voestalpine Camtec extends the Life of Cam Units 3 minutes spent reading

voestalpine Camtec extends the Life of Cam Units

Christopher Eberl
Christopher Eberl is editorially responsible for the topics on the blog as well as for the apprentice website. With his stories he provides deep insights into the diverse world of the voestalpine Group.

Longer useful lives and optimized reliability: voestalpine Camtec GmbH successfully works to ensure that its premium products are used with care. This voestalpine Group company has carried out research projects on the longevity of its cam units in collaboration with its customers.

Cam units are premium products of voestalpine Camtec GmbH. They are indispensable to state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing, because they make it possible to efficiently redirect forces during the production of complex parts. A successful research and development project helped to prolong the cam units’ service life and simplify maintenance.

Retraction with Feeling

The cam units of voestalpine Camtec are used in the automotive industry, especially in situations where structural and outer panel components are subject to stringent requirements. This happens, for instance, when a string of operations involves stamping, rounding off, and sideways punching.

"In addition to being particularly maintenance friendly, our cam units are designed to enable highest work and retraction forces and have long useful lives. We see to that, for example, by cushioning dynamic stresses,"
says Bernhard Lackner, Design Engineer, voestalpine Camtec GmbH.

Based on joint research carried out with ACE Stoßdämpfer GmbH (a company in Langenfeld, Germany), Camtec’s experts decided to use special dampers made of copolyester elastomer. These dampers protect the structural components of the cam unit whenever gas pressure springs move it back to its initial position after every stroke—in some cases, this occurs more than a million times over a cam unit’s service life.


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Dampers Protect

voestalpine’s researchers and developers tested the power of this new configuration in their own pilot plant in Linz, Austria. “This involved comparing the previous model’s dampening properties and useful life with that of the new tubus dampers,” is how Bernhard Lackner summarizes the process. “We were able to determine that the new dampening elements help to mobilize much more input energy.”

In addition, the new dampers also provide special benefits with respect to maintenance. The fact that they are now screwed into the cam unit instead of being glued into it means that they can be replaced more quickly during maintenance.
The design engineers are contemplating digital solutions to optimize maintenance processes yet further. For instance, sensors could take up data during production that would make it possible to determine maintenance cycles on an as-needed basis. voestalpine Camtec has yet more options when it comes to cam unit innovations!

voestalpine Camtec & Cam Units

voestalpine Camtec GmbH is part of the Steel Division of voestalpine AG. The company was created in 2017 out of a department of voestalpine Gießerei Linz GmbH. Cam units, Camtec’s core product, are the jokers in the production of increasingly complex automotive components. When auto body sheet metal parts are pressed, for example, cam units redirect the vertical mechanical force in the desired direction.

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Outcome of close collaboration: optimized cam units made of very few, maintenance-friendly components.

Christopher Eberl