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铸造星球主编Thomas Fritsch,关于压铸工艺进步助力模具制造

发布时间:2020/10/27 21:50:20

只有有未卜先知能力的人才能真正预见驱动转型的方向。绍夫勒模具有限公司首席执行官齐格弗里德·海因里希强调:“所有使压铸业整体更具竞争力的变化也对模具制造有利。我们不是要与其他模具制造商竞争,而是与其他工艺和材料竞争。”

在德国及欧洲的公共生活和大部分行业停摆之后,现在是时候让铸造星球的编辑团队进行危机之后的第一次走访了。

此外,欧盟已决定以前所未有的力度来扶持陷入困境的欧洲经济体。

有明显迹象表明,中国以及欧洲的经济在2020年第三季度可能会强劲增长,这是一个好兆头。

我们参观了绍夫勒模具集团位于莱辛根的模具生产企业施瓦本公司,并很荣幸地见到了齐格弗里德·海因里希先生和马克·克拉珀先生。

由于全球大部分OEM厂商和压铸厂处于停产状态,齐格弗里德·海因里希先生说,“全球疫情在一夜之间改变了很多,包括我们美国和中国的办事处。在经历了前几个月疫情及其影响之后,夫勒模具公司的经理们几乎在一夜之间面临着全新的挑战。在德国国内,我们能够非常迅速地适应缩短工作时间的规定,并迅速申请德国复兴信贷银行的贷款,这样就可以很好地满足当前订单的要求,我们也为所有可能的情况做好了财务准备。”

绍夫勒模具集团在美国的子公司费舍尔模具公司的情况有所不同,那里的员工从4月底开始了所谓的临时休假,现金流由国家贷款担保。对于绍夫勒中国有限公司,绍夫勒集团与两个知名中国模具制造公司进行战略合作,能够相对较好地缓解压力。总体而言,在全球新冠疫情的影响下,中国的模具制造业发展形势良好,而且生产水平丝毫不逊于欧洲标准。

中国企业也采用5轴技术和高速机器生产用于复杂铸件的模具,但是在高端领域,专有技术、仿真、设计、热室计算和工程技术仍然来自德国。从中期来看,德国企业也将考虑在中国设立装配厂。

2019年,《德国经济周刊》(Wirtschaftswoche)将绍夫勒模具集团、德国绍夫勒模具公司和美国费舍尔模具公司列为模具行业的世界领导者。

海因里希坚信,新冠疫情的影响是暂时的,他的公司能够应对挑战并已做好了准备。

企业家们非常清楚当前的形势,并期望在不久的将来欧洲能有好的发展机遇。汽车的平均寿命相对较高,这意味着汽车零部件的更换和车辆更新的需求将变得迫切。从中期看,汽车出口可能会减少,因为产业价值链倾向于转移到亚洲市场。

汽车行业OEM厂商和供应商的投资环境取决于技术转型以及对替代动力、物联和自动驾驶的探讨,因此传统的投资有时会延迟。总体而言,可以看出,为了支持未来技术的发展,汽车的型号正在减少。

但是,任何声称知道驱动转型将如何真正发展变革的人都一定是有先见之人。现在的技术还不成熟且处于变化中,因此是很难预测的。无论如何,因为每种可能的驱动转型都将成为需求和供应链的一部分,压铸业在轻金属领域都有很大的机会;而在未来几年中,所有常见驱动器类型都将平行发展,这就要求高度的灵活性和技术转移,并要求参与其中的所有企业更加紧密地合作。海因里希认为,模具制造商和铸造厂很可能会更早地参与开发过程。

使压铸业整体更具竞争力的一切因素也对模具制造有利,包括用于车身的大型集成铸件。

当然,压铸业的发展高度依赖于汽车行业,在纯电动车中将使用多少压铸件还不明确,这个问题不一定由欧洲制造商来决定。齐格弗里德·海因里希坚信,所有OEM厂商都在紧跟特斯拉的大胆计划,即使用大型、高度集成的铸件进行白车身制造并已有了答案。当被问及模具制造在多大程度上已经为这些挑战做好了准备时,他成竹在胸。就是组建新的模具联盟,到目前为止还没建立,因此有必要建立适当的基础设施,以便更可行的建立联盟

总的来说,海因里希提倡压铸业和与之有关的行业都利用好所有技术优势。像往常一样,压铸模具关乎压铸件的质量、使用寿命和生产周期的改善。

关于压铸件是否有其他新的应用领域,海因里希提到了电子、光伏和手机等领域,尤其是在需要扩展5G技术时,有一些引人关注的压铸外壳技术实例。

经济复苏的迹象很明显,世界各国政府都在争取快速和可持续的产业资金。此外,在当前情况下,信心起着决定性的作用。对于2020年下半年的展望,希格弗里德·海因里希信心满满的表示:“我们有宏伟的计划,今年的订单已满,还启动了新项目。很多重要且有前瞻性的因素会影响压铸和模具制造业,各个方面表现出色。

除了用于生产新型大型铸件的技术外,很多其他方面还有巨大的挑战和改进机会。全球疫情的影响将会促进全球标准化的发展并使之变得更加重要。借助标准化的机器界面,企业可以节省开支和不必要的成本,推动标准零部件的发展趋势。在物联网(IoT)时代,请不要忽视模具制造,这就要求设备生产商、铸造厂和模具制造商之间进行更紧密的合作。对于整个行业来说,这是一个积极的信号。

 

Advances in Die Casting are Also Good for Mold Making

Thomas Fritsch, Foundry-Planet.com Chief Editor

Only a clairvoyant can really foresee the direction of transformation the drives will take -- "everything that makes die casting more competitive overall is also good for mold making. We are not in competition with other mold makers, but with other processes and materials," emphasizes Siegfried Heinrich (CEO Schaufler Tooling Gmbh & Co.)

