Sheet metal forming & assembly
|We assist you in the engineering of parts. It all starts with a feasibility and cost evaluation of your future design. Optimisation studies are generally conducted by means of finite element modelling. If required, we recommend the best suited grade or propose product design changes to ensure optimal formability, after which the actual part can even be made in-house for real life testing or validation.|
|We are able to shape parts and prototypes out of metal sheet, mainly carbon steel, stainless steel or aluminium, with thicknesses ranging from 0.3 mm to over 3 mm. We have experience in different forming technologies, for instance in incremental forming (PDF 1,03 MB). Incremental forming of metal sheet consists of a series of local forming operations leading to the final geometry of the part without the need for expensive tools or dies. This allows for rapid and economic production of prototypes and small series. Coordinate measurements can evaluate the dimensional tolerance of a finished prototype. Watch the movie on rapid prototyping (WMV 2,79 MB).|
Other forming technologies we specialise in:
- Deep drawing: in addition to deep drawing feasibility simulations, hydraulic triple action presses are available to further optimise industrialisation of full series. Using a modular tooling set-up, we can make deep drawing affordable for low volume production.
- Rubber forming: this technology is comparable to deep drawing, replacing blank holder and punch by a reusable rubber cushion, further reducing tooling cost.
- Hydroforming: comparable to deep drawing, using hydraulic fluid instead of a punch, resulting in a lower tooling investment cost. By increasing the hydraulic pressure, the fluid pushes the blank against the die into the desired shape.
- Other: punching, bending, hammering, etc.
|We also handle trimming and finishing of the part. Once a part is made, flanges are removed by 3D laser cutting. Other cutting possibilities are 2D laser cutting, 2D wire spark erosion, CNC turning and milling, plasma and waterjet cutting. If requested, we can do surface finishing operations such as painting in our coating lab. For assembly of different components, there is a wide range of joining technologies available. Welding processes (PDF 380 kB) include laser, plasma, MIG/MAG and TIG welding, spot and stud welding, Cold Metal Transfer (CMT) welding and brazing. All welds can be characterised, for example using our X-ray inspection system with computed tomography (CT) for non-destructive research. In addition to welding, mechanical joining techniques are possible: clinching and riveting, screwing, adhesive bonding.|