Technologies for the World Class Press Shop

    At the 8th Metalforming Symposium in Changsha, Schuler presented the latest trends and future demands in the China automotive industry

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    At the 8th Metalforming Symposium in Changsha, Schuler presented technologies for the world class press shop.

    Car manufacturers in China and all over the globe have to meet a variety of challenges – sustainability, design, model variety, material mix and safety, to name just a few. At the 8th Metalforming Symposium on 30 November and 1 December, 2016, in Changsha, Schuler presented technologies for the world class press shop. The agenda also included a visit to GAC FCA’s auto plant with a modern Schuler servo press line and automation live in operation.

    On the one hand, sustainability means automotive lightweight construction in order to reduce fuel consumption and extend the battery range of electric vehicles. In order to produce not only light, but also safe parts, car manufacturers have to make use of material combinations. Therefore, they need solutions efficient mass series production of aluminum and also high strength steels.

    Increasing number of various models and chassis designs

    On the other hand, sustainability also means an energy efficient manufacture of car parts including reduced down times of the production lines. At the same time, with an ever increasing number of various models and chassis designs, the batch lots become smaller and smaller, which requires highly flexible lines with extremely short die changeover times.

    Skin panels, floor and door parts, engine covers and structural parts can all be formed on Schuler press lines with ServoDirect Technology, enabling car manufacturers to produce an extremely wide model range program. Die changeover times as low as three minutes allow an efficient production also of small batch lots. Furthermore, with a productivity of up to 23 strokes per minute, the world’s fastest press lines are made by Schuler – as well as the most productive press lines on the globe according to the renowned Harbour Reports.

    Improved productivity and energy efficiency

    More parts per minute also means improved energy efficiency per part. Additionally, Schuler’s Energy Saving Cushion alone decreases the energy consumption of the first press in the line by up to 50 percent. Further functions like Standby and Smart Grid cut the numbers in half for the whole line.

    The company’s ServoDirect Technology not only improves the time window for the part transfer by the high performance Crossbar Feeders, and thus the productivity of the overall system; thanks to the freely programmable motion curves, the slide velocity can also be individually adapted to deep drawing mild steels (low impact, slow drawing at constant speed, fast upstroke), forming aluminum (slow upstroke) or forming high strength steels (extreme low impact and extreme slow upstroke).

    However, the motion curves of both slides and Crossbar Feeders are first simulated digitally before they are transferred to the press line and further optimized. As a result, hardly no more adaptions need to be made at the press line, and down times are reduced to a minimum. Last, but not least this is how Schuler helps car manufacturers also in China to prepare for all the requirements of today and tomorrow – and to set up the world class press shop.