After the shutdown of public life and large parts of industry in Germany and Europe, it was high time for the Foundry-Planet editorial team for the first factory visit after the crisis.

The European Union had just decided to support the ailing economies with record sums in the European Economic Area.

In China, but also in Europe, there were clear signs that the 3rd quarter of 2020 could pick up strongly, so good signs for looking ahead.

We visited the Swabian mold and tool maker Schaufler Tooling GmbH & Co.KG in Laichingen and had the pleasure to meet Mr. Siegfried Heinrich and Mr. Marc Klapper.

“The effects of the pandemic changed a lot overnight, including at our offices in the US and China. After the first months of the pandemic experience and its effects, the managers at Schaufler Tooling GmbH & Co.KG were confronted with completely new challenges almost overnight,” reports CEO Siegfried Heinrich, after OEMs and diecasting were largely at a standstill worldwide. “In Germany, we were able to adapt the short-time work regulation very quickly and quickly apply for KfW loans, so that current orders could be served well and we are financially prepared for all eventualities.”

The situation is different at Fischer Tool & Die, the U.S. subsidiary of the SF Tooling Group, where the workforce initially had so-called temporary leaves and, from the end of April, liquidity was secured with state-covered loans. In Schaufler China Co., Ltd., where Schaufler Tooling cooperates with two well-known, strategically Chinese mold making companies, the partners were able to cushion the challenges comparatively well. In general, business in China is developing very well despite the COVID-19 pandemic and mold construction there is in no way inferior to European standards in mold production.

There, too, 5-axis technology and high-speed machines are used to manufacture molds for complex cast parts, but in the high-end segment the know-how, simulation, design, thermal household calculation and engineering still come from Germany. In the medium term, people are also thinking of having their own assembly site in China.

In 2019, the trade magazine Wirtschaftswoche counted the SF Tooling Group with Schaufler Tooling in Germany and Fischer Tool & Die in the USA among the world market leaders.

Heinrich is convinced that his company will cope with the challenges and is well positioned, because the corona effects are temporary.

The entrepreneur sees the situation very realistically and expects good opportunities for Europe shortly, because the average age of the vehicles is relatively high and that means replacement needs and fleet renewal is imminent. The export of vehicles could become less in the medium term because the value chains tend to shift to other markets in the direction of Asia.

The investment climate for OEMs and suppliers in the automotive industry is determined by the transformation and the discussion about alternative drives, connectivity and autonomous driving, so that classic investments are sometimes delayed. Overall, it can be seen that the variety of models is being reduced in favor of future technologies.

However, anyone who claims to know how the transformation of the drives is really developing must be a clairvoyant, because we are in very young and dynamic technologies that make forecasting difficult. In any case, there are excellent opportunities for die casting in the light metal sector for each of the possible drive types to be part of the demand and supply chain, and that for all common drive types in parallel for the coming years. This requires a high degree of flexibility and knowledge transfer and challenges everyone involved to work more closely together. In Heinrich's opinion, mold makers and foundries could well be involved in the development processes earlier.

Everything that makes die casting more competitive overall is also good for mold making, including integrated large cast parts for the body.

Of course, die casting is extremely dependent on the automobile and the question of how much die casting is left in a purely electric vehicle has not yet been decided. It is not necessarily European manufacturers who set the pace. Siegfried Heinrich is convinced that all OEMs are closely following Tesla's bold plans to use large-scale, highly integrated cast parts for body-in-white construction and drawing their conclusions. When asked to what extent mold making is already prepared for these challenges, he is diplomatic. This is a new league of tools that did not exist up to now, so it is necessary to build up the appropriate infrastructure in order to be optimally set up, but that is possible and feasible.

In general, Heinrich advocates that the industry and those involved in the process use all technological advantages. As usual, the die casting mold is about the potential for improvement in terms of quality, service life and cycle times.

Whether there are alternative, new areas of application for die-casting, Heinrich mentions the electronics, photovoltaics and mobile phone technology environment, especially when it comes to the need for 5G expansion, there are interesting examples of die-cast housing technology.

The signs of an economic recovery are palpable, governments around the world are campaigning for rapid and sustainable industrial funding and, as is so often the case, psychology plays a decisive role in the current situation. Siegfried Heinrich exudes confidence, when asked about the outlook for the second half of 2020, he is confident. “We still have big plans for 2020, the order books are full and we have new projects. There are so many interesting and forward-looking aspects that affect die casting and mold making and good work is being done everywhere.”

In addition to the technology for new large cast parts, we see great challenges and optimization opportunities on many levels. The consequences of the pandemic may contribute to global standardization becoming more important. With standardized machine interfaces, you could save expenses and unnecessary costs, drive the trend towards standard parts and, in the Internet of Things (IoT), please do not neglect mold making. This is a plea for closer cooperation between manufacturers, foundries and mold making and an optimistic signal for the entire industry.