CMS’ CNC Machining & the Alfa Romeo 4C

Legendary Italian automaker Alfa Romeo designed their new 4C sports car to be their “reintroduction” to the American market. This high-performance two-seater was engineered to put the best driving technology available into the most visually striking package possible. To achieve this lofty goal, Alfa Romeo teamed with CMS and other innovative European companies.

The 4C Project

To ensure the finest performance, and to meet the high standards associated with the Alfa Romeo name, every component of the 4C must be crafted with extreme precision. Additionally, Alfa Romeo plans to produce the 4C in higher numbers than a “limited series” automobile or supercar.

The automaker recognized that CNC manufacturing, with its superior accuracy, repeatability, and quick production capabilities, was the best way to achieve these ends. And for the industry’s finest CNC machining technology, they turned to CMS.

Advanced CNC Technology for Advanced Materials Machining

The 4C benefits from a number of unique design features, including a monobloc chassis and the use of composite materials throughout. Its engine crankcase is manufactured from aluminum, which provides the strength needed in a sports car drivetrain at roughly one-third the weight of steel. Similarly, the front and rear chassis frames, which support the nose and tail of the car, are also made from aluminum. A CMS Poseidon CNC machining center is used to machine the complex geometry and precise tolerances these components required.

Alfa Romeo uses carbon fiber materials for the 4C’s main chassis to keep the car’s weight low (just over 2,000 pounds) and to provide the structural stability its high performance capabilities require. Manufactured as a single, sturdy component, this carbon fiber chassis requires numerous complex machining and finishing operations. CMS’ Ares moving bridge CNC system provides the necessary precision and versatility, along with high-speed, 5-axis performance and a large work envelope.

Seat bases and backrests, as well as several other interior components, are also made from carbon fiber. One of our compact Athena CNC systems is used for the machining and finishing of these parts, including intricate detail work. With high-speed, 5-axis capabilities and a versatile worktable setup, the Athena is ideal for fast, efficient production of smaller components.

The seats of the 4C, inspired by ergonomic race car seat designs, are constructed of polyurethane foam. Molds for this foam padding were machined with a CMS Cronus K moving bridge CNC system. Specially designed for working with aluminum, light alloys, and composite materials, the Cronus provides high-speed machining, fast working-head acceleration, and unparalleled accuracy and repeatability.

For more information about CMS and Alfa Romeo’s partnership on the 4C project, click here.

CMS North America at IMTS

Join us at the 2014 International Manufacturing Trade Show on September 8-13! CMS North America will be one of 1900 companies at the McCormick Place complex in Chicago, Illinois demonstrating two of our most innovative CNC machines, the ARES Moving Bridge CNC Machining Center and the Idroline S Waterjet System.

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