Held every two years, EuroBLECH is the most important event of the calendar for anyone involved with the handling, finishing, cutting and forming of sheet metal. We take a look at what some key automotive supply companies will be have on display

EuroBLECH in Hannover, this year held from October 26-30, will once again serve as the focal point for both national and international companies delivering equipment related to sheet metal working. As the world’s largest such event, with more than 1,400 exhibitors from over 40 countries, the show promises to deliver a range of equipment technology for automotive manufacturers. The following are a selection of products that could be of interest to carmakers and their suppliers.

Tebis, Hall 11, Stand G29
Tebis AG will be introducing its latest development in the field of CAD surface technology at EuroBLECH 2010. Using the Tebis Morpher, surface models of any size can be drawn automatically.

Gravity-induced deflection of the die’s upper part can lead to increased wear. The Tebis Morpher makes it possible to quickly compensate for such problems. While developing the software, Tebis ensured that the morphed surfaces met with the requirements of the subsequent NC machining. As a result, Tebis Morpher allows further processing of these surfaces in a solid-based CAD system without any loss in quality.

The Tebis Morpher consists of several modules. This allows the CAD surfaces to be checked for design quality before being processed, after which they can be automatically prepared for the morphing process. After a deformation, such quality-improving preparation measures can greatly improve the final result.

After deriving deformation rules from measuring results, scans or simulation runs, a user can save them for repeats if a part change is required. Tebis also offers an optional add-on module for exterior surfaces, which can improve the quality of surfaces from the morphing process to Class A levels – without the need for a specific, Class A modeling system. www.tebis.com

Cloos, Hall 13, Stand D33
At this year’s EuroBLECH event, Cloos will present a wide range of innovative welding technology, including advances in the robotics field, new welding power sources and other process technologies of interest to the automotive industry. The company will be demonstrating two new additions to the QIROX series of welding robots, the QIROX Classic (QRC) and the hollow-shaft version of the same (QRH). These robots feature a modular design and are suitable for loads of up to 15kg. An optional 7th axis, integrated into the robot base, is able to provide a 550mm extension of the working envelope, taking the total to 1,100mm, which is said to enable a greater degree of flexibility in workpiece processing.

The newly-developed, synergy-controlled AC pulsed arc power sources in the QINEO CHAMP CW series, ranging from 350 to 600A, allow high-capacity cold welding of thin plate. Once the suitable characteristic curve has been achieved, the welding process can be regulated individually ‘colder’ or ‘warmer’ by using the rotary knob. The CW process is characterised by a low heat input into the weld seam, helping to minimise component distortion.

The new inverter power source, QINEO TRONIC, features infinite voltage preselection and is available in capacity classes 350A, 450A and 600A, making it well-suited for both manual and automated welding. The multi-process system can be individually configured and can support MIG/MAG, TIG and electrode processes. Available operating modes include: 2-cycle, 4-cycle, super 4-cycle, spot/interval and external (robot operation). www.cloos.de

Techni Waterjet, Hall 12, Stand A26
Techni Waterjet specialises in the design, development and installation of complete waterjet cutting solutions, suitable for cutting any material. The company will introduce its Quantum electric servo pump (Quantum ESP) at the EuroBLECH fair, which replaces standard hydraulics with servo motors, technology first applied by NASA for the Space Shuttle programme. The same linear actuators are used in many high-end machine tools and presses, replacing inefficient hydraulic systems.

According to Managing Director Darren Reukers, the Quantum ESP is the most efficient waterjet pump available, delivering real efficiency gains due to the fact that it only uses the power required for the cutting process. This means that regardless of whether the cutting head is open or closed, or the pressure or flow is reduced, there are no additional power losses.

Other Techjet products on display will be the Techjet 3000, which incorporates the company’s PAC60 cutting head, capable of producing parts with a true angle up to +/-60° with continuous rotation, and the Techjet-X2 ‘Premium’ range of waterjet cutters, which offer the highest quality and accuracy of waterjet machines available today (up to 0.01mm). www.techiwaterjet.com

ThyssenKrupp, Hall 16, Stand E22
The ThyssenKrupp Group will be presenting intelligent materials solutions and services at EuroBLECH 2010. Under the motto ‘Thinking the future of steel’, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe will demonstrate the capabilities of its materials for the automotive sector. Highlights will include examples from the InCar research and development initiative and new coated products from the PLADUR range.

