Sustainability with full pressing power 3 minutes spent reading
Innovation

Sustainability with full pressing power

Volkmar Held

The new transfer press at voestalpine Automotive Components Schmölln offers more processing power for the sustainable production of automotive components. It can process stronger steels for more lightweight vehicles, and manages its power in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Weighing 1,000 tons, the new transfer press at voestalpine Automotive Components Schmölln would appear to have little to do with the topic of lightweight construction. However, its additional 500 tons of press force improves its ability to process high-strength steels.

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High press force strengthens voestalpine lightweight construction

High-strength steels are playing an increasingly important role in lightweight automotive construction, as well as e-mobility, because they can be used to make thinner and therefore lighter components which simultaneously offer the same, or even enhanced, stability and crash performance. According to the Handelsblatt Research Institute study commissioned by voestalpine into the role of steel in electromobility, reducing the weight of a vehicle with a conventional combustion engine by 100 kg lowers its CO2 emissions by 6 to 10 g for every kilometer driven. Consequently, the enhanced power of the press at voestalpine Automotive Components Schmölln is actively helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Huge press–hugely sustainable

The new, 3,000 ton press gives voestalpine Automotive Components Schmölln truly sustainable processing power. Its servo press technology allows the press to operate in an extremely resource-efficient manner.

"Thanks to intelligent construction and controls, when compared to its output, the new facility essentially consumes the same amount of energy as a conventional automatic punching press."
Ralf Gschweng, Head of Investment and Facilities Planning at voestalpine Automotive Components Dettingen GmbH & Co. KG.

“A key contributing factor to its lower energy consumption is the degree of freedom in the ram’s motion control, the so-called ram kinematics. Within its technological limits it is freely programmable, allowing, amongst others, throughput to be optimized whilst simultaneously increasing the energy efficiency.

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Resource-friendly facility

The new, gigantic press has numerous other features which serve to make it more resource-friendly:

  • Stand-by and automatic pauses for parts of the press not in use
  • Energy management to even out peak loads, achieved by storing energy internally using rotatory storage media (motors)
  • Fewer lossy elements (couplings, no link-drive mechanisms, flywheels, etc.)
  • Minimum-lubrication strip oiling system which only applies a thin oil film where necessary

Series production from 2020

The new press at voestalpine Automotive Components Schmölln begins series production from the start of 2020. Under real operating conditions, and depending upon the components being produced, it should bring energy savings of over 15% compared to conventional presses. In addition, depending on the component, the minimum quantity lubrication reduces the volume of oil required by up to 20%. And last but not least, the colossus even offers impressive savings in terms of physical space: it has a surface area almost a third smaller than a conventional press. That’s heavyweight resource protection!

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Sustainability with weight: the new transfer press at voestalpine Automotive Components Schmölln GmbH & Co. KG