Ningbo Xusheng Auto Technology Co., Ltd., an automotive supplier in China, commissioned a new die forging press line at its facility in the Zhejiang province. The new line enables the company to expand its production capacities and also serve the growing market for high-end forged aluminum chassis components in the automotive market, especially for electric vehicles.
The fully automatic forging line supplied by SMS group consists of an MP 2500 eccentric forging press and, as a pre-forming unit, an automatic forging roll. The eccentric press operates with a maximum press force of 25 MN.
The new line produces high-quality aluminum forgings in maximum cycle times of five seconds. Excellent mechanical properties and a uniform microstructure of the aluminum forgings are indispensable requirements to guarantee the safe production of mass-produced automobile chassis parts. This requires processing within a very narrow temperature window. Therefore, all process steps must be perfectly coordinated and aligned with one another.
With support of a specific simulation software, SMS cooperated with Ningbo Xusheng to jointly develop the technology and the dies for the aluminum forging process. The forging roll pre-forms heated stock into a predetermined shape applying a nominal rolling force of 1,250 kN. Thanks to the optimal distribution of material within the forging, this pre-forming step significantly enhances material efficiency in the subsequent forging operation.
As the components go through several forging sequences in the fully automatic press, the components are precisely handled by an automatic electric walking-beam system — which was also part of the SMS supply.
Specifically for Ningbo Xusheng, SMS group developed a function-optimized spray lubrication system. Three newly designed, 3D-printed spray heads markedly enhance the effectiveness and reliability of die lubrication. Thanks to the possibilities provided by 3D printing, the spray nozzles inside the spray heads are arranged in a way that guarantees perfect lubrication of all die contours.
In addition, the change-over times between different products is very short. This is due to the tool handling device and changing arm, which are able to quickly and efficiently swap out tools.