Feintool U.S. Operations, a manufacturer of drivetrain parts like clutch plates, disc carriers, planetary carriers, pistons, drive plates, and guide discs, and various others, recognized that its automotive customers needed a source of precision-formed parts for the new eight-, nine-, and 10-speed transmissions they are adopting for new fuel-saving vehicle designs. That initiative led to the co-development — with Schuler AG — and construction of a new type of fineblanking press, one that incorporates hydraulic power and CNC controls to achieve greater forming precision and higher throughput.
The estimated $14-million project combined the expertise of both companies. The Fineblanking & Forming System (FFS™) is a machine of such impressive scale (an 18-ft-long working bed, a foundation to house the hydraulic power unit) that it could only be assembled on site. The FFS started operation in March, but sources at Feintool anticipate it will not be the last production line of its type to supply automakers’ need for precision parts.