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The Schuler Group recently received an order from a major Chinese car and truck manufacturing group seeking to expand its product range with a forging press line for larger trucks.

Starting in the first quarter of 2011, the fully automatic line will ensure high output and forging quality of parts weighing up to 250kg.

‘The line will turn out a crankshaft in just 50 seconds, and the front axle of a truck in just 60 seconds,’ said Jochen Frueh, head of the solid forming division within the Schuler Group.

The multi-stage forging process is controlled automatically: after heating in the line’s induction furnace, a robot transports the part to a stretching roller, which gives it its basic shape.

It is then formed with a press force of 16,000 tonf (160MN) by the main forging press, supplied by Mueller Weingarten, a subsidiary of the Schuler Group.

After this, another robot feeds the pre-formed axle or crankshaft into a Schuler hydraulic press.

Trimming and calibrating operations with a press force of 2,000 tonf (20MN) give the part its final shape.

The third robot of the forging line finally places the part on a conveyor system.

‘The customer has been producing axles for pick-ups on a fully automatic forging press line of Mueller Weingarten since 1996,’ said Frueh.

‘Due to the experience made with this line, the company has now decided to also place the follow-up order with us,’ he added.

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