Schuler forges alliance with FormTech

    Partnership enables production of presses for the aerospace industry

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    Finalizing alliance

    Air traffic is currently growing at a rate of five percent annually and is expected to double by the year 2030. If one includes replacements for existing aircraft, some 30,000 new planes will be supplied in this period. In order to provide the aerospace industry with the necessary presses, Schuler has now forged a technology partnership with the company FormTech entitled “Titanium Forming Alliance”.

    The company will be advising the world’s largest press manufacturer on the construction of hot presses, as used for the forming of titanium. FormTech boasts outstanding know-how in this field – from the development of forming presses, dies and components to the production of prototypes. And titanium is playing an increasingly important role in aircraft design: although the high-strength metal accounts for just six percent of materials used in conventional construction methods, the amount rises to 15 or even 20 percent for modern composite designs. And because titanium makes planes lighter, it also helps reduce fuel consumption per seat and kilometer flown.

    Schuler will be contributing more than 170 years of experience and its expertise in mass manufacturing to the alliance. “We will guarantee that the titanium forming process is reliable and highly efficient at top output levels,” says Managing Director Manfred Wischnewski. “The technological partnership between Schuler and FormTech allows the cost-efficient use of titanium alloys for a wide range of components,” adds Werner Beck, Managing Director of FormTech. Possible production processes include gas pressure forming (SPF), diffusion bonding (DB), hot forming, hot deep drawing and isothermal forging. In addition, the two partners have developed a forming technology for titanium which involves only a very small degree of material loss.

    First customer: Russian engine manufacturer

    Thanks to newly developed heating and insulation elements, the hot presses guarantee even heat distribution and high surface quality while also reducing energy consumption. High-quality construction of all components with a precise press force profile, finely adjustable speeds and precise guide systems improves component quality, while guaranteeing high reproducibility and extending the die’s service life. The first customer of Schuler and FormTech is a Russian engine manufacturer. The company will take delivery of isothermal forming presses in the coming weeks for the production of jet blades from titanium blanks.

    Schuler and FormTech shared a stand at the Farnborough Air Show and will also appear together at the ILA Berlin Air Show from September 11 to 16, 2012.

    An isothermal forming press can also be seen in action at Schuler’s in-house fair “Rail & Fly” at the Waghäusel facility on Thursday the 13th and Friday the 14th of September.