Cost and weight reductions are at the center of the InCar project InCar functions as a solutions and ideas pool for body, chassis and powertrain products, examining parts, assemblies and systems before developing a number of solutions for customers with varying needs. This has led to applications that include B-pillar models. Optimised for weight, these pillar designs are particularly cost-effective, while offering considerable safety improvements. PLADUR is a composite material comprising a metallic substrate and an organic coating suitable for coloured steel sheet surfaces. The coatings are made from speciallydeveloped materials which combine high-corrosion resistance with a decorative appearance, while retaining exceptional formability.

In addition to these products, ThyssenKrupp Materials International and ThyssenKrupp Schulte, will be showing examples of their capabilities in processing, logistics and supply chain management. www.thyssenkrupp.com

Trumpf, Hall 11, Stand C31/2
With the theme ‘Take the lead now’, Trumpf will present numerous new products at EuroBLECH 2010, in order to offer a range of alternatives for the sheet metal industry. Part of this initiative will be the new TruLaser 5030, which features a fibre-guided solid-state laser. The machine is estimated to reduce individual part cost by up to 20%. The company will also exhibit the TruLaser Cell 7040, a high-end laser processing machine designed specifically for use in automotive applications. Fitted with a fibre-guided solid state laser (TruDisk) the system offers minimal processing costs and maximum flexibility. In classic highvolume production, Trumpf claim the productivity of the TruLaser Cell 7040 is unmatched. The unit performs at extremely fast speeds and can be retrofitted with various automation modules, such as dual station mode, a rotary dial table or shuttle tables. Possible applications are for cutting the B-pillar and rear doors, the latter to be demonstrated at the Trumpf booth.

Trumpf’s TruLaser Cell 7040
In addition to these new models, Trumpf will also premiere its latest innovations in the punching and bending sector, while also showing a wide range of the company’s current laser equipment, allowing customers to find the right - and the most economical - laser for their application. For marking applications, Trumpf will show the TruMark Station 7000. With its large working range, the equipment provides sturdy steel plate design and the ability to integrate the laser power supply into the machine frame. Various rotary axes can be integrated to mark the circumference of components. All of the axes, the motorised lifting door and the peripheral equipment are controlled by programmable software. A single interface allows control of the axes, laser parameters and external communication. The marking systems can be used for items such as speedometers, tachometers, window cranks, radio buttons, navigation system shields and the covers for automatic gear shift levers. www.trumpf.com

Uddeholm, Hall 13, Stand C76
Advanced high-strength steel is the key to lighter, more fuel-efficient cars. At this year’s EuroBLECH event, Uddeholm will be presenting a range of tooling solutions for working with high-strength steel, including such products as Uddeholm Caldie, Uddeholm Vanadis 4 Extra and Uddeholm Vancron 40.

Uddeholm has developed a range of materials to address the galling, adhesive wear and high friction problems encountered in many cold forming operations. Uddeholm Caldie is an electro slag remelted matrix-type cold work tool steel that can be hardened to 62HRC, giving it a good combination of chipping and cracking resistance, and a high compressive strength. This makes Uddeholm Caldie a suitable substrate material for surface-coated tools. Uddeholm Vanadis 4 Extra is a third-generation high-alloy powder metallurgical tool steel offering good chipping and cracking resistance in combination with very good wear resistance. This robust material is suitable for use in complicated tooling and long production runs.

Uddeholm Vancron 40 is a powder metallurgical tool steel which is a particularly low-friction product. As such, in many cases it is not necessary to coat the product to prevent galling. This means that the amount of lubrication in the pressed powder can be reduced, which in turn allows higher material densities. This steel vastly improves the quality of the finished part and reduces the ejection force. www.uddeholm.com