First Annual General Meeting Industrial Working Group Fineblanking (AKF)




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Economy and precision are the two essential features of fineblanking technology that make the process an innovative technology. In order to extend this lead over alternative technologies, fineblanking companies must serve current trends, which are rewritten by keywords such as high-strength sheet metal materials, geometrically highly complex forming and cutting components, environmentally friendly lubricants and digitalization of the value chain in the context of the topic of Industry 4.0. This results in a variety of technological challenges that every fineblanking company is confronted with in a similar form. In everyday industrial life, it is often difficult to meet all challenges equally.

  Man holding speech on stage in front of audience Copyright: © WZL Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Daniel Trauth at the first Annual General Meeting of AKF

On September 12 and 13, 2017, 36 companies of the fineblanking industry met in the conference room North/South of the Manfred-Weck-Haus in the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of the RWTH Aachen for the first annual general meeting of the Industrial Working Group Fineblanking (AKF), which was founded in 2016. The working group, consisting of members from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Spain together with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of the RWTH Aachen forms the first research community on the subject of fineblanking.

The two-day annual general meeting was opened by a keynote lecture given by Kristian Arntz of the Fraunhofer IPT on the subject of "Additive manufacturing in toolmaking for fineblanking". After an intensive year, the results of the research projects "Fineblanking with carbide" and "Investigation of edge penetration" as well as the study on the effects of electro mobility on the fineblanking industry were presented and discussed. The event was rounded off by additional lectures on current research highlights on the subject of "Deep rolling of fineblanking punches", "Shear cutting of CFRP" and "Grinding of carbide". The members also had the opportunity to experience current test benches and research highlights live during the guided tour of the Rotter Bruch hall.

We are delighted with the positive and intensive response from the fineblanking industry. In this first 12 months, we not only achieved and discussed the first relevant project results, but also continued to grow internationally. This will enable us to research and further develop the relevant topics of the industry even better in the future.

Dr.-Ing. Daniel Trauth, head of the AKF working group and chief engineer of the grinding, forming and technology-planning department at the Chair of Manufacturing Technology at the WZL

Working Group becomes more International

Another four international companies in the fineblanking industry from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Canada joined the industrial working group. In the following year, the topics "Fineblanking of stainless steel", "Comparative evaluation of lubricants for fineblanking" and a study on the "Tracing of components along the production chain" will be developed in cooperation. The annual research program of the industrial working group is based on the various needs of the members.

A homogeneous composition of large companies and KMUs forms the cross-industry network. The merger of experts in the field of fineblanking technology and the expertise of companies from the fields of tool technology, lubricant technology, materials technology and plant engineering creates an excellent basis for demanding collaborative research. The aim of the industrial working group will be to generate a technological lead through the targeted processing of relevant research projects in order to give the members a sustainable competitive advantage. The industrial working group is also an active knowledge hub for the lively exchange of experience between users, fineblanking producers, tool and material manufacturers and lubricant manufacturers. By bringing together the various technical expertise, the technologically complex interactions in fineblanking can be researched and discussed at the highest level. This enables well-founded scientific research under industrial conditions.

More information can be found on the website of the Industrial Working Group Fineblanking.