Initial situation

Initial situation

In the forging industry the biggest part of production costs are material costs. In forging, different processes are used to get the final shape. Some processes e. g. machining have a bad material utilization. To raise the competitiveness of SMEs, one approach is to improve the material utilization by decreasing scrap material (flash, chips).

The whole European forging industry employed around 68 thousand people in 2011, producing more than 6 billion tons of forgings with an annular turnover of about 12 billion €. Important customers of the forging industry are, apart from the automotive industry, companies active in the medical and aerospace sector, especially for forged parts made of stainless steel and titanium. In Europe these companies are mainly small and medium sized.

Approximately two thirds of all forging parts are long pieces. For a mass distribution of long pieces CWR is the favorable preforming technology. Furthermore it is the most efficient technology because the material utilization reaches up to 100 %. But it is not yet scientifically and industrially as far developed as other technologies. Especially the CWR of valuable materials is quite unknown to the forges. Therefore CWR is the technology which this project focuses on. To enable the SMEs to use CWR with flat wedge tools in an independent machine and to investigate the rolled parts by thermography, in summary the need for R&D is basically given in

–     the development of the CWR process, including investigation of new materials (titanium, stainless steels) and adjustments on simulation models afterwards,
–     the generation of an easy and general applicable layout method to enable the SME to use this technology afterwards with little effort only,
–     the development and construction of an independent and highly economic CWR-machine using flat wedge tools,
–     the development of a process monitoring using thermography to detect defects and ensure a stable process by temperature measurement,
–     the investigation of limitations of producible work piece geometries by CWR or the limitations of this technology to new materials.

To overcome different scientific obstacles occurring at the implementation of a new CWR process, the 3 RTD performers included in the consortium have experience and excellence in different areas needed for the successful completion of the development.