Daimler AG just ordered for its Mercedes-Benz facility in Kuppenheim (Germany) two Laser Blanking Lines from technological leader in forming equipment Schuler. The two lines cut blanks out of a moving sheet metal coil which are then formed into car body parts in further steps. As fiber lasers are used for the cutting process, no dies are required – in contrast to conventional blanking lines.
The flexible blanking method means there is no more need for procurement and handling of blanking dies. Product changes can be made almost without any set-up time – simply by loading the corresponding cutting program. Additionally, material can be saved by optimizing nesting: If more shaped blanks can be cut from the same surface area, this Production launch scheduled for fall 2016.
“An important argument was also the fact that both lines can do without a basement and elaborate press foundations,” explains Schuler Managing Director Stephan Mergner: “In contrast to blanking presses with dies.” The two Laser Blanking Lines are due to be installed in November 2015 and production launch has been scheduled for fall 2016.
At the heart of the line is a laser cell with three simultaneously operating fiber lasers. To ensure maximum production output, the blanks are cut from a moving sheet metal coil (DynamicFlow Technology). Each line is also equipped with a coil line with automatic cassette change and straightener with crowning capability, in order to balance out quality fluctuations in the coil stock, and a robot-aided transfer station for scrap separation with automated tool changing.
Of particular importance for flawless outer panel blanks: the cleaning device for improving surface quality. With its automatic stop setting, the Stop2Drop stacking unit is also very gentle on the finished blanks. The shaped blanks are subsequently used to produce car body parts for the Daimler Group’s latest models – on a press line also supplied by Schuler.