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Siempelkamp supplies a multi-function press for the research of hybrid lightweight structural components

News International-French

4 Nov 2014

The Krefeld machine and plant manufacturer Siempelkamp will supply a 2,500t press to Open Hybrid Lab Factory e.V.

This Public Private Partnership, established in 2012, carries out collaborative research for industry and science on the topics: material development, concepts and production technologies for hybrid lightweight structural components. The objective of the project is to research a solution for the mass production of hybrid lightweight structural components. Siempelkamp, as a full member, is supplying the heart of the entire research project, - a newly developed hybrid press.

New products require new manufacturing processes. For production testing of hybrid lightweight structural components used in the automobile, aerospace and general machine engineering industries, Siempelkamp developed an innovative technology. The 2,500t press allows the forming of organosheets as well as the manufacture of fiber-reinforced composites using the RTM and the SMC process. The press can also be utilized for deep-drawing and hot forming of various materials. Another technical highlight: By means of a special extruder the hybrid components can also be back-molded for the manufacture of large high-strength components.

"Such a press has never been built to date," explains Dr. Michael Schöler, head of Siempelkamp’s research department and initiator of the project at Siempelkamp. "This press is unique regarding its function and technology!" Four cylinders with a pressing capacity of 625 t each allow press speeds of up to 800 mm/second. Accuracies in the +/- 0.05 mm range are achieved. The die cushion applies a force of 1,000 t. Another feature: The moving beam with a dimension of 2,000 x 2,500 mm2 can be tilted by 5°. Thus, the material can be optimally distributed in the press area.

Immediately after startup, the new press will be utilized in Wolfsburg, Germany, within the framework of the research project "ProVorPlus". "ProVorPlus", which will officially start on November 1, 2014, researches functionally integrated process technologies for the prefabrication of FVK metal hybrids. Siempelkamp will develop the suitable press system technology for the manufacture of lightweight material hybrids and incorporate such a solution in this collaborative research project.  

Lightweight material hybrid components for mass production
OHLF has the objective to develop a solution that allows the large-scale production of hybrid materials. Hybrids in this case are components made from various materials. The goal here is to achieve maximum strength with as little material as possible. An example: An unfinished vehicle body, which is made of 200 to 300 individual components and various materials today is to be manufactured from 20 to 30 hybrid components in the future. This not only saves material but also reduces production time. Another objective for Open Hybrid Lab Factory e.V. (OHLF) is to research which material combinations achieve the best material properties and strength.

The lightweight material research factory Open Hybrid Lab Factory in Wolfsburg incorporates a 799 m2 laboratory, a 2,500 m2 technical center, and 4,692 m2 of office space. Here, scientists of the Technical University of Braunschweig, the Fraunhofer Institute, Volkswagen, Siempelkamp and other industrial companies including Engel, Magna, BASF, DowAkza and Thyssen-Krupp research in a joint effort the development of hybrid materials. Chairman of OHLF is Prof. Dr. Werner Neubauer who is responsible for the business area of 'components' at Volkswagen. The start-up funding for this large project was provided by the German Federal Government in 2013. Additional financing will become available from the members and promoters of this project.

"We are proud to be part of such an important research project. With our press we will significantly contribute to the research of a promising product," says Dr. Schöler. The installation of the Siempelkamp press in Wolfsburg is scheduled for October 2015.

Siempelkamp's multi-function press, part of a research project regarding hybrid lightweight structural components, will become part of the research complex Open Hybrid Lab Factory in Wolfsburg.

About Siempelkamp:
The Siempelkamp Group is a technology supplier operating internationally and consisting of three business units: the machine and plant engineering, the foundry technology, and the nuclear technology business unit. Siempelkamp machine and plant engineering is a systems supplier of press lines and complete plants for the wood-based panel industry, the metal forming industry as well as the composite and rubber industry. The Siempelkamp foundry is the world’s largest hand-molding foundry producing castings with a weight of up to 320 t (353 US tons). Siempelkamp nuclear technology is a component supplier and service provider for nuclear facilities.