Virtual kinematic hot forming optimization

Forming equipment and tools are highly specific projects with high investment volumes and likewise long timeframes until realization. Not only are the parts to be formed very specific but, even if they are only subject to marginal changes compared to a previous one, enormous efforts may be required to manufacture them in a process-stable manner and with consistently good quality.

Similar considerations apply to the stamping/forming systems. USPs and technical distinctions of the machine owners, including technological innovations, are implemented in new machine projects. For this purpose, various individual systems must be linked to become a high-performance entirety. Frontloading - i.e. the optimization of the design in advance - can significantly minimize project risks and lead to a much better result through the visualization of movements and processes.

"Hearing one hundred times is not as good as seeing once.

Seeing one hundred times is not as good as doing once."


Taiichi Ohno

"Gemba" & "Mieruka" describe two basic principles of lean management. Both are about observation and visualization. Gemba means as much as "Go and see by yourself". But what to do when the plant or equipment is planned/designed but not yet in production? How can serious, time-consuming and money-intensive planning errors be avoided?

Mieruka, on the other hand, can be roughly translated as "show, don't tell". It is about visualization - or making things understandable. Anyone who has already discussed a flow chart with clearance curves with a setter in day-to-day business is probably familiar with this topic. (Setters are the best people to talk to about current shop floor issues on the line and can easily point out insufficient design details - CAD and design drawings, on the other hand, are usually not their world at all).

In this context, virtual kinematic simulation can provide relief in many aspects. On the one hand, it is about clarifying collision issues or to know whether there is sufficient clearance. Especially in the field of hot forming, however, it is also a question of temperature-related issues. In other words, what time is needed heat up the parts to a certain temperature, what time do the parts need to reach the lifting device (if available), how and when is the the handover to the transfer be ensured.

By simulating the process virtually in real time (this means with a common master shaft), all these sub-processes can be visualized simultaneously and thus checked and optimized in advance, within the context of the press and transfer movements. In the equipment engineering stage, the machine concept can be visualized and made comprehensible to all stakeholders. Not only are technical risks minimized, but all members of the project team are equally integrated with their experience and know-how.

From a economical point of view, the benefit is that output quantities can be determined very well and thus alternatives can be evaluated economically in advance - even before just one machine module or die has got approval for production or has been ordered.

The press line concept shown in the following video is based on a hot forming process. All details shown were created with the standard software features. The blank is fed to the oven within a given time and can be transferred from the oven to the lifting device within a different period of time. The lifting devices are controlled in a transfer-dependent manner (each lifter can be set independently). A two-bar 3-axis transfer picks up the components from the lifting device and places them into the die. After the forming process, a second 3-axis transfer removes the components. All time-dependent operations can be programmed and evaluated relative to the press/transfer process. In the special case shown in the video, the stroke rate can be increased up to approx. 10.6 [Strokes/min]. If this stroke rate is exceeded, the blanks will not reach the final position before lifting, wich will lead to a crash. The simulation can clearly visualize this moment.

Benefit of the possibilities of this service and profit from the opportunity to optimize your new stamping and forming equipment virtually and kinematically in respect of an optimal part flow or to ensure the success of your die relocation projects.

Take advantage of my expertise to support you in the whole workflow, starting from design and planning up to the implementation, and thus ensure maximum productivity right from the beginning.


I look forward to your message and will be happy to demonstrate the features and benefits for your forming project.

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