Oct 16, 2017 5:57 pm

As Materials and Technologies Change, Your Workforce Requires Different Skills and More Adaptability

By |2018-06-07T20:41:32-04:00Oct 16, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Introduction / Summary The type and depth of knowledge required to form sheet metal changed along with the industry. Experience is no longer the only measure of an employee’s capabilities. During the past 25 years, thousands of new grades of steel were introduced, aluminum components became more common, forming technologies evolved, and computer analysis began to supplement traditional processes. Gone are the days of only forming a handful of [...]

Aug 6, 2016 5:57 pm

What Caused Job Losses in the Steel Industry?

By |2018-06-07T20:38:27-04:00Aug 6, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Tim Worstall, a contributor to Forbes magazine, recently wrote an opinion piece, “It’s Not China Or Trade That Killed The Steel Jobs But Recycling.“ The crux of the piece was that the job losses in the steel industry over the past half-century can be attributed to the rise of more efficient minimills capturing business that was once held by integrated mills. I think this is an oversimplification of the [...]

May 5, 2016 5:56 pm

New Press Hardening Steels with Hot Dipped Galvanized Coating

By |2018-06-07T20:37:59-04:00May 5, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

One of the challenges with direct hot forming a galvanized PHS is the risk of microcracks in the coating and an associated restricted process window. Steel company voestalpine has with their phs-ultraform® product developed a process that they have termed phs-directform®.  The process steps are similar to conventional direct hot forming with one significant difference – the use of a non-contact “pre-cooler” which cools the heated blanks to around [...]

Mar 13, 2013 5:55 pm

Nissan to Use 1.2GPa Steel to Reduce Vehicle Weight

By |2018-06-07T20:28:39-04:00Mar 13, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Nissan just announced the expanded use of an Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) that has a tensile strength of 1.2GPa (= 1,200MPa = 175 ksi = 175,000 psi). This follows their initial announcement in October 2011. Things we’ve learned: The complex microstructure consists of 2 hard phases and 1 soft phase. The scale of the microstructure is micron / submicron. A new welding process needed to be developed to [...]

Mar 1, 2013 5:46 pm

Industrial Design and Sheet Metal Forming

By |2018-06-07T20:25:31-04:00Mar 1, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

We all hear frequent discussion about Advanced High Strength Steels, increased use of aluminum, and carbon fibres. Much of the discussion in automotive focuses on materials and processes to increase product strength and reduce mass.  A pamphlet published by Volvo Construction Equipment (http://tinyurl.com/d3c3cvh) discusses the increasing role industrial design plays in new product development. Are we looking far enough forward in product design to anticipate the additional forming challenges we will [...]

Feb 28, 2013 5:45 pm

Acura RLX will have Multi-Metal Doors: Aluminum Skins and Steel Inners

By |2018-06-07T20:20:44-04:00Feb 28, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Honda has developed a production manufacturing process that lets them join steel to aluminum skin panels. The first application of this will be on the 2014 Acura RLX, which will have an aluminum door skin joined to a steel door inner. This technique is projected to reduce the weight of the doors by 17%, and improve ride stability by concentrating the weight closer to the vehicle center. This application [...]

Feb 26, 2013 5:44 pm

Deformation Modes in Sheet Metal Forming

By |2018-06-07T20:18:02-04:00Feb 26, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Through my website, someone asked about the deformation modes in sheet metal forming. My response: The three deformation modes in three-dimensional forming are draw, plane strain, and stretch. These can be visualized by imagining a circle of known diameter etched into the sheet metal when it is still a flat blank. Deforming the blank turns the circle into an ellipse. By definition, the longest dimension of the ellipse is [...]

Feb 25, 2013 5:43 pm

Supplies and Suppliers Limited Chrysler Sales in 2012

By |2018-06-07T20:09:35-04:00Feb 25, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Sales of the 2013 Dodge Dart were lower than initially projected in 2012 because only manual transmissions were available at launch, with a six-speed automatic sourced from Hyundai serving as a stopgap until a promised nine-speed automatic is available. In addition, Chrysler reportedly is pressuring Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee suppliers to increase capacity after bottlenecks cost the company 60,000 to 70,000 lost sales globally in 2012. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130114/RETAIL01/130119913/marchionne-says-darts-slow-start-due-to-transmission-availability http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130114/OEM02/130119892/chrysler-lost-60-70k-jeep-sales-to-production-bottlenecks-marchionne [...]

Feb 6, 2013 5:42 pm

Automotive Aluminum: Prices, Supply, and Demand

By |2018-06-07T20:07:23-04:00Feb 6, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Bloomberg article highlights: * Morgan Stanley predicts a 29 percent gain in aluminum prices by 2018. * At current aluminum prices, which are more than a third below 2008 highs, at least 30 percent of aluminum companies aren’t making money. * The metal has failed to revisit the $3,317 a ton level reached in 2008, averaging about $2,200 in the past five years. * The global surplus of aluminum [...]

Feb 4, 2013 5:41 pm

Making bottle crowns 50 microns thinner leads to multimillion dollar savings for SABMiller

By |2018-06-07T20:03:08-04:00Feb 4, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Global brewing company SABMiller has developed a bottle crown that reduces the crown thickness to 0.17mm from a typical thickness of 0.22mm to 0.24mm. This thickness change of 50 microns reduces the standard crown weight from 2.38g to 2.14g, corresponding to a 360g reduction on every pallet. Although this may not seem like a significant reduction, SABMiller uses 42 billion steel caps a year. If implemented globally, this change [...]