Mitsubishi Motors opens stamping shop

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) has announced the opening of a new stamping shop in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

The opening of the facility follows the inauguration of the Santa Rosa plant in 2015 and represents an important step in Mitsubishi Motors’ plans to expand its presence in the fast-growing Philippine automotive market.
With a capacity to produce 35,000 units, in two shifts per year, the shop enables Mitsubishi Motors to scale-up local production of the Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan, or Attrage as it is known in other markets. MMPC’s stamping shop facility contains the biggest stamping machine in the Philippines, reflecting the commitment of Mitsubishi Motors to the localisation of automotive manufacturing in the country.
As the first car manufacturer to join the Philippine government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) programme, Mitsubishi Motors revealed that by 2023 MMPC will have produced 200,000 units of the Mirage and Mirage G4. Since its inauguration in January 2015, MMPC’s Santa Rosa plant has already created 600 additional jobs. The opening of the new stamping shop coincides with the announcement that Mitsubishi Motors has raised the local content of the Mirage to 35%, and will increase it further to fulfil a key requirement of the CARS program.
Commenting on the opening of the new shop, Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, MMPC president and CEO, says: “Our new stamping shop enables us to turn the aspiration of localised production into a reality, further building our presence in the Philippines, while at the same time strengthening our offering to consumers.”
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Press line equipped with robots

Martinrea has set a clear goal for itself: to be the world’s best auto-parts supplier.

To achieve its objective, the company and employer of roughly 15,000 people decided to equip its first large-scale press line in Mexico (at its facility in Silao) with a blank loader and multiple Crossbar Robot 4.0 units from Schuler, thereby gaining the ability to provide its customers with maximum flexibility.
The blank loader is suitable for outer skin parts. Here, the new optical line scanner from Schuler detects the precise position of the blanks before they are loaded into the first press. A Crossbar Robot then corrects the position as needed.
The Crossbar Robots 4.0 are the centrepiece of Martinrea’s press line in Silao. They transport parts directly from one press station to the next, and can accurately position the components for any die. Especially where multi-part components are produced, this flexibility delivers an important advantage.
Since the Crossbar Robot is hung on a track, it can cover distances of up to 12 m between press stations. Distances this large are mainly found on older lines, where space was provided for an unloading or turning station. This configuration means that the new Crossbar Robot can replace loading feeders, unloading feeders and part orientation stations in the gap between presses.
The Crossbar Robot is based on a six-axis industrial robot that was expanded by Schuler to include two additional axes: one for the hand of the robot arm and one for the horizontal drive. This enhancement significantly increases the robot’s range of motion, flexibility and output.
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Combined services for North America

Staufen and Schuler are now offering their combined services in North America. The international specialists work as a single team to provide consulting services and process optimisation for press shops across the USA and Canada.

Process improvement experts from Staufen, together with their counterparts from Schuler, analyse all press shop processes in order to maximise added value. Based on a so-called ‘Quick Check’, untapped potential is identified and leveraged. Then, Staufen consultants and Schuler experts work together to improve the whole value stream of the press shop. Focus topics are process optimisations (such as OEE improvements), die-change optimisation and the implementation of TPM, as well as set-up time and output and logistics optimisations.
With this co-operation, Staufen and Schuler have already analysed many press shops at different customers all over the world. They discovered that the equipment utilisation rate was less than 50% in some cases. The main reasons were wrong or poorly dimensioned tooling, long change-over times, poor system set-ups or bad material feeding.
Based on the specific customer’s results, an individual action plan was developed and its implementation started. Thus, KPIs like OEE, productivity and efficiency were improved significantly.
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Safe clamping of heavy dies

At the MACH exhibition in Birmingham, UK earlier this month, Roemheld introduced a range of wedge clamping elements with patented safety bolts designed to attach a die set to the table and ram of a power press securely, regardless of whether the tool edges are straight or angled.

A positive locking action allows even a heavy upper die to remain in place during maintenance or if the clamping pressure drops. The clamps move automatically, making them easy to operate, while a position control feature verifies closure and release, and reports if no die has been placed or if the edge is incorrectly set.
The system consists of a hydraulic cylinder block and a bolt guided within a housing; the bolt having a contact surface angled at 20°. A projection on the bolt and a corresponding recess along the die edge ensure positive locking if the hydraulic pressure holding the upper die should fail.
Adapter plates for simple attachment to existing dies make the retrofitting process trouble-free. The wedge clamping elements, with single or dual action, exert a force from 25 to 1250 kN. They are available to suit straight and angled die edges, and are designed in a variety of styles, allowing customers to configure clamping arrangements using a range of options. Modular construction permits cost-effective production of the elements, high availability and short delivery times, says Roemheld.
Permanent lubrication gives the clamps virtually maintenance-free operation. Due to their robust design, they are able to withstand high temperatures and soiling, and offer long service life. On request, multi-layer coatings can be applied to the bolts and housings, reducing wear in challenging applications.
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Latest press-hardening technology selected

Germany-based Gedia Automotive Group has been developing and manufacturing cold-formed body and chassis parts for the car industry for over 50 years. In order to meet growing demand for structural parts with low weight and high crashworthiness, the company decided to invest in the latest press-hardening technology from AP&T.

“Gedia wanted to find a partner that could offer market-leading production solutions as well as help develop the company’s press-hardening expertise,” says AP&T’s general manager in Germany, Michael Hunger. “Since the very start, we have worked together to achieve the high level of flexibility, availability and quality that Gedia and its customers want to attain.”
To date, AP&T has installed three complete press hardening lines at Gedia’s facilities in Germany and Poland. Among other things, the equipment includes the latest generation of AP&T’s Multi-Layer Furnace (MLF) and press-hardening tools. The lines are equipped with a sensor-based system that gives full control over the heating and cooling process, which is decisive in terms of ensuring each part obtains the exact properties and quality that are desired. Advanced process monitoring enables the high demands on quality imposed by car manufacturers and, for example, the CQI-9 standard to be met.
A high degree of flexibility and scalability are important to Gedia. AP&T’s MLF is said to enable optimised capacity utilisation. More layers can be used if production increases; if it decreases, heating can be limited to fewer levels, which also saves energy.
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