(847) 934-4500

Contact us today:

Category Archives: Schuler

Reliable on-site service for Laser Blanking Lines

Customers can receive fast and efficient support for the new technology from local Schuler employees in the Americas

In the Americas, too, customers can receive fast and efficient support for the Schuler Laser Blanking Lines. © Schuler

The German press manufacturer Schuler has numerous manufacturing and service locations worldwide. This ensures that customers can receive fast and efficient support from local Schuler employees. In the Americas, for example, there are sites in the USA, Mexico, and Brazil, ready to support one of the company’s latest innovations: the Laser Blanking Line.

Laser blanking makes it possible to manufacture blanks completely without dies. Instead of using presses or shears, the geometries are cut by two or three high-precision laser heads. This has several advantages: no dies, die change, die storage or die maintenance, but also no costly press foundation and no loop pit. The technological development of laser performance, combined with intelligent line automation, enables Schuler to achieve cutting speeds of up to 100 meters per minute (approx. 328 ft/min).

The design of a Laser Blanking Line is very similar to a conventional press cutting line. “Simply said, the press is only replaced by a laser cell,” explains Oswald Schoenberger, Product Manager for Laser Blanking Lines. “Operators who already have experience with conventional blanking lines can learn to handle the system very quickly, but even the ones without blanking experience the system can be operated intuitively and reliably after completing our training program,” he continues.

Programming the lasers also requires no process know-how thanks to LBL Studio. The offline program is so intelligent that cutting contours for new parts are automatically created based on CAD files. The optimal cutting distribution of the lasers is taken into account and reliable predictions about the output can be calculated in advance. Of course, changes can be made manually at any time.

With several lines around the world and production experience since 2012, Schuler is by far the leader in terms of laser blanking lines. “This is also related to our strong local service,” explains Telvi Zanin, Vice President of Service. In addition to Europe and Asia, Schuler also has long established service and manufacturing locations in North America. Schuler Inc. was founded in 1978 in Columbus, Ohio, and now has its headquarters close to Detroit in Canton, Michigan.

“With our team of 80 qualified service employees we are ready to provide high quality technical support to all our customers in North America”, says Telvi. A team from the U.S. has been sent to the product centers in Europe to join the in-house assembly where they can learn firsthand the laser blanking technology. “Our trained employees can thus react quickly and provide optimal on-site service”, says Telvi. “In addition, remote service like with Schuler Connect offers the possibility of immediate assistance from our headquarters in Canton, Michigan or from our experts in Germany if required – for established products as well as for innovations such as the Laser Blanking Line.”


For more information, please visit:

www.schulergroup.com/laserblanking

About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

Schuler offers customized cutting-edge technology in all areas of forming—from the networked press to press shop planning. In addition to presses, our products include automation and software solutions, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Our customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies in the forging, household appliance and electrical engineering industries. Presses from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. When it comes to the digital transformation of forming technology, we support our customers worldwide as a supplier of innovative system solutions. Founded in 1839 at our headquarters in Göppingen, Germany, Schuler AG has approx. 5,000 employees at production sites in Europe, China and the Americas, as well as service companies in more than 40 countries. The company is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:

Guido Broder, Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Schuler Incorporated
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA
734-207-7200
Guido.Broder@schulergroup.com

Continue reading
New Schuler building

Smart Press Shop Takes Shape at Porsche

Fully networked servo press line for joint venture between Porsche and Schuler to be put into operation in 2021

Canton, Michigan, January 14, 2021 – The first major members of Smart Press Shop GmbH have arrived at the Star Park industrial area in Halle (Saxony-Anhalt). These are the components for a ServoLine 20, induction press and laser blanking line, which is to be put into operation in 2021 in the state-of-the-art press shop of the joint venture between Porsche and Schuler. In this newly emerging press shop, the body parts of the Porsche Macan II are pressed, followed by assembly at the body shop in the Porsche plant in Leipzig.

Crossbar Feeder Schuler

The press line with an output of up to 20 strokes per minute (for example 40 doors, 80 fenders) has numerous intelligent functions from the Industry 4.0 kit by Schuler.

For example, cameras monitor the drawn edge of the shaped components. Under consistent conditions in the forming process, the shape and size of this drawn edge remain largely the same. If there is a change here, it indicates a deviation in material properties, lubrication or pulling forces. Process monitoring is used to inform the plant operator, so corrections can be made at an early stage to avoid expensive scrap/rework parts to a large extent.

The camera-based tool monitoring “Visual Die Protection” controls the correct attachment of connections, detects foreign objects such as wrenches or punch residues in the tool and checks whether the parts have been inserted, reshaped and removed correctly. In the event of a registered deviation from the target state, the press stops immediately to avoid costly consequential damage in the tool.

The oil circulating in the system is continuously monitored to determine the aging of the lubricant. The aim is to change the oil only when its condition really requires it, which significantly increases the useful life. In addition, lubricating oil monitoring allows detection of short-term changes in oil properties, for example indicating contamination with water or foreign particles.

The documentation of the entire system is also available in digital form. This saves employees from spending time searching. The files are available from each control station with HMI and screen as well as from mobile devices that all employees of the Smart Press Shop carry. For faster identification, electrical and fluid components of the system are equipped with a DMC code.


