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23 03 2017 02

Laser beams instead of heavy dies: Daimler has commissioned two laser blanking lines at its Kuppenheim plant. Both the lines, which are meant for the serial production of compact vehicles, can be changed instantly to another cutting style at the touch of a button. The programming of the contours is done offline and can be simulated for production optimisation. By dispensing with the dependence of heavy dies, the pressing plant is optimally prepared for different types of upcoming car models in the next years.

Three laser heads, working in tandem, cut contours in the system at a speed of more than 100 m/min from a continuously fed steel or aluminum sheet directly from the coil. This will yield surface-sensitive pre-cut parts for mudguard, side parts, roofs or engine hoods. The conveyor moves through the system at a speed of up to 60m/min. The cut blanks are separated from scrap and stacked continuously. In addition, two modern Schuler press lines in the hall form these pre-cut blanks into chassis parts, which then are assembled in adjacent Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant.

This high flexibility of cut programming offers various options with regard to geometry. The premium OEM has already started to exploit the potential of savings materials or optimising the forming process. Even production efficiency can be achieved in future with laser-optimised blanks, and best possible contours can be developed.

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