DIELESS BLANKING IN THE MODERN PRESS SHOP

How die-free laser blanking with DynamicFlow Technology from Schuler boosts the efficiency of your press shop.

The laser blanking line reduces your production footprint while also improving your OEE
The laser blanking line reduces your production footprint while also improving your OEE

BLANKING WITH NO DIE CHANGES

Laser blanking lines with DFT are highly flexible and extremely productive manufacturing systems. We use high-performance fiber lasers for the continuous cutting of coil material. The result is extremely high productivity, excellent cutting quality and impressive contour accuracy—especially where delicate body shell blanks are involved.

Ready-made blank stacks for the forming process
Ready-made blank stacks for the forming process

QUALITY AND FLEXIBILITY IN A SINGLE SYSTEM

DynamicFlow Technology makes it possible to cut different materials—including steel, aluminum, and high-strength steels—on a single production line. Even material combinations like ALSi steels for thermoformed components in bodywork structures are easily handled by our system.

DynamicFlow Technology for flexible production
DynamicFlow Technology for flexible production

LASER BLANKING WITH DYNAMICFLOW TECHNOLOGY

Thanks to DFT, cost-intensive blanking dies (along with their time-consuming repair) and the extensive storage space and crane logistics required wherever dies are used are no longer necessary. Developed based on our many years of experience with the rigorous standards of the automotive industry, our laser blanking lines with DFT deliver an impressive package for incredibly flexible production at a comparatively low investment cost. This combination makes DFT a legitimate alternative to conventional die-based blanking systems in the press shop.

Laser blanking lines for manufacturing blanks in tomorrow’s industrial production
Laser blanking lines for manufacturing blanks in tomorrow’s industrial production

MODULAR SYSTEM DESIGN

Schuler offers the entire process chain—from the coil to the blank stack—from a single source. We work with safety and control concepts featuring the latest technology. The modular design principle allows for application-specific solutions. All system components have proven themselves in the field, are coordinated to work seamlessly with one another, and deliver both superior quality and high system uptime. Additional modules for processing aluminum or high-strength materials are easy to integrate. And our global service network is close by wherever our customers are located.

Schuler coil line for smooth material transport and exceptional flatness
Schuler coil line for smooth material transport and exceptional flatness

MATERIAL DIRECTLY FROM THE COIL

The above-ground coil line, which is optimized to achieve short setup times, can handle coils with material widths up to 2 150 mm and coil weights up to 30 tons. The gentle and controlled material transport, combined with the outstanding setup results, ensures uninterrupted processing in the laser cell.

Highly dynamic cutting heads work “on the fly.”
Highly dynamic cutting heads work “on the fly.”

BLANKING LINE WITH MULTIPLE CUTTING HEADS FOR CONTINUOUS COIL FEED

In the laser cell, multiple highly dynamic laser cutting heads cut the programmed contour from the continuously moving material coil “on the fly.” These cutting heads work at cutting speeds in excess of 100 m/min. The material is protected against process contamination during the cutting process by the dynamic cutting clearance and the specially designed material transport.

Excellent blank quality assured by innovative blank cleaning system
Excellent blank quality assured by innovative blank cleaning system

SEPARATING THE BLANKS FROM THE SCRAP

Once the cutting process is complete, the blanks must be separated from the rest of the material (scrap). This occurs through the use of automated systems specially adapted to the individual products.  Following the separation, the blanks first undergo a cleaning before moving into the automatic stacking system. This makes it possible to ensure outstanding body shell quality.

Ready-made blank stacks for the forming process
Ready-made blank stacks for the forming process

STACKING BLANKS

Stop-2-Drop stackers and alternative stacking systems are available to help ensure excellent stacking quality.

TECHNICAL DATA IN COMPARISON

Versions

LBL-2.18

LBL-2.21

 

Coil width

max. 1880

max. 2150

mm

Coil weight

max. 30

 to

Coil material

Steel, Aluminum, High Strength Steel

Coil thickness

0.6 - 3.0

 mm

Coil speed

max. 60

m/min

Cutting head positioning speed

180

m/min

Cutting speed

max. over 100

m/min

Number of lasers

2

Rated power per laser

4

kW

Blank length

max. 4500

mm

Stack height

max. 750

mm

Stack weight

max. 12

to

YOUR BENEFITS FROM BLANKING WITH DYNAMICFLOW TECHNOLOGY

Featuring two laser cutting heads, the laser blanking lines 2.18 and 2.21 deliver a modular design and excellent ease of use. Because the system is designed to be installed above-ground, it can also be used in normal logistics buildings. Special foundations, such as those required by presses, are therefore not necessary. The only thing left to do is supply the coils and cart off the stacks!  The lines are available for coil widths measuring up to 1 880 mm and 2 150 mm. They can be used to process steel and aluminum for body shell blanks as well as structural parts.