About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

Schuler offers customer-specific cutting-edge technology in all areas of forming technology – from the networked press to press shop planning. In addition to presses, the product portfolio also includes automation and software solutions, tools, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Customers include automotive manufacturers and suppliers as well as companies from the forging, household appliances and electrical industries. Presses from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. As a provider of innovative system solutions, we support our customers worldwide in the digital transformation of forming technology. In the 2019 financial year, Schuler generated sales of 1.136 billion euros. Schuler AG, founded in 1839 at its headquarters in Göppingen (Germany), is represented with approximately 6,000 employees at production sites in Europe, China and America as well as service companies in more than 40 countries. The majority of the company is part of the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:

Guido Broder, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Schuler Incorporated
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA
734-207-7200
Guido.Broder@schulergroup.com

Continue reading

Schuler Accepts High One-Off Burdens on 2019 Earnings for Future Concept

With products like servo press lines, Schuler reached consolidated sales of € 1.136 billion in 2019. © Schuler

With products like servo press lines, Schuler reached consolidated sales of € 1.136 billion in 2019. © Schuler

As expected, the strategic realignment of press manufacturer Schuler resulted in high one-off burdens on earnings in 2019. Due to cyclical effects, new orders were down but performed much better than the German machine tool industry as a whole. Consolidated sales reached € 1.136 billion (prior year: € 1.212 billion). Earnings before interest, taxes and goodwill amortization (EBITA) fell to minus € 75.5 million (plus € 45.3 million).

As part of its future concept, Schuler invested heavily in 2019 in the restructuring of its manufacturing sites; in its focus on core competencies in press construction, automation and service; and in the strengthening of the Group’s innovation capabilities. The company has thus responded to the far-reaching structural changes taking place in the global automotive industry.

“Group’s inner strength permits extensive realignment”

“As a press manufacturer, Schuler is part of the dramatic transformation of the global automobile industry toward electromobility, autonomous vehicles, and digital networking. In 2019, we identified and began to implement the resulting strategic and structural consequences for our company,” stated CEO Domenico Iacovelli at the presentation of the company’s results for fiscal year 2019 in Göppingen, Germany.

“This obviously had a significant impact on earnings. However, there was no alternative. Schuler has the financial strength, the global footprint, and the technological quality to be able to withstand such a one-off burden for the workforce, the balance sheet, and earnings in a market environment characterized by challenging transformation processes and political risks. This makes us confident that we can expand our leading position in metalforming technology in the medium term and thus achieve better results once again,” added Iacovelli.

Normal operating business slightly profitable

Together with the previously announced writedowns on the intangible goodwill of subsidiaries AWEBA and Yadon, the structural measures to realign the company amounting to € 84 million, and other one-off items, Schuler recognized negative special items of almost € 96 million in 2019. Net income after taxes was minus € 121.9 million (plus € 13.5 million). In its normal operating business – in other words EBITA before restructuring costs – Schuler generated a slightly positive result of € 8.5 million in a very challenging business environment.

New orders well above one billion euros

In the future, Schuler will strengthen its offerings in the field smart networking, among others. © Schuler

In the future, Schuler will strengthen its offerings in the field smart networking, among others. © Schuler

Schuler started its fiscal year 2020 with an order backlog of € 868 (€ 926) million. New orders received in 2019 amounted to € 1.092 (€ 1.255) billion. Europe accounted for the largest share of new orders (€ 562 million, thereof Germany € 293 million), followed by the Americas region (€ 253 million), and China (€ 221 million). With a decline in consolidated new orders of 13 percent in 2019, Schuler performed much better than the German machine tool industry as a whole, which suffered a decline of 22 percent according to the latest figures of sector association VDW.

Schuler CFO Thomas Kamphausen explained that the company had borne the full load of costs incurred by its structural adjustments in 2019. “We do not anticipate any further significant additional special items in 2020. Major cost reductions resulting from our structural adjustments are to be expected as early as 2021,” he said. “As far as our regular business development in 2020 is concerned, it is too early to estimate any effects of the Corona virus disruptions on our revenue and profits at this point.”

At the end of 2019, Schuler’s equity ratio amounted to 35.4 (40.1) percent – and was thus still above the industry average. The number of Group employees fell to 6,276 (6,574). At year-end 2019, headcount in Germany amounted to 3,962 (4,195).

Future concept: focus, localization and innovation

Announced in summer 2019, Schuler’s future concept is based on three main pillars. As the name CORE suggests, Schuler will focus in the future on its core business of building cutting-edge presses, as well as the optimization and digitalization of automation systems for the manufacturing processes of its internationally operating clients in the automotive, industrial, hydraulic and other sectors. In addition, Schuler is systematically strengthening its offerings in the field of service and smart networking.

In 2019, Schuler sold its die construction unit for the production of car body panels to Deutsche Werkzeugbau, a company set up by a strategic investor group. However, its core business of cutting-edge die construction for customers in the metalforming industry was spun off from Schuler Pressen GmbH and established as a separate growth business under the umbrella of the AWEBA Group, a subsidiary of Schuler.

 

Schuler Innovation Rate 2019 grows to 45.4 percent

The second pillar of Schuler’s future concept is a significant acceleration of new development and time-to-market processes in the field of press construction. The Group’s calculation basis for this objective, the Schuler Innovation Rate (SIR), doubled to 45.4 (prior year: 22.9) percent in 2019. This figure indicates that current product innovations accounted for almost half of all new orders received in Schuler’s main business fields of Automotive, Hydraulic and Industry during the past fiscal year. This enabled Schuler to offset a large part of the reduced demand from the automobile industry for classic forming technology products.

The third pillar of the future concept is a strict focus on localizing production and added value. Together with Group investment Yadon, Schuler China mainly serves customers throughout Asia. Schuler’s Brazilian operations focus in particular on the North and Latin American markets. Germany remains the location for machines and equipment produced for Schuler’s European customers. The high quality standards at all sites create a manufacturing network which can flexibly balance out peaks in demand between the regions. Within Germany, Schuler has pooled its press production in Erfurt and is expanding its home base in Göppingen to become a central innovation site. In the coming months, an additional service center with its own production and assembly capabilities serving customers throughout Germany will also be set up in Göppingen.

