Prototyping for an assured process conversion
From brazing and welding processes to efficient forming processes
With all types of tubing systems, the technique used for connecting the tubes plays an important role, no matter which sector you look at, as first of all it allows you to produce certain products and also to achieve the required high quality. Another crucial aspect of the connection techniques is the nature of the connecting components. These are still often welded or brazed on. transfluid Maschinenbau GmbH has developed forming solutions as a more effective and cheaper alternative, which make even complex geometries in connection technology possible.
Tests: forming geometries replace machined components
There was a need for testing facilities that could provide evidence that a component can be made using forming technology. Using the idea of “learning by doing” it is possible to eliminate the risks by running appropriate tests. To be able to do that, the Solutions-Team at transfluid has increased its manufacturing and production area and re-designed their prototyping department. “We are seeing an increasing need among our customer for this testing. We build up the evidence through targeted tests, showing that components that in the past were machined, and therefore expensive, can now be produced through technical forming of geometries”, says Stefanie Flaeper, managing director at transfluid. The prototyping team keeps a close eye on extreme shapes, but also on specific materials, which are often found in weight-reducing builds in the automotive industry, in order to improve processes in collaboration with our clients.
Cutting, bending, forming
In this case the focus is to create a prototype that is part of the whole process. During these comprehensive tests, the tubes can be cut without generating chips, bent and also formed, all as per customer request. Therefore, all the necessary high-tech systems from transfluid are available in the testing department: an automated machine for orbital cutting, a right-/left-hand bending machine, a robot (in order to bend components after the forming, with modified robots, as per requirements) and various systems for tool-dependent axial forming or also tool-independent CNC-rolling forming. The CNC-controlled rolling tube forming in particular can be introduced with great efficiency and impressive results.
The component is adapted to meet the client’s exact requirements, both technically, visually and according to the technical drawings. Before any test is started the technical department at transfluid will choose a range of materials, which will then be validated in the tests. By doing so, the client’s own production units remain productive in the meantime and moreover, their skilled colleagues will remain completely available and the entire prototyping process remains in the hands of experienced transfluid engineers, as Stefanie Flaeper points out: “We make our know-how, our machines and our engineers available to our clients. That way, their workflow remains uninterrupted, while we deliver the results of the process optimization in parallel.” If the tested component complies with all functionality requirements and is inspected and approved by the customer, the customer will receive the prototype, as well as all the data for the forming modifications. The client can then verify in his own assembly processes, whether the changes in the manufacturing process still meet the requirements to the full and is able to initiate the optimization with confidence.
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