Laser blanking is the digital way to cut blanks. Simply load a drawing and select the material: It’s all the software needs in order to come up with a blanking program. The program is created offline in your office, giving you the ability to simulate various different scenarios to arrive at the optimal combination of material utilization and output. Of course, these part-specific programs can also be saved and modified at any time. The result is a high level of flexibility that significantly reduces development time for optimal blanks while also allowing needs-based production. This not only makes production planning easier, it also opens the door to continuous contour optimizations for the forming process. What’s more: Laser cutting does not require any gap between individual parts—which is typically not the case where blanking dies are used. Combined with flexible nesting functions, this unlocks new potential for saving material.

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Laser blanking helps save material:

  1. Conversion of rectangular and trapezoidal blanks into contoured blanks
    The only reason to use rectangular or trapezoidal blanks for bodywork manufacturing in the automotive industry is because cut-to-length systems are readily available. It’s a method that does not require expensive blanking dies. The drawback, however, is that truly optimal blanks are only obtained in the rarest of cases. Thanks to the programmable cut we offer, you can change a straight line into a sinusoidal or arched contour and thereby improve your material utilization rate or forming characteristics.
  2. Contoured blanks from flatbed lasers
    Blanks made by flatbed lasers are often used where aluminum blanks or smaller vehicle series are involved. Here, the starting material consists of metal sheets from which contoured blanks are cut. A continuous scrap grate is necessary to ensure that loading and unloading can proceed in an automated manner. Moving the production of these products to a laser cutting system makes it possible to use over 10% less material in most cases!
  3. Dividing strips between blanks
    Die-based cutting requires a dividing strip between the blanks. In laser cutting, on the other hand, both sides of the cut are considered good edges, meaning that a dividing strip is no longer needed. If the dividing strips amount to 1 cm of material over 1 m of feed length, we’re already reducing material waste by 1%!

More than 90% of the blank value is accounted for by material. The total value of the material ejected out of a blanking line each year is enormous. Reducing the amount of scrap material can therefore save millions of euros.

Summary:

  • Direct-from-coil process
  • Optimized nesting on the material line
  • Conversion of rectangles and trapezoids into contoured blanks
  • Elimination of dividing strips between blanks
  • Combination of different parts on the material line
  • Positioning of blanks at different angles
  • Reduced variety of coils thanks to flexible nesting

The modular laser blanking line is installed on the floor. Lower loads and forces are transmitted to the ground than when a die-based blanking system with a press is used. No press foundation, no loop pit, no press pit, no die cranes, no die storage areas, lower heights between floors, and extremely low noise emissions all translate into significantly lower building costs. The system comes pre-assembled for a shorter installation time.

A crane to handle the coils...and a forklift to take the blank stacks where they need to go. That‘s it.

The building and infrastructure costs of a die-based blanking system normally push the overall costs to double those for the equipment investment alone. A laser blanking line eliminates a large portion of these costs.

Cost-efficiency is a requirement of every production process. That being said, the cost of blanks is determined by more than just the investment in the machinery. The costs for personnel, logistics, buildings, dies, storage areas and repairs, as well as other additional costs, can add up to a much greater amount.

Because the use of a laser blanking line eliminates die-related downtime and lengthy change times, and since the system in fact only stops for a short time when the coil needs to be changed, this technology yields a higher OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) than a conventional blanking system.

Taking all of the aforementioned factors into consideration, we then quickly arrive at the logical conclusion that a laser blanking line is the more cost-effective means of production for manufacturing blanks.

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DAIMLER ORDERS BLANKING LINE WITH LASER CELL

Laser beams instead of tons of dies: At its facility in Kuppenheim, located in Germany’s Baden region, Daimler has now put two laser blanking lines from Schuler into operation. Designed for the series production of Daimler’s compact vehicles, these two lines can be switched over to a different blank shape at the press of a button. The contours are programmed offline and can be simulated to optimize production output.

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!

Find out more about the full range of advantages offered by Schuler’s laser blanking lines. We’re happy to help you with service for your existing equipment, and can assist you with the planning of new systems. Turn around!

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