Inverters that draw electricity from electric vehicle (EV) batteries and control flow to the motor are undergoing testing and should be in the market before the end of the first quarter of 2019.

With a power density of 35kW/L and 98% operating efficiency, the inverters maximize EV range while taking up minimal space in the vehicle.


Neapco hard mills raceways of electric vehicle (EV) forged axle spindles on the Emag VSC 250 Twin machining center.

Manufacturing electric vehicle driveshafts

With increased orders for electric vehicle (EV) components, such as a driveshaft it makes, Farmington Hills, Michigan-based automotive supplier Neapco’s Düren, Germany, facility relies on ball-nose milling cutters from Mapal for hard machining the outer race of the constant velocity (CV) joint of the driveshaft.

“The trend toward electro mobility is becoming visible at Neapco, too,” says Ahmet Simsek, tool manager at the Neapco location in Düren. Neapco has positioned itself for driveshaft machining and has gotten increasing inquiries about e-mobility products. “We were recently certified according to IATF standard 16949 (quality management in the automotive industry), as a high level of flexibility, efficiency, and quality is required in a highly competitive environment.”

Neapco and Mapal started working together in the 1980s. Ball-nose milling of the latest CV joint design began in early 2018, and the company expects to produce 35,000 units in 2019.

“We use the ball nose milling cutters from Mapal to machine the ball raceways of what is known as the bell or axle spindle, for which strict tolerances are specified,” Simsek says.

The driveshaft joint must transmit torque with as little influence on the steering as possible, even with large working angles on drive gears of front-wheel drive vehicles, making tolerances such as ±5° contact angles critical.

Neapco uses an Emag VSC 250 Twin machining center to machine the forged axles, made of a 58HRc to 63HRc material.

“Our ball nose milling cutters are used for the final hard machining of the raceways,” explains Mapal Area Sales Manager Klaus Schwamborn, who has been working with Neapco for many years. The tool’s four soldered-in PcBN blades remove 0.2mm and 0.4mm of material.

(From left to right) Neapco Tool Manager Ahmet Simsek, Machine Operator Yilmaz Aydin, Tool Expert Armin Joussen, and Mapal Area Sales Manager Klaus Schwamborn discuss machining.

Simsek says working with Mapal and other partners, Neapco was able to launch production in 2018 with a tested, optimized process.

“Mapal provided optimal technical support and assistance during the start of production,” Simsek confirms. “Cooperative, open, and trusting collaboration with our partners is incredibly important to us, and this is exactly the kind of relationship we have with Mapal.”