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Drawing Edge Monitoring Improves Part Quality

Deep drawing, in particular at high drawing levels and for small radii, is an especially demanding metal forming process. Insufficient material flow during the deep drawing process can lead to thinning and cracks in the part, and if too much material flows, folding can be an undesired consequence. The material remaining after the forming process, the so-called flange or drawing edge, thus directly affects the part quality. Schuler therefore has developed a drawing edge monitoring capability that helps to immediately assess the part quality.

“The number one priority for our customers is reducing scrap – not just to save costs, but increasingly also to meet sustainability goals”, explains Michael Werbs, Director of Edge Solutions. “Schuler is making an important contribution to this with its new development”. An application of this type is already in use in the Smart Press Shop, the joint venture of Porsche and Schuler in Halle (Saale), Germany.

Using a forming simulation, the drawing edge at critical locations can be determined in advance and compared with the values obtained in practice. The associated data together with a unique identification number for the part are stored in a database. Based on the insights thereby obtained, modifications to the process or changes to the oiling or drawing cushion forces can be made even before the part shows visible quality defects such as cracks or folds.

Previously it was necessary to use special dies with expensive material flow measurement systems integrated into them, and the additional connections required for this. The drawing edge monitoring capability developed by Schuler is based on cameras mounted in the press space, which is why the system is die-independent and can monitor the drawing process in any die used on the press. In a fraction of a second, the system provides information on whether or not a good part was produced.

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