Schuler Group at a glance (IFRS)Schuler Fiscal Table



About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

Schuler offers customized first-rate technology in all areas of forming – from the networked press to press shop planning. In addition to press, our product includes automation and software solutions, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Our customers include automotive manufacturers and suppliers, as well as companies in the forging, household appliance and electronics industries. Press from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. When it comes to the digital transformation of the forming technology, we support our customers worldwide as a supplier of innovative system solutions. In its fiscal year 2019, Schuler posted sales of € 1.136 billion. Founded in 1839 with headquarters in Göppingen, Germany, Schuler AG has about 6,000 employees at production sites in Europe, China and America, as well as service companies in more than 40 countries. The company is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

  

For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:

Guido Broder, VP
Schuler Incorporated
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA
734-207-7200
info@schulerinc.com
www.schulergroup.com

Continue reading

Technology Days for Laser Blanking Line from Schuler

Around 50 visitors learned about die-free blank production and a new solution with two cutting heads instead of three

Canton, Michigan, December 2, 2019 – Customers from Germany, the US and China have already invested in laser blanking lines from Schuler. Recently, Schuler received another order from the People’s Republic—this one by one of the largest Chinese steel producers for a plant in Tianjin, as well as an order from a customer in South Africa. Around 50 visitors took advantage of Schuler’s invitation to learn about the benefits offered by the technology during two days in Heßdorf, Germany. They also had a chance to look at the actual system that will be delivered to China.

South African automotive supplier VM Automotive is expected to begin producing blanks for the plant of a high-end German automaker in South Africa (among other jobs) on a Laser Blanking Line 2.18 in the fall of 2020. The newly established blanking operations will handle the full scope of material logistics for the car manufacturer, thereby increasing the value in South Africa. By investing in this highly flexible laser blanking line, VM Automotive was able to gain the upper hand over competitors that use conventional blanking systems. Additional logistics centers are planned for other auto manufacturers in South Africa.

In 2014, a high-end German automaker ordered one of two laser blanking lines for mass production, and the equipment began producing two years later. “Our customer no longer has any dies for these blanks,” noted Martin Liebel, who manages the Schuler site in Heßdorf, a town located in the vicinity of Nuremberg. A highly flexible laser beam now performs the work formerly handled by the dies. This laser beam makes it possible to alter the blanking shape at the push of a button, whereas altering a blanking die can take several months, not to mention the accompanying costs for storage and maintenance. And when the set up time is taken into consideration, the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) climbs to 80% for the laser blanking line, compared to just 65% for conventional press blanking lines.

With the system’s DynamicFlow Technology, a laser blanking line is up to 70% as productive as a modern servo blanking line with a press. “Output actually significantly exceeded our expectations,” said Liebel, adding that it had been possible to regularly increase output by a few percentage points with the help of a number of smaller measures. A proven cleaning process ensures that the system produces high-quality blanks which are also spotless—an important requirement for critical body shell parts. The same German carmaker went on to order two additional high-tech lines in 2017.

At roughly the same time, Schuler began developing a new concept featuring two laser heads instead of three. “We needed a basic machine that would also deliver solid, acceptable performance for the rest of the world,” said Liebel. The decision proved to be the right one, as evidenced by the orders for one Laser Blanking Line 2.18 each from China and South Africa this year. “The systems are becoming more and more dynamic, and the concept will win out in the end,” said a confident Liebel.

Distance Control between Laser Heads and Coil

One of the things that makes these systems so dynamic is the distance control for the lasers. This control maintains a distance of 0.7 to 0.9 mm from the continuously moving coil and, where necessary, corrects the distance within fractions of a second to ensure that any residual surface irregularities in the sheet metal do not damage the heads. Liebel explained, “This axis is critical to the line’s output. Each coil contains residual waves. If I’m looking to blank at a rate of 100 meters per minute, I need to be able to respond extremely dynamically.”

Larger surface irregularities are eliminated by the straightener. “The straightening result is a key ingredient to a stable process, especially for the laser blanking line,” added Regional Sales Manager Justine Fonteyne. “To make this happen, we use the ‘Check2Flat’ system, which adjusts the crowning on the straightener rollers.” Either the visualization system makes a recommendation based on the adjustment system, which the operator must then review, or the straightener itself can provide a fully automated control. “It’s important to remove as much of the tension from the material as possible so that the metal doesn’t pop up during blanking. These types of systems help to ensure process stability.”

Global Production Capacity Can Be Easily Used

According to Liebel, another increasingly important aspect for carmakers is the intelligent capacity utilization of production facilities across the globe. “But it’s difficult to make a product somewhere else on short notice if you’re using a press blanking line. To do so, our customers first have to move the die, prepare it for shipment and then send it off.” If a supplier is producing the blanks, the scrap chutes or something else may not fit. “With laser blanking lines in the production network, all I have to do is send a data set for the desired part and make sure that the coil material is available on-site. If the system has available capacity, production can start one or two hours later. It’s really a huge advantage.”

Fonteyne’s coworker Berthold Jüttner offered another example: “One of our customer’s plant managers had a problem with a blanking press and had asked another plant manager if he would be able to cut a few blanks for him on the latter’s laser blanking line. He then immediately sent the drawings and had the coils brought to the site. Blanking began the next day.”

High Surface Quality and Material Utilization

In addition to the newly achieved blank programming freedom, Jüttner saw another advantage in the line’s excellent dimensional accuracy, reproducibility and surface quality. “There are no burrs and the amount of cuttings is significantly less than in conventional blanking.” The so-called “angel’s hair” phenomenon is especially prevalent where blanks are cut from aluminum coils, and is also the reason why blanking presses regularly need to stop so that the dies can be cleaned. “This is no longer an issue with the laser blanking line.”

Laser blanking also makes it possible to support the material across its entire surface area. “We can nest the parts edge-to-edge on the coil and no longer need the 8 to 10 mm dividers required when using the blanking dies. For small cutouts, we can briefly open the belts and the scrap can drop into the scrap chute. On the new lines, the scrap and the usable parts are no longer separated using robots, but rather by an intelligent sorting system. This provides an additional boost in output.”

