Page 47 - MetalForming March 2016
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                                                                                                                                        THE BIG NAMES TRUST US. THE SMALL ONES TOO.
oping the production systems.
When building die sets for its met- alforming systems, AP&T uses simu- lations and analyses done with ESI Group’s Pam-Stamp virtual-prototyping software to overcome design challenges and provide tooling on a schedule that
the OEMs demand.
In particular, the software address-
es two specific challenges:
• Complexity. As many crash parts
combine several simple sheetmetal parts into one component, these redesigns reduce fabrication, welding and subassembly tasks as well as the production cycle time they consume. Some sections of these parts are rigid to protect vehicle occupants in a crash while other sections are ductile to absorb crash energy. In summary, crash parts can be extremely complex. AP&T uses Pam-Stamp to model crash parts, such as the steel uprights (B-pillars) located between vehicle doors, and which join the body and roof.
• Fabrication difficulties. The auto- motive industry sees increasing use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and ultra-high-strength steels (UHSS). These new steels are far stronger than mild steels used for most sheetmetal body components but often experi- ence cracking, wrinkled surfaces, thin or weak spots, and springback during conventional blanking, stamping and forming operations. Hot forming solves these problems, with near-net-shape parts dimensionally stable and free of distortion and defects. In automo- tive operations, hot forming is a rela- tively new production innovation with challenges of its own. To address them, AP&T has built a dedicated press line for hot-forming research and development.
and Timesaving Alternative to Physical Testing
A typical hot-forming cycle time can be 12 sec. or less for thin parts. Quench- ing time within the cycle is short enough to allow for the austenite-to- martensite transition in the steel microstructure. The parts have no mar-
ket if they cannot be hot formed that quickly in full production, explains Harald Porzner, director of product management for ESI Group’s Virtual Manufacturing line.
To ensure that customers receive ideal hot-formed parts, AP&T employs Pam-Stamp simulations and analyses. Simulations, from part design to pro- duction, can be set up in minutes and dozens of tests can be run in a day with
Our clients know they can always expect custom solutions from us, whether they are big or small. A highly qualified team is always ready to provide effective answers to any need because we control the entire production process. Sensors for force, position, pressure and temperature measurement; indicators, power and temperature controllers; automation platforms and industrial inverters: whatever your need, you can trust us.
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simulation results available in min- utes, according to ESI Group officials. The alternative to simulation—physical testing—is far too slow for AP&T. Set- ting up and performing a physical test may take two or three days plus anoth- er day or two to analyze the results.
Proper Quenching is Critical
Quenching ensures that the steel’s microstructure provides ductility in
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