China’s automotive sector continues to anticipate an expansion in demand, and that is spurring significant expansions and new capacity installations among the automakers there and their dedicated suppliers. This is among the reasons that China has been one of the most significant sources of new equipment orders for forging machinery builders, as demonstrated again recently by Schuler.
Chongqing Lianhao Technology, a manufacturer of automotive parts like gear shafts, rotors, stators, pumps, and motor housings, ordered four mechanical forging lines from Schuler. The multi-station mechanical presses with a link drive will offer a range of forging options, with press forces between 8,000 and 20,000 kilonewtons. According to the press builder, the new machines will be used to form drivetrain and chassis components, like bevel gears or transmission shafts.
Schuler multi-station presses are single-slide or multi-slide designs and available in capacities of 2,500 to 60,000 kN (280 to 6,750 tons) of forming power. The customer is offered an option for part transport by a mechanical or electric rail transfer system.
For the operators of these systems, the advantages are very high production rates with high levels of machine availability. More than that, the systems can be individually adjusted at each station according to the requirements of the production order. The design includes an externally facing blanking side, for integrated production of blank parts.
For the Chongqing Lianhao Technology order, Schuler is adapting its MML2 mechanical press design to the customer’s requirements. The installation will have a stroke range from 250 to 800 millimeters, so the four presses with a link drive (optionally available with ServoDirect technology) will be well suited to mass production of drive and chassis components in a large variety of sizes – from bevel gears to transmission shafts.
According to Schuler, the link kinematics will reduce the forming speed, thereby increasing the quality of the parts and the formability of the material. The link drive system (developed by Schuler) for the MML2 can be optimized to the forming requirements of individual components during the design of the press, and it can be adapted to both cold and warm forging.
The four lines will be delivered to China for installation in the first half of 2018. Manufacturing and assembly will take place in Göppingen and Erfurt, Germany.
“Our colleagues here will also be responsible for the technical aspects of the product and design of the system. This demonstrates how important this site is for the Schuler Group,” according to Markus Bieg, head of Schuler’s Industry Division in Weingarten, Germany.
“Economical manufacturing of parts in large volumes is only possible by optimal coordination of the equipment, process technology know-how, and tool technology,” Bieg said. “At Schuler, this knowledge is combined with years of experience. The result: the particular expertise for implementing efficient, complete solutions – like the MML2 press series.”