Laser Easily Handles High Strength Steel

The growing amount of high strength steels used in automobiles is increasingly pushing blanking presses closer and closer to their maximum mechanical loads, adds Liebel, who noted: “When it comes to yield strengths, there are no limits in laser blanking. We have performed many tests and high-strength steels are no problem.” As Jüttner added, “The laser doesn’t care at all what’s under it.”

According to Liebel,” The bundled beam of light darts across the metal coil at speeds of up to 100 meters per minute and a thickness between 0.7 and 2.5 mm.” Before the year 2000, it was only possible to achieve blanking speeds of 4 or 5 meters per minute using CO2 lasers. Then the fiber laser made its triumphant entrance and opened up the possibility of laser blanking for the first time. This development wouldn’t have been possible with conventional gas lasers.”

In addition, noise emissions are much lower than with blanking presses. “If sound protection is installed on the laser blanking line, you’ll have to look very carefully to see whether the line is running or not,” Jüttner commented. He added that a person can have a completely normal conversation, as long as a press isn’t running next to them. The investment cost is also significantly lower, since the laser line is not as tall and also does not require an elaborate press foundation. “That’s a huge cost factor,” concluded Jüttner. The loop for the material buffer is also routed above ground. However, the laser line’s energy requirements are comparable to those of a press blanking line.

Software Makes Blank Programming Easier

Schuler has developed a software package, the LBL Studio, designed to greatly reduce the operator workload required to program the laser cutting movement. “All you have to do is upload the drawing data and the program will calculate the best-possible contours, the possible nesting options and the optimum level of laser utilization,” Fonteyne said as she listed the software’s benefits. “This means that users can already define the laser movement contours and configure the transitions offline. The binding output quantities can also be predicted. After that, the data can be transferred to the control system, and production can be run exactly as configured.”

www.schulergroup.com/Laserblanking


About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

Schuler offers customer-specific cutting-edge technology in all areas of forming technology – from networked presses to press shop planning. In addition to presses, the product portfolio also includes automation and software solutions, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Our customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies from the forging, household appliance and electronics industries. Presses from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. As a provider of innovative system solutions, we support our customers worldwide in the digital transformation of forming technology. In the 2018 fiscal year, Schuler generated sales of € 1 212 billion. Schuler AG, founded in 1839 at its headquarters in Göppingen (Germany), has approx. 6 600 employees at production sites in Europe, China and America as well as service companies in over 40 countries. The company is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

Schuler in Heßdorf was founded in 1962 as Hermann Schleicher GmbH, with the original headquarters in Erlangen, before joining the Schuler Group in 1990. The facility’s product portfolio includes automation solutions ranging from coil loading to end-of-line destacking. The most important areas it serves are the auto manufacturing, automotive supplier, and household appliance industries. The location employs approximately 350 people.

For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:

Guido Broder, Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Schuler Incorporated
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA
734-207-7200
Guido.Broder@schulergroup.com


Continue reading
Smart Assist demonstrated on Schuler machine Fabtech

Schuler Shows Smart Forming Technology at Fabtech

Whether mechanical stamping presses or hydraulic composite lines: Digital solutions can improve the productivity of every machine

Sensors in Schuler Machine featured at Fabtech

Sophisticated sensors and actuators in the latest Schuler machines help to prevent potential downtimes. © Schuler

Predicting potential downtime of a press well in advance and thereby improving its availability and productivity? Sophisticated sensors and actuators in the latest Schuler machines make it possible – whether mechanical transfer presses, hydraulic hot stamping or composite lines, for instance. Visitors of this year’s Fabtech November 11-14 in Chicago will find out more at the Schuler booth D46055.

In Schuler presses, machine components can be monitored for changes, wear, and damage to optimize the maintenance process. For this purpose, regular test runs of the system are performed in which vibration data, torque progressions, and energy consumption, among other things, are measured, stored, and compared. Sensors in the press bed and slide record the acceleration per stroke for example, enabling stampers to monitor the forming processes in detail.

The most recent example is the completely redesigned MC 125 stamping press. Thanks to additional integrated sensors, its condition can be fully monitored at all times. This ensures the productivity of the stamping machine. The functionalities are also available on mobile devices.

Smart Assist demonstrated on Schuler machine Fabtech

Schuler’s “Smart Assist” accelerates the production startup by guiding the user step-by-step through the process. © Schuler

However, digital solutions can also help to accelerate the production startup significantly. Schuler’s servo presses come with a software called “Smart Assist” which guides the user through the process step-by-step with the aid of videos and graphics, optimizes the movement curves of the slide and transfer fully automatically, and transfers the data to the overall system. Compared to setting up the system manually, which can take up to eight hours for an expert, the Smart Assist reduces the process to just 30 minutes.

Track & Trace with pinpoint accuracy
Compared to cold forming, significantly more factors influence the production process in hot stamping, which is usually done with hydraulic presses. Here, Schuler’s process monitoring solution records the exact temperature of the red-hot blanks as they leave the furnace, the amount of time that passes before they are placed in the die, the press force applied, and many other things. All of these parameters have a direct effect on the part quality. In case there is any doubt, stampers can track and trace these parts with pinpoint accuracy.

When it comes to composite presses and the production of parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), it is all about manufacturing costs. Within the research project “iComposite 4.0,” Schuler and its partners have succeeded in reducing both costs and throughput times for a prototype part dramatically. The production line runs Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) of RWTH Aachen University in Germany.


