During the EuroBlech 2014, in Hannover, Fagor Arrasate offered a conference about the last developments in the press hardening field, a process to obtain very hard parts during stamping.
Fagor Arrasate’s Press Hardening Division, Mr. Ormaetxea, offered a speech with the title of “Press hardening installations components and trends”.
He explained that three main criteria can be used to classify Press hardening installations, depending on the part of the process we focus on: Furnace type, Automation system, Press type.
Concerning the furnaces, Roller hearth furnace system is the most widely used nowadays. Both electrical or gas heated. However, these are very long furnaces. Other type of furnaces, without internal moving components, are also being used with single or multilevel chambers.
Automation is required for loading the furnace (destacker), loading the press and unloading the press. As a first approach general use commercial robots can be used for all this manipulations, but more dedicated manipulation by means of feeder (linear robots) allows to reduce cycle times. For the loading-unloading of the press even more dedicated system, modified from the cold forming stamping, can be used, the so call “transfer system” , twin linear robots than enables even shorter cycle times.
In regards to the presses, traditionally hydraulic presses are used for press hardening. Hydraulic presses have evolved from low control system to hydraulic servo press than enable the optimum synchronization between the press and the automation system resulting again in lower cycle times.
Recently mechanical servo presses are proposed as a next step on press for the hot forming technology.
Controls, finally, are including more control parameters in order to enable quality control and traceability of the final stamped part.