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Home » Case Studies » Planetary Carrier – Part Consolidation



A Major N.A. OEM

Customer Program

9 Speed Automatic Transmission 

Product Family

Carrier Shell + Pinion Carrier 


  • Weight Reduction
  • Cost Reduction
  • Component Consolidation
  • Tooling Cost Reduction

The Need

The OEM was developing a nine-speed transmission and had a complex assembly for transmitting torque in the planetary carrier area. 

Initial Customer Approach

This assembly comprised of three components a flowformed outer shell, a powdered metal carrier, and a snap ring that kept the two components together 


The initial design, required three components, three suppliers, and three sets of tooling. A large amount of the material from the largest component was removed during the manufacturing process. An additional powder metal component took the place of this removed material and required a complex snap ring assembly process. 

NETFORM Solution

Instead of quoting the existing design NETFORM came back with a proposal with multiple benefits. This new concept would utilize a lightweight, cold formed carrier in place of the heavy complex powder metal carrier from the original design. The cold formed carriers would be pressed into mating slots in the back face of the flowform shell and then laser welded into place. Replacing the powder metal carrier and snap ring with a laser welded cold formed carrier solved the problem of the loose joint and improved the alignment of the components. These design improvements allowed for major weight savings, reduced machining, and cost savings of $2 per assembly. 

This concept was prototyped and passed all testing. The assembly went into production and became the design standard for this assembly in subsequent transmissions.