About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

Schuler offers customer-specific cutting-edge technology in all areas of forming technology – from networked presses to press shop planning. In addition to presses, the product portfolio also includes automation and software solutions, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Its customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies from the forging, household appliance and electronics industries. Presses from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. As a provider of innovative system solutions, we support our customers worldwide in the digital transformation of forming technology. In the 2018 fiscal year, Schuler generated sales of € 1 212 billion. Schuler AG, founded in 1839 at its headquarters in Göppingen (Germany), has approx. 6 600 employees at production sites in Europe, China and America as well as service companies in over 40 countries. The company is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

 

For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:

Guido Broder, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Schuler Incorporated
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA
734-207-7200
Guido.Broder@schulergroup.com

Continue reading

Schuler TechDay about E-Mobility

Systems supplier presents its new blanking press EV 3.8 and other solutions for the efficient production of electric motors and batteries

Schuler MachineThe need for greater energy efficiency and the search for alternative energy sources and motors are among the key innovation drivers in industry. Schuler offers various solutions to produce electrical motors and battery cases. At its headquarters in Göppingen, Germany, the systems supplier recently presented its new high-speed blanking press Smartline EV 3.8 for the production of interlocked motor cores, which will be delivered to the German company Waasner, and other solutions for the era of e-mobility. More than 50 people took part in the Schuler TechDay.

Most of the car drivers in the Western hemisphere have probably never heard of the three most successful electric cars in China, — the BAIC EU260 EV, the BAIC EV200 or the SAIC Roewe 550 PHEV. A study published by fka and Roland Berger says that China will manufacture 6.8 million electric cars by 2021, as Schuler’s Rainer Berkefeld pointed out at the company’s TechDay E-Mobility. This is more than the U.S. (3.1), Germany (2.2) and Japan (1.0) combined.

One of the reasons why the rest of the world seems to be so far behind the People’s Republic is that China already has a quota for electric vehicles (EV) of 8% since last year; a long-term goal of 100% is being discussed. Yet, there is a global government push: Germany, the Netherlands and Norway think about a 100% quota by 2030, and France wants to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. “By this time, 35% of cars sold globally will be electric,” Berkefeld said.

Lamination geometrics more and more complex

E-mobility is growing everywhere, his colleague Simon Schmidt agreed, and has also become a top issue for the car manufacturers. In order to increase the efficiency of the motors, the geometrics of the electric motor lamination have become more and more complex, and as a consequence the dies are getting longer and longer: “Especially because two-row-dies are nowadays state of the art. This is why the table of Schuler’s new high speed blanking press Smartline EV 3.8 now has a length of 3.7 instead of 2.7 meters and can process a strip width of up to 630 mm.”

At the same time, the material thickness has been reduced down to 0.35 mm or even 0.2 mm. “Analyzing the new requests of the automotive industry with regards to e-mobility, the lamination thickness is currently defined at a range of 0.25 mm up to 0.275 mm. Therefore, we as a press supplier have to ensure a perfect positioning and levelling of the slide and table.” Considering this challenge, already 15 years ago Schuler has developed a penetration depth control (PDC) to provide a perfect positioning as well as repeat accuracy of the slide. “This way, we can warrant a perfect punch into the material, whereas we achieve an interlock exactly at the penetration depth. In detail, the Schuler Smartline series is capable of adjusting the PDC at a deviation of 0.01 mm through the entire stroke range.”

Regarding the extended dimensions of the Smartline EV3.8, Schuler was additionally challenged with the physical properties of a 3.7 meter slide. “With the smaller types of the Smartline series, we used to measure with a laser how deep the slide is going down, and the machine corrected the penetration depth, if necessary, within every single stroke automatically. Now, with a 3.7 m slide, there is deflection we have to consider.” For the advanced PDC, Schuler has put a strain gauge into the kiss blocks of the die which substitutes the laser: “Thus, the press force can be kept constant and the deflection of the slide can be controlled. No matter what your laminations look like, you will always get the perfect rotor and stator stacks.”

Schuler’s target was to offer its customers a machine that is reliable, rigid and precise while using the knowledge of building presses for 180 years.

“We can run the full speed of 250 strokes per minute with the full press force of 3,150 kN and the maximum upper die weight of up to six tons,” Schmidt elaborated. The press is harmonized so well there is no need for a special foundation: Customers only have to take care that the foundation can carry the static weight of 110 metric tons. “Thanks to the perfect interaction between static and dynamic counter balance, there is a vertical movement of the press at full speed of less than 1 mm.” As a result, there are no wear parts in the slide guiding, pressure points, connection rods and main bearings, which minimizes the service costs.

Schuler Tech Day

More than 50 people took part in the Schuler TechDay

Although the press is relatively heavy and big, Schuler only uses two instead of three pressure points: “We want to know which press force is exactly on which pressure point, to make sure they are detected to carry this force. With three pressure points, there will always be a small deviation, and it is only a matter of time until you have wear and problems. With two pressure points, the press is physically harmonized because of a predefined press force flow, and the wear is minimized. Another effect is a levelled slide: We can guarantee a parallelism from left to right of 0.04 mm per meter.”

Thanks to the advantages of the new Schuler Smartline EV 3.8 – such as the advanced PDC, a use of two pressure points, four pretensioned slide guidings as well as a perfect interaction of the static and dynamic counter balance – the die lifetime can be increased by up to 30%.

Up to 180 million strokes over the die lifetime

“With high speed steel used as active material, you can do approximately five million strokes in a die lifetime,” Daniel Kittig from die manufacturer Aweba continued. “With Powder Metallurgical, we are talking about roughly 30 million strokes and with carbide almost 180 million strokes, depending on process conditions and material properties.” In most cases, Aweba’s die engineers start with an idea or a drawing they receive from their customers. “Based on that, we are creating a design, taking into account part geometry, size, complexity and tolerances.”

The quantity of the laminations the customer is going to produce is decisive for choosing a single, double or multi row dies, but this also depends on the press capacities and capabilities: “Our goal is to provide the customer a maximum of flexibility. This means that he is able to react on deviations and variations due to the process and material issues. Therefore we integrate features like adjustable inserts.”

