First tool for phs-directform®

Construction of the new voestalpine production facility for the innovative field of hot forming is well underway. Production operations in the world's first line for the direct hot forming of phs-directform® are scheduled to begin in Schwäbisch Gmünd in the summer of 2016. The press tool must be installed in the production line before any parts can be pressed.

Development and manufacturing of the first press tool for the direct process are in the experienced hands of voestalpine. The specialists at voestalpine Polynorm GmbH in Schwäbisch Gmünd are very familiar with the demands placed on phs tools.

Over the past ten years, toolmaking specialists have made more than 100 tools for the indirect hot-forming production method phs-ultraform®. Now they are working hard on getting the new tool generation completed for the direct phs process.

Forming, cutting and hardening in a single step

The engineering has long been completed, and now the tool manufacturing phase is in full swing.

Tools were developed in close collaboration with customers from the automotive industry. Construction standards had to be newly defined, and a cooling system had to be fitted into the gigantic 21-ton tool. New tool steels developed by voestalpine subsidiaries have to be used because of the high demands placed on the tool. In the future, components will be formed, cut and press-hardened in a single step. The new tool will be completed at the same time that construction of the new production line is concluded.

With its phs technology, voestalpine offers a combination of everything tomorrow's markets will have to offer in a combination heretofore not achieved in the industry: press-hardened components with the cathodic corrosion protection of strip-galvanized steel sheet and a wide variety of material and/or thickness combinations through the use of laser-welded blanks.

Areas of application of the direct method:

The direct process is optimal for small numbers of produced parts and for component geometries that are not too complex.