Metal detector

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU are developing new techniques for monitoring and eliminating faults on metal sheets during production.


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Chemnitz, Germany, are developing new techniques for monitoring and eliminating faults on metal sheets during production.



The rising cost of manufacturing lighter and more durable metal sheets has led to a demand for greater accuracy in the production process. IWU experts have addressed this issue by creating a system that uses sensors to consistently supervise deep-drawing and forming processes.



The system transmits data from sensors to a computer that compares values to previously specified target data. If any deviations occur, researchers are able to make adjustments during the deep-drawing or forming process using elastic tools and tool-integrated piezo elements.



IWU researcher Sören Scheffler said: ‘As we are able to detect process fluctuations at an early stage, we can significantly reduce the reject rate. What’s more, we can recognise faulty parts and separate them out immediately. This fully automatic process supervision perfectly complements the subsequent manual quality inspection.’



The process, which has been termed the Fraunhofer technique, is being tested using a prototype model. The technique can be used in a variety of processes that involve the handling of metal sheets such as car manufacturing and the production of consumer goods.



Researchers will demonstrate the process using a sample tool at the Euroblech trade fair in Hanover later this month.