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The Volkswagen Group has reaffirmed its trust in Fagor Arrasate for the supply of “next generation” hot stamping lines, the third in a year. The installation will allow Volkswagen Group to improve productivity by increasing the rate and number of parts processed simultaneously. With this order, Fagor Arrasate has become the main supplier of hot stamping installations for the Volkswagen Group in recent years. As one of the largest users of this technology, Volkswagen entrusts Fagor Arrasate to fulfil its requirements for state-ofthe- art production lines in hot stamping.
The latest of the new installations is equipped with two roller ovens in parallel and will be the first of its kind at Volkswagen Group designed to carry out completely automatic and independent racking of three parts. The line will be delivered to the Kassel plant, Volkswagen Group’s key facility for hot stamping. In fact, it has the highest concentration of hot stamping lines in the world with a total of 12 after the new acquisitions.
All this expertise places Fagor Arrasate in an unbeatable position to consolidate itself as a leader within the hot stamping industry, a market which is expanding thanks to the progressive redesign of the new vehicle platforms. New requirements in emissions regulations and the need to lighten the chassis of electric cars make this technology the fastest growing in the stamping sector.
Customised press hardening systems
New equipment supplied to Volkswagen Kassel
The Turn Key press hardening line supplied for Volkswagen is equipped with two parallel roller furnaces, three freely programmable loading feeders and an end-of-line solution that allows fully automatic or manual racking.
It has three loading feeders and a powerful drive system for controlling the die. This new equipment enables each blank coming out of the furnace to be moved independently to the die instead of in groups.
This makes it possible for the furnaces to be smaller in size, given that after leaving the oven the pieces are separated to be stamped correctly. Thanks to this automation and the highly powerful hydraulic unit, the press is able to reach very high processing speeds.
The car manufacturer has trusted Fagor Arrasate for this project after the positive results of the two hot stamping lines installed in another of its plants. These lines are fully automated, both in the loading of forms and in the stacking of the pieces, and also have 2 parallel ovens for heating formats. For loading the press, they have a Fagor LR3-120 feeder that allows the hot formats to be transported quickly to the die, thus guaranteeing the quality and stability of the process.
The pieces, once stamped, are automatically placed in the stacking containers by a shuttle and 3 Kuka robots, so the process is completed entirely automatically. It also has an additional output belt for quality inspection of the pieces.
Two hot stamping lines at SEAT’s Zona Franca plant (Barcelona)
The first of these lines was acquired in 2017, when the Volkswagen Group started a hot stamping line renovation process, starting with the SEAT plant in Zona Franca, Barcelona. Fagor Arrasate obtained this first order with a fully automated line both in the loading of blanks and in the stacking of parts.
Satisfied with the confidence of Fagor’s design team, the Volkswagen Group awarded Fagor Arrasate a second line of similar characteristics for the same SEAT plant at the beginning of 2018. The new line incorporates improvements identified during the design process, and the functionality for obtaining parts with soft-zones. With this new installation, the Barcelona plant became one of the leaders in hot stamping technology.
The endorsement received from earning the confidence of a manufacturer of this size, along with its significant experience in its own automation systems, provides Fagor Arrasate with the potential for major growth in the hot stamping industry. The company has a thorough knowledge of transfer and feeding systems, including milestones such as the installation of the first mechanical servo press in Europe.
I have been in the automotive industry for 29 years, and involved in the installation of many Press Hardening lines and the global business of the industry over the past 16 years. It is not just about the press; you have to see the whole process you need to have the knowledge and experience from production to offer the customer a profitable and customer accurate press hardening line. We at Fagor Arrasate have the experience and knowledge to succeed with our customers.