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Schuler Systems is utilising the capabilities of its Servodirect technology to integrate downstream processes, such as capacitor discharge welding, into the metalforming stage.

Stephan Paul, head of process consulting in Schuler’s blanking and forming systems division, said: ‘We have succeeded in integrating downstream processes into the forming stage with a high degree of reliability.

‘The key factor is our ability to freely program the time-motion sequence of a servo press, in contrast to conventional presses.

‘In addition to stroke height, forming speeds, opening speeds and transport times, we can now program rest phases at any point in the cycle.

‘Downstream processes, such as welding, can then be carried out during this rest phase,’ he added.

Process reliability is also guaranteed at all times.

All process-relevant variables, such as welding current, welding duration and welding force are constantly evaluated.

If all values meet the pre-defined settings, the welding control system gives the servo press the signal to continue.

In order to produce a complete part or component, it is often necessary to connect one part with another or to attach a weld nut.

This welding operation is generally carried out by manual welding machines or automated welding cells.

However, this requires subsequent palletisation and logistics after the forming process.

Formed parts are very often stored temporarily and then taken to the downstream welding station – costing both time and effort.

By using Servodirect technology and intelligent die concepts, it is now possible to economically integrate welding jobs and other downstream processes and therefore considerably shorten the process chain.

This eliminates the need for subsequent transport, storage and production steps.

At Schuler’s Technology Days in May 2010, around 150 customers were given a live demonstration of a welding process integrated into the forming die of a Schuler servo press.

A capacitor discharge welding process was used, as it is ideally suited to the welding of high-strength materials.

The part produced during the live demonstration on Schuler’s servo press was welded in just seven milliseconds, during which time a weld nut was attached.

That corresponds to a total output of around 60 strokes per minute.

Further downstream processes – such as injection moulding, laser processing or the mechanical joining of parts – can also be reliably integrated into the forming stage with the aid of Schuler’s Servodirect technology.

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