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09/15/2017

Incremental swivel bending - economical, flexible manufacturing technology for lightweight design

Innovations for the automotive future

Wiesbaden/Fulda At the IAA in Frankfurt, the EDAG Group will be presenting not just its live engineering project #collectivio, but also seven technological innovations from the fields of lightweight design and eMobility. As the growing number of variants continues to increase due to the alternative powertrains available, greater flexibility and above all more lightweight solutions, both for components but also in manufacturing, are called for. Wiesbaden-based engineering specialists EDAG have already in recent years provided impressive evidence of the company's engineering skills in additive manufacturing. EDAG are continuing this success story this year with a number of projects including "incremental swivel bending", their economical, flexible manufacturing method.

For us, lightweight design competence, car IT and production solutions remain key future-oriented subjects. I am delighted that we can once again offer a real firework display of proactively developed technology concepts in these future fields here in Frankfurt," declares Jürgen Vogt, CEO of the EDAG Group.

As a result of the growing importance of electric-powered vehicles, variant diversity and individ-ualisation are also constantly on the increase. This trend calls for extremely flexible manufacturing processes - also in the field of lightweight structures for vehicle construction. In the course of the "ISB Elektro" (incremental swivel bending) research project, EDAG, in co-operation with Automotive Center Südwestfalen, Kirchhoff Automotive, Kronenberg Profile, Lewa Attendorn and the University of Siegen, developed an innovative roll forming and bending technology for future vehicle concepts and carried out initial tests under real-life conditions.

The result is a more cost-effective production technology for use in flexible vehicle construction. Incremental swivel bending is a process for forming semi-finished profiles by bending, which could make the flexible production of scalable lightweight structures in profile design up to a batch size of one possible. The dimensioning and production of a longitudinal bearer for an electric vehicle was taken to demonstrate the new process, and this will be presented at the IAA in Frankfurt. The project was backed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), as part of an electric power initiative.

The incremental cold forming process passes through a number of stages to gradually produce the bending geometry. It opens up new, economically viable lightweight design potential, partic-ularly where small and medium quantities are involved, for instance in eMobility or individual vehicle derivatives. The innovation consists of the realisation of the flexible version a steel section bent using 3D bending and very few tools along the entire length of the vehicle. Compared to conventional manufacturing processes, mandrel bending for instance, tighter radii can also be realised in the component.

EDAG Presse picture