Heavy Metal: Forming technology becomes energy and material efficient

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Forming metals with cold and/or hot techniques consumes enormous amounts of energy. Increased precision and new technical innovations in deep drawing and forging are the key to greater energy and material efficiency.

RUD-SCHÖTTLER Umformtechnik & Systemlieferant GmbH in Hagen forges load hooks, custom components and fittings for the chemical industry. The company implements a linear drop forging hammer when forming steel and other materials. A classic linear drop hammer – a tool fluently striking the red-hot metal – is powered hydraulically.  RUD-SCHÖTTLER, however, implements an electrically operated drop hammer which can be precisely controlled to within five hundredths of a millimetre. Flexible speed and force control save up to 10 % of material by reducing quality-related rejects, to name one. In addition, the linear drop forging hammer only requires energy when executing the strokes. This saves 25 % of the energy consumed by a hydraulic drive, not to mention the additional energy supply required to keep hydraulic oil permanently under minimum pressure.

ALLGAIER Sachsen GmbH produces over one million parts for the automotive industry annually, including body parts. The company has developed a special cold forming process – the Variotempo process – which saves energy and is especially efficient in deep-drawing high-strength materials. The Variotempo process enables manufacturing complex geometric components from one sheet, and in one operation. Normally, producing such complex parts requires an energy-intensive hot forming process on two separate semi-finished products that must be subsequently welded. The Variotempo process saves up to 40 % material up to 60 % in weight. The innovation also opens new possibilities for lightweight construction.