Aerospace Supplier Invests in Fluid-Cell PressJuly 1, 2009
The DEMA Group manufacturing plant in Somma Vesuviana, Italy, a Tier One aerospace supplier, has installed a new Flexform fluid-cell press from Avure Technologies, Kent, WA, to replace an aging rubber-pad press. The company compared a new rubber-pad press and the Flexform fluid-cell press by performing test runs on seven different sheetmetal parts, measuring and recording parameters such as production speed, manual part-rework time, part quality off of the press, processing flexibility, and equipment and maintenance costs. Results clearly favored the Flexform press.
Total production and rework time for the seven test samples run on the Flexform press, according to company officials, was 26 percent that of the existing rubber-pad press and 50 percent of a newer rubber-pad press. The 800-bar operating pressure of the fluid-cell press, substantially higher than the other presses evaluated, produced more accurate forming to close tolerances and resulted in a significant reduction of springback. Hours required for manual rework and calibration were reduced by 76 percent.
After evaluating the test results, DEMA acquired and installed a Flexform QFC mid-sized model with a 1- by 2-m forming tray that can produce multiple parts in a single 2- to 3-min. cycle, and is well suited to the lower volumes and frequent tool changes commonly encountered in the aerospace industry.
“With the Flexform press, we can form larger and more complex parts than with the rubber-pad press,” says Agostino Marino, DEMA SpA general manager. “This has expanded the capabilities we can offer our customers, and lowered our production and maintenance costs.”
Flexforming uses a single, rigid, shape-defining tool section called a hydroblock over which a sheetmetal blank is placed and pressed into shape by a flexible rubber diaphragm.
Avure Technologies Inc.: 253/981-6350; www.avure.com
See also: Avure Technologies
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