Balzers, Liechtenstein, 15 November 2018 – On 30 and 31 October 2018, worldwide leader in surface solutions Oerlikon Balzers invited renowned professionals and experts from the global automotive stamping industry to its first Asia Press-shop Meeting (APM) at its site in Suzhou, China. More than 120 leading OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers shared their knowledge on punching and forming technology in a series of presentations, including representatives from Beijing Benz, BMW Brilliance, Dongfeng Nissan, Ford Motor, Honda Motor and SAIC.
After six successful European Press-shop Meetings (EPM), which have established the concept of exchanging information, discussing issues and learning from each other for a better future, the APM marked the successful launch of the concept in Asia. The first APM’s main focus was ‘Developing Perspectives – Shaping the Future’, and many professionals and experts from the global automotive stamping industry were attracted to the Oerlikon Balzers customer centre in Suzhou to discuss important questions including “What are the opportunities and challenges that new energy vehicles present for the car stamping industry?”, “What are the challenges of all-aluminium bodies for car stamping?” and “How do you interpret Industry 4.0 for the car stamping industry?”. The roundtable forum gave insights into new and advanced concepts for materials, tools and manufacturing processes.
Marc Desrayaud, Head of Oerlikon Balzers, was very pleased with the participation of so many experts from the automotive industry: “The APM is a unique opportunity to hear first-hand information and experiences from experts in the Asian automotive industry. We at Oerlikon Balzers are looking forward to contributing to the design and construction of advanced car bodies and will continue to work closely with our customers to develop advanced coating solutions for the automotive industry.”
Yingliang Guo from BMW Brilliance Automotive reported on experiences with aluminium and discussed how continuous development in the automotive industry has resulted in more and more automotive body stamping parts using aluminium panels and other stamping materials to reduce kerb weight, save energy and reduce emissions. “From initial manufacture of single units to subsequent series production we encountered various problems while machining aluminium, especially with external panels. Taking a cause-effect approach, which involved man, machine, material, method, environment and continuous staff training, helped to increase the first-pass yield for the hoods of two vehicle models to 96%”, he said.
The fascinating and relatively new subject of Intelligent Stamping was also discussed at the APM. Qizhi He from Dongfeng Die & Stamping Technologies reported on ‘The Application of Intelligent Stamping and Die Technology’, saying: “It is necessary to add intelligent components in terms of perception, memory, recalling etc. so that more ’smart’ functions become reality and can develop into ‘intelligence’.” He continued: “we look forward to cooperating with automotive OEMs and universities in order to gradually establish intelligent stamping die standards and management requirements that will help solve the problems of the stamping process.”
Bifeng Luo from the Shanghai Motor Passenger Vehicle Company reported on ‘Production Suggestions for Rapid Switching between Moulds for New Energy Vehicles and Moulds for Traditional Vehicles’. During her presentation she proposed new solutions for designing body side panels that meet the different mould requirements for both new energy and traditional vehicles.
Finally, surface treatments and new solutions were another key topic of discussion at the APM. Prof. Zeng Dechang from South China University of Technology (SCUT) and Leo Huang, Head of Forming Tools Oerlikon Balzers China, gave a joint presentation on ‘Advanced Surface Technology Materials & Applications for Car Stamping Dies’. Prof. Zeng introduced the ‘Development of Advanced Materials Surface Technology’ in China, while Leo Huang presented three applications of surface technology: PPD (Pulsed Plasma Diffusion) technology for car body die applications, duplex PVD coating technology for HSS (High-Speed Steel)/hot forming dies, and new DLC coating technology for aluminium trimming and flanging steels. “Advanced surface treatment technologies play an ever more important role in the car stamping process, and these new technologies will help to increase press productivity and reduce costs”, concluded Prof. Zeng.