saves a lot of time and frustration during assembly.
The difficulty of the proposed solution stems from the small dimensions of the profiles. The cover profile is only 8 mm wide and 4.9 mm high, yet it requires a high surface quality in the profile. Mifa's design freedom makes it possible to actually realise this design. Even with such small profiles, we apply the Mifa standard of plus or minus 0.02 mm accuracy. That is exactly the thickness of the aluminium foil you have at home in your kitchen drawer. To compare: a hair on your head is about 0.05 mm, two and a half times as thick.
Great accuracy is crucial in joints like this. Read more about the advantages of aluminium and extrusion in the whitepaper Precision Extrusion.
The advantages for the customer
In this project, Mifa's precision technology closely matches the customer's wishes. This accuracy brings several advantages:
- Precision extrusion: the precise dimensional tolerances allow the miniature profiles to be easily assembled and there is no need for gluing. Thus, there is no risk of staining with glue.
- One-stop-shop: thanks to Mifa's one-stop-shop capabilities, all treatments are done in house. In addition to extrusion and maching, the finishing of the profile with a surface treatment is also done at Mifa Surface Treatment. Thanks to these in-house techniques, the customer saves both costs and time.
A satisfied customer
In the meantime, the first profiles have been delivered and were installed without any problems by the customer's employees. For the customer, Mifa's solution was a welcome improvement in the development of the suites. It provides more peace of mind and satisfaction.
Would you like more information about our precision extrusion possibilities?
Our engineers will be happy to tell you more about the possibilities at Mifa, please feel free to contact us using the contact form below.