Each die has an individual design. Usually, pre-cuts are made in the first steps of the die as well as cut outs to reduce tensions of the stripe material. Next, the shape of the rotor is cut out step by step, a process which is separated in two, three or more different, single stations. “The geometry would be too instable to be combined in just one or two stations,” Kittig explained.

In the following station, the separation sheet for the interlocking operation is punched out pneumatically. The embossing for interlocking the laminations can take place either close to the shaft hole, between the shapes or close to the diameter: “But we also use gluing procedures implemented in our designs.”

“Based on the higher and higher quantities the customers are expecting, we also have layouts for double or multi rows like they perfectly fit on Schuler’s EV 3.8 press”, Kittig said. “Here, we have a better material usage.” He concedes that also for Aweba it is a big challenge to create a die in this length and with this precision: “The accuracy comes down to a few microns all over the die.”

Reducing costs for battery cases

However, the main reason why electric vehicles are still more expensive than cars with an internal combustion engine can be found in the batteries. Thanks to economies of scale, this will change by around 2026: By then, statistics published by Bloomberg show that batteries will account for 24% of the overall costs – compared to 42% in 2018 – and, as a consequence, cars with an electric motor will be financially more attractive than with an internal combustion engine.

Schuler Production Line

The production line consists of an impact extrusion press (bottom right), a post-processing press, trimmers, washer and dryer

“In today’s electric cars, there are Li-Ion batteries with an overall capacity of 120 GWH”, Schuler’s Rainer Berkefeld said. “This capacity will increase by 2022 to more than 400 GWH, which corresponds to about one billion cell cases which must be manufactured.” According to fka and Roland Berger, China alone will produce cells with a total capacity of 178 GWH between 2016 and 2021, followed by Korea (98 GWH), Japan (87 GWH), the United States of America (74 GWH) and Germany (18 GWH).

More than half of the cases on the market these days are either cylindrical – like in the electric vehicles produced by Tesla – or prismatic, used by Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, BMW, VW, Audi, Chrysler, BYD, Ford and others. While cylindrical cells are cheap and commoditized, they need a sophisticated battery management system. Prismatic cells, on the other hand, offer the best scalability and a high cycle life; however, their production is currently still expensive.

“Schuler has developed a fully automated production line for prismatic cells which is not only five times faster than current solutions, but also saves metal,” Berkefeld said, “with standard machines and proven technology that has been used world-wide in the automotive and packaging industry.” The raw material is made of aluminum slugs, which are formed with an impact extrusion press. While the punch is pressing onto the slug, the material flows against the punch travel direction.

After that, the preforms are scanned from both sides in order to detect any cracks or deformation. Those that are out of specifications are blown off the line to prevent a downtime in the subsequent process. In the next step, the preforms are separated into four lanes and fed into the 4-out die of a 300 ton post-processing press. Apart from wall ironing, additional features like fine stepping or calibration can also be integrated.

Then, the cases are fed upside down into the trimmers. The trimming head is working from inside to outside by means of a wobbling movement in order to avoid an inside burr. After the cans have been cleaned and dried, they are ready to use – if they have passed the final vision inspection, that is. The high-speed line is in operation at a major battery manufacturer and can produce more than 30 million cases per year.

Schuler also offers machines for the manufacture of battery lids. They can be produced on a stamping press with a progressive die featuring twelve forming stations, including functions like piercing, trimming, embossing and separating.

Internet

www.schulergroup.com/drives_generators

www.schulergroup.com/battery

 

For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:

Guido Broder, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Schuler Incorporated
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA
734-207-7200
Guido.Broder@schulergroup.com

About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com
Schuler offers customer-specific cutting-edge technology in all areas of forming technology – from networked presses to press shop planning. In addition to presses, the product portfolio also includes automation and software solutions, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Its customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies from the forging, household appliance and electronics industries. Presses from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. As a provider of innovative system solutions, we support our customers worldwide in the digital transformation of forming technology. In the 2018 fiscal year, Schuler generated sales of € 1,212 billion. Schuler AG, founded in 1839 at its headquarters in Göppingen (Germany), has approx. 6,600 employees at production sites in Europe, China and America as well as service companies in over 40 countries. The company is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.




    Continue reading

    Schuler Focuses on New Markets and Digital Business Models

    • Incoming orders increased by ten percent in 2018
    • Continued pressure to implement adjustments in Germany negatively impacted sales
    • Joint venture with Porsche to be launched in 2019

    Schuler intends to gain new market share through consistent digitalization.

    In the 2018 fiscal year, Schuler increased its order intake by ten percent with successful sales in new markets and digitized applications. However, ongoing pressure to make business adjustments in Germany, international trade conflicts and special effects had a significant negative impact on the Göppingen-based press manufacturer’s sales. “We will consistently focus Schuler on new markets, digital business models and profitable core businesses,” said CEO Domenico Iacovelli, in office since April 2018, when speaking to journalists on Wednesday, March 6. In mid-2019, Schuler and Porsche plan to start building their joint high-tech press plant, which has now finally been approved for construction.

     

    Order rise but 2018 sales down slightly compared to previous year

    Schuler’s incoming orders rose to € 1,255 billion in 2018 (previous year: € 1,141 billion). Despite the rather low order backlog at the end of 2017, Group sales remained virtually unchanged at € 1,212 billion (previous year: € 1,220 billion). The regions of Europe and China grew, while business in North America suffered some losses.

    Sales margins were subject to multiple burdens. The challenges posed by the new WLTP test procedure for automobile manufacturers led, particularly in Germany, both to the abandonment of new capacities and to the postponement of already agreed projects. At the same time, costs rose due to the collective wage agreements from recent years. Customer business in China suffered from the trade conflict between China and the USA.

    In 2018, Schuler had extraordinary expenses in the low double-digit million Euro range due to capacity adjustments within the Group and write-downs on the capitalized goodwill of the die manufacturing subsidiary AWEBA. EBITA fell to € 45.3 (111.9) million. Schuler achieved consolidated earnings after tax of € 13.5 (67.4) million.

