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voestalpine Camtec extends the Life of Cam Units

voestalpine Camtec extends the Life of Cam Units

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.

in a voestalpine Polynorm factory hall, car parts made of newly developed hot-dip galvanized body steel are transported on a conveyor belt
In this article

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.

in a voestalpine Polynorm factory hall, car parts made of newly developed hot-dip galvanized body steel are transported on a conveyor belt

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

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.

Slider description: Compactness with low complexity, strong retraction forces, patented 1 inch bevel, convincing manufacturing quality, can be flexibly removed, hardened sliding surfaces

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!

Exploded view shows all components of a gate valve developed by camtec and voestalpine 

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.

Exploded view with components of a slider: locking plate, locking plate, gas pressure spring, driver, sliding plate, lock out screw, lock out sleeve, forced retraction, slider part, stop, tube damper, sliding plates, guide clamp, slider bed, feather key
Outcome of close collaboration: optimized cam units made of very few, maintenance-friendly components.
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Die voestalpine ist ein weltweit führender Stahl- und Technologiekonzern mit kombinierter Werkstoff- und Verarbeitungskompetenz. Die global tätige Unternehmensgruppe verfügt über rund 500 Konzerngesellschaften und -standorte in mehr als 50 Ländern auf allen fünf Kontinenten. Sie notiert seit 1995 an der Wiener Börse. Mit ihren Premium-Produkt- und Systemlösungen zählt sie zu den führenden Partnern der Automobil- und Hausgeräteindustrie sowie der Luftfahrt- und Öl- & Gasindustrie und ist darüber hinaus Weltmarktführer bei Bahninfrastruktursystemen, bei Werkzeugstahl und Spezialprofilen. Die voestalpine bekennt sich zu den globalen Klimazielen und verfolgt mit greentec steel einen klaren Plan zur Dekarbonisierung der Stahlproduktion.