Schuler GoppingenGermany – The research and demonstration facility at the company’s home base in Göppingen will showcase innovative solutions for lightweight vehicle construction. A €6.5m ($7.1m) line, developed at Schuler’s Waghäusel site, is equipped with a hydraulic press, roller hearth furnace and automated technology.

Schuler expects demand for hot-stamping technology to grow over the coming years, owing to its ability to produce light but rigid parts. “Hot stamping is an important method for producing lightweight car bodies and plays an important role in Schuler’s product spectrum,” said CEO Stefan Klebert. “Our new Hot Stamping TechCenter is proof of both our innovative strength in the field of fully automatic, networked production lines and of our firm commitment to Germany as a high-tech manufacturing location.”

The 1,600-ton press features PCHflex technology, which Schuler claims can boost output by 40% as well as enhancing quality, reliability and availability. Furthermore, it boasts Efficient Hydraulic Forming, which significantly reduces energy consumption. The condition monitoring system also gives warning of wear-and-tear on the machine components. In addition, the line is the first to feature Schuler’s new machine design, which will be gradually rolled out across the product range.

The Hot Stamping TechCenter will mainly be used for the ongoing development of machine technology and processes relating to lightweight vehicle manufacturing. However, it will also be used for training and customer presentations.

The Göppingen TechCenter joins others at Erfurt, Gemmingen and Hessdorf plus sites in the US. Another such facility will open this spring in Tianjin, China, featuring a 1,600-ton press with TwinServo Technology.