     

    Cautious optimism for 2019 and beyond

    Headquarters

    The corporate headquarters in Göppingen, Germany.

    At the end of 2018, Schuler’s equity capital ratio of 40.1 (38.1) percent of the balance sheet total was still above average in the German mechanical and plant engineering sector. The company employed 6,575 (6,570) people worldwide, 4,195 (4,237) of them in Germany – which is barely any fewer than in the previous year.

    CFO Norbert Broger said, “2018 was a very challenging year in terms of operation and strategy. This is why it was all the more important that we were able to reverse the negative trend in incoming orders and achieve an increase of ten percent for the first time. We therefore entered the new year with a decent order backlog of € 926 million. Therefore, and thanks to the cost reduction measures already initiated, we are confident that we will be able to show medium-term earnings improvements.”

     

    Concentration on the profitable core business

    Irrespective of the positive order development, the pressure to adapt remains high, especially in Germany, said CEO Iacovelli. “In 2018, we therefore began making Schuler more dynamic and bringing customer-driven innovations to market more quickly. The aim is to concentrate on the Group’s profitable core business and increase profitability in the coming years. This includes the consistent segregation of loss-making business areas, wherever necessary.”

    In recent months, Schuler has developed new product strategies for each business division. Expensive “over-engineering” needs to be a thing of the past. Schuler has already decided to withdraw from the unprofitable production of packaging machines and lines for the production of large-diameter pipes in 2019.

     

    Expansion of service business and value creation in China

    Cost benefits in production in China and Brazil are to be exploited to a greater extent and the global service network is also to be expanded in Germany. The locations in China will receive additional engineering positions. 

     

    “Smart Press Shop” with Porsche sets new standards

    new press shop

    The new press shop as part of the joint venture with Porsche will set new standards for the automotive industry both in terms of performance in industrial manufacturing and in the digital networking of data streams in the production process.

    Beginning in 2019, Schuler and Porsche will build what is said to be the world’s most modern press plant for the digitized automobile production of the future in Germany. Operation is scheduled to go on line in 2021. “The establishment of the corresponding joint venture between the two companies under the name ‘Smart Press Shop’ is perfect,” said Schuler CEO Iacovelli. “The new press shop will set globally high standards for the automotive industry, both in terms of performance in industrial manufacturing and in the digital networking of data streams in the production process,” he explained.

    The new Smart Press Shop will supply the Porsche plant in Leipzig in particular with body parts at low logistical cost and with the lowest possible ecological impact. For Schuler, this joint venture is an example of close cooperation with the world’s leading automobile manufacturers. “At the same time, we are focusing on new markets and digital business models,” said CEO Iacovelli. Schuler intends to gain additional market shares in 2019 with new mechanical presses in the mid-price segment and consistent digitization of the main product lines. “For Schuler and our customers, digitization is not a vision, but a reality. And it is, above all, a great opportunity for all of us – not a risk,” explained the Schuler CEO.


    For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:

    Guido Broder, VP
    Schuler Incorporated
    7145 Commerce Blvd.
    Canton, MI 48187 USA
    734-207-7200
    info@schulerinc.com
    www.schulergroup.com

     

    About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

    Schuler offers customer-specific cutting-edge technology in all areas of forming technology – from networked presses to press shop planning. In addition to presses, the product portfolio also includes automation and software solutions, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Its customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies from the forging, household appliance and electronics industries. Presses from the Schuler Group also mint coins for more than 180 countries. As a provider of innovative system solutions, we support our customers worldwide in the digital transformation of forming technology. In the 2018 fiscal year, Schuler generated sales of € 1,212 billion. Schuler AG, founded in 1839 at its headquarters in Göppingen (Germany), has approx. 6,600 employees at production sites in Europe, China and America, as well as service companies in over 40 countries. The company is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

    Continue reading

    BCN Offers Press Parts, Repairs, and Rebuilds to OEMs

    Brands of the Schuler Group provide customers with a wide range of products and services to meet their needs

    BCN BrochurePart of the Schuler Group, a technological and global market leader in forming technology, BCN stands for machine brands Bliss, Clearing, and Niagara. BCN’s parts and products are available at the company’s 180,000 sq. foot facility in Hastings, Michigan. At this ISO 9001 certified facility, 150 skilled technicians and engineers manufacture quality parts for various pieces of equipment. These include face bridge mills, CNC lathes, CNC boring mills, surface grinders, rotary grinders, turret lathes, and many others.

    Bliss Clearing Niagara technical services offer a complete range of related products — including spare parts, repair, inspections, remanufacturing, rebuilds, and modernizations.

    Modernization services include complete press teardown and analysis, engineering analysis, repair or manufacture of parts and assembly that shows the original OEM specs. Also available are field service, on-site repair, trouble shooting, press relocations and press inspections.

    BCN Brochure InsidePress rebuilds and upgrades are available for clutch and brake systems, overload systems, speed changes, automated die changes, can machinery and electrical controls.

    Remanufacturing is offered on all brands of mechanical presses/hydraulic presses and some forging presses.

    OEM users can quickly receive their needed parts, thanks to a unique parts record that contains over 300,000 parts. These include clutches, brakes, gears, bearings, conversions/upgrades, perishable parts, frames, and connections. In addition to the brands that make up BCN, they also carry USI, Toledo, Consolidated Press, Wilkins and Mitchell and Warco.

    No matter the age of your part, BCN can provide you with timely and high quality retrofits, repairs, modernizations, replacements and services. Interested parties can contact Tony DeMerle, BCN’s Director of Sales.


