Product Details Supplier Info More products

Automobile parts supplier Baosteel has ordered a blanking line from Schuler for its facility in Changchun, China, to provide flexible and dynamic processing of steel and aluminium coils.

The new line will also allow the manufacturer to supply aluminium blanks – a product in growing demand for the production of premium cars in China.

The fact that similar lines from Schuler with coil-feed line, high-performance roll-feed unit and stackers are already in use at facilities in Europe was a factor in Baosteel’s investment decision.

The company wants to guarantee international car manufacturers in China that it can supply the blank quality they require and are used to from Europe.

Whenever body panels are produced for cars, the first stage of the forming process is always the production of sheet-metal blanks.

Various blank sizes are first cut out of a coil of sheet metal and then formed into doors or engine hoods in a second production stage.

Blanking lines play an important role for the overall process – poor surface quality of the blanks cannot be corrected at a later stage.

Moreover, this first production step has an impact on the economic efficiency of the entire process.

Robin Reid, who was responsible for the overall concept of the new blanking lines at Schuler, said: ‘Baosteel’s customers in China also produce models known from Europe.

‘Obviously, these car manufacturers also want their suppliers to use identical processes for the production of blanks.

‘This helps guarantee the required premium quality of the finished body panels,’ Reid added.

At the same time, the new machine generation stands for a jump in blank production output; increases of up to 50 per cent are possible compared with older lines.

This has been made possible by the synchronisation of all components in the line.

The coil-feed line and roll-feed unit at the beginning of the line and Stop2drop stackers at the end are all adapted to the movement curve of the programmable servo presses.

Schuler’s servo technology has also proved to be a suitable drive for a line that, if required, can also process aluminium – a highly sensitive material.

The cutting speed can be adjusted to the material strength or to the quality of the dies used.

Output remains high, however, as the monoblock servo press with a press force of 800 metric tons can draw on the ability to program the slide’s movement curve during the actual cutting process.

The cut itself happens extremely quickly, while the movement of the slide during material transport is slowed down.

Schuler said the system therefore ensures high output levels.

The line is expected to go into operation at Baosteel’s Changchun facility in spring 2012.

View full profile