    For further information, please contact:

    Tony DeMerle, Director of Sales
    Bliss Press Systems
    1004 East State Street
    Hastings, MI 49058 USA
    734-865-0949
    Anthony.DeMerle@blisspressusa.com
    www.blisspressusa.com

     

    About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

    Schuler is the technology and global market leader in the field of forming technology. The company provides presses, automation solutions, dies, process expertise and service for the entire metalworking industry and lightweight automobile construction. Its customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies from the forging, household appliance, packaging, energy and electronics industries. Schuler is a leader in coin minting presses and implements system solutions for the aerospace, rail transport and large-dimension pipe manufacturing sectors. In the 2016 fiscal year, Schuler generated sales of 1.174 billion euros. After acquiring toolmaker AWEBA and a majority stake in Chinese press manufacturer Yadon, Schuler has a presence in 40 countries with roughly 6,600 employees. Schuler is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

    Continue reading

    Schuler Holds Tech Day in Puebla

    New developments such as the servo press MSP 400 and the process monitoring system show the benefits of networked forming technology

    Canton, Michigan – Schuler has developed solutions for the digitization and networking of forming technology with the new servo press MSP 400 or the process monitoring system for hot stamping systems. They are part of the “Smart Press Shop,” Schuler’s answer to Industry 4.0 (“Industrial Internet of Things”, IIoT). The main benefits for press operators have now been experienced by the visitors at Schuler’s Tech Day at the end of November in Puebla.

    • Schuler’s TechDay
    • Schuler’s TechDay
    • Schuler’s TechDay
    • Schuler’s TechDay

    “The digital transformation of the press shop is already well underway,” says Carlos Valdés, CEO of Schuler in Mexico: “Not only the major car manufacturers, but also medium-sized suppliers can use the Smart Press Shop for more efficient production and fewer rejected parts. Thus, Schuler is putting forming technology on the fast track to the digital future.”

    In the morning, Schuler celebrated their fourth group of apprentices completing their vocational training at the Cedual Training Center. The 16 industrial engineers and toolmakers prepared themselves for their job with theoretical and practical phases based on the German model. The training center, which Schuler founded in 2012, is equipped with a teaching workshop as well as an audiovisual lecture theater and three classrooms.


    For more information, please visit:
    www.schulergroup.com/smart_press_shop

    For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:
    Guido Broder, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
    Schuler Incorporated
    7145 Commerce Blvd.
    Canton, MI 48187 USA
    734-207-7200
    Guido.Broder@schulergroup.com

    Image captions
    Images 1, 2 & 3: At Schuler’s TechDay in Puebla, Mexico, visitors learned solutions for networking in forming technology.
    Image 4: Schuler’s apprentices celebrate completing their vocational training at the Cedual Training Center.

    About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com
    Schuler is the technology and global market leader in the field of forming technology. The company provides presses, automation solutions, dies, process expertise and service for the entire metalworking industry and for lightweight automobile construction. Its customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies from the forging, household appliance, packaging, energy and electronics industries. Schuler is a leader in coin minting presses and implements system solutions for various high-tech industries. The company generated 1.233 billion euros in sales in the 2017 fiscal year and has a presence in roughly 40 countries with approx. 6,600 employees. Schuler is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

    Continue reading

    BCN Offers Press Parts, Repairs, and Rebuilds to OEMs

    Brands of the Schuler Group provide customers with a wide range of products and services to meet their needs

    BCN Parts Repair and Rebuild BrochurePart of the Schuler Group, a technological and global market leader in forming technology, BCN stands for machine brands Bliss, Clearing, and Niagara. BCN’s parts and products are available at the company’s 180,000 sq. foot facility in Hastings, Michigan. At this ISO 9001 certified facility, 150 skilled technicians and engineers manufacture quality parts for various pieces of equipment. These include face bridge mills, CNC lathes, CNC boring mills, surface grinders, rotary grinders, turret lathes, and many others.

    Bliss Clearing Niagara technical services offer a complete range of related products-including spare parts, repair, inspections, remanufacturing, rebuilds, and modernizations.

    Modernization services include complete press teardown and analysis, engineering analysis, repair or manufacture of parts and assembly that shows the original OEM specs. Also available are field service, on-site repair, trouble shooting, press relocations and press inspections.

    Inside of BCN Repair BrochurePress rebuilds and upgrades are available for clutch and brake systems, overload systems, speed changes, automated die changes, can machinery and electrical controls.

    Remanufacturing is offered on all brands of mechanical presses/ hydraulic presses and some forging presses.

    OEM users can quickly receive their needed parts, thanks to a unique parts record that contains over 300,000 parts. These include clutches, brakes, gears, bearings, conversions/upgrades, perishable parts, frames, and connections. In addition to the brands that make up BCN, they also carry USI, Toledo, Consolidated Press, Wilkins and Mitchell and Warco. 

    No matter the age of your part, BCN can provide you with timely and high quality retrofits, repairs, modernizations, replacements and services. Interested parties can contact Tony DeMerle, BCN’s Director of Sales.

    For further information, please contact:

    Tony DeMerle, Director of Sales
    Bliss Press Systems
    1004 East State Street
    Hastings, MI 49058 USA
    734-865-0949
    Anthony.DeMerle@blisspressusa.com
    www.blisspressusa.com


    About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com

    Schuler is the technology and global market leader in the field of forming technology. The company provides presses, automation solutions, dies, process expertise and service for the entire metalworking industry and lightweight automobile construction. Its customers include automobile manufacturers and automotive suppliers, as well as companies from the forging, household appliance, packaging, energy and electronics industries. Schuler is a leader in coin minting presses and implements system solutions for the aerospace, rail transport and large-dimension pipe manufacturing sectors. In the 2016 fiscal year, Schuler generated sales of 1.174 billion euros. After acquiring toolmaker AWEBA and a majority stake in Chinese press manufacturer Yadon, Schuler has a presence in 40 countries with roughly 6,600 employees. Schuler is majority-owned by the Austrian ANDRITZ Group.

    Continue reading