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Digital sheet metal forming is transforming the automotive industry

Digital sheet metal forming is transforming the automotive industry

January 20, 2024 3:37 pm

Discover the cutting-edge technologies shaping the metal-forming landscape as SLTL showcases its innovations in ultra-high-power laser cutting, tube processing, additive manufacturing, and digital sheet metal forming and transforming industries at IMTEX 2024.

How are ultra-high power laser cutting machines and digital platforms transforming traditional manufacturing processes towards more efficiency and smartness?

With current technological advancements, everyone in the industry is increasingly embracing digitisation. These days, everyone emphasises man-less systems and provides solutions that maximise output. Ultra-high power laser cutting machines have emerged as dominant players in the market. We believe in continuous innovation and aim to harness IMTEX to provide visitors with hands-on experience with our laser technology.

The key element in transforming the industry with smart facilities lies in adopting technology and advanced solutions that enhance manufacturing efficiency and customer-friendliness. The trend towards smart facilities lessens human interaction regarding product displays and customer meetings as businesses strive to leverage digital platforms for seamless operations.

How will SLTL’s showcase of their Ultra-high power laser cutting machines at IMTEX impact the metal forming industry?

IMTEX is considered one of the most eminent exhibitions in the metal forming industry. It extends abundant opportunities, capturing huge attention in machine tools and technology. SLTL Experts aim to harness this platform to give visitors a first-hand experience of our laser systems with the range of lasers on display.  

IMTEX, a globally covered exhibition, attracts industries from various parts of the world. This year, the spotlight will be on SLTL’s Ultra-high power laser cutting machine, taking centre stage at the event. The superior machines with power compatibility of 1kW to 20kW, 40kW, 60kW and beyond are designed for precision cutting and faster processing speed even at higher thicknesses. With their exceptional cutting capabilities, these machines have become invaluable tools for industries that demand accuracy, speed, and versatility in their manufacturing processes.   

 High-power lasers are crucial in industries that require fast and efficient cutting operations. The ability to cut through thick materials swiftly and accurately enhances productivity and reduces production lead times, giving manufacturers a competitive edge. The show is a perfect ecosystem for buyers and sellers to get benefits and gain healthy exposure.    

 What new manufacturing trends and metal forming machine tools are being focused on in IMTEX Forming 2024?

There has been a surge in the metal forming sector, extending its services to various industries. Even small fabricators are adopting laser technology, recognising it as the latest trend in metal forming and a viable, practical solution within the industry. Laser technology has increased production speed and, at the same time, provided an enormous reduction in manufacturing costs.   

Considering the latest advancements, IoT-enabled machines supporting application digitisation are the industry’s future. By leveraging advanced technologies, we ensure that human errors are nullified, wastage is minimised, and efficiency and top quality become synonymous with SLTL’s solutions.   

With hi-tech technology and rapid upgrades, the industry is focused on achieving new heights. The team and their efforts kept us updated with the latest market trends. We may predict the industry’s future trends toward technology adoption. Since industry 5.0 is also coming, we can say that the spread of man-less machines and automation will be adapted in larger units.  

How does integrating digital technologies and robotics enhance efficiency in metal forming processes?  

 SLTL Group pioneers revolutionary systems by integrating advanced technologies like additive manufacturing, IoT, AI, ANN, and Industry 4.0. The emphasis on smart manufacturing and the utilisation of cutting-edge technology positions the team at the forefront of industry transformation. AI and automation enable operational insights, corrective actions, and increased productivity, transforming industries into smart factories.  

SLTL Group’s commitment to high-tech solutions extends to super-fast laser cutting machines equipped with robotics for 3D cutting applications. This integration ensures faster speed, efficient quality, and cost-effectiveness. The development of robotic systems, including 5 axes and 7 axes integrated robotic automation, showcases intelligent capabilities for various operations such as cutting, welding, hardening, and cladding, achieving higher-quality output with reduced gas consumption. SLTL Group continues to redefine industry standards through innovative technologies and intelligent automation.  

Please talk about Laser Tube Cutting Series

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SLTL Group introduces the “Laser Tube Cutting Series,” a groundbreaking advancement in tube cutting precision and productivity. Comprising models T6150, T6200, and T6300, and with add-ons like bevel cutting and automatic loading-unloading systems, this series revolutionises tube-cutting processes. Further, automation enhances productivity by minimising errors and optimising efficiency.  

Integrating hardware and software enables SLTL’s Laser Tube Cutting machines to effortlessly handle diverse tube shapes, including squares, rounds, rectangles, elliptical, D-shaped tubes, angles, and channels. The advanced fibre laser tube cutting machine features a 4, 5, and 6-axis swing cutting head, allowing pipe bevel cutting within a ±45° range. This innovation enables accurate and fast cutting of various tube shapes. It eliminates traditional cutting methods and reduces workforce and material wastage through zero-clearance welding. SLTL’s Laser Tube Cutting Series signifies a paradigm shift in the efficiency and precision of tube-cutting processes.  

How is laser-based additive manufacturing shaping the future of metal forming?  

SLTL Group’s Laser-based additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is revolutionising metal forming, offering significant potential for the future of manufacturing. It enables the creation of intricate metal components that are challenging to produce with traditional methods. This technology optimises designs for lightweight structures without compromising strength, which is crucial in industries like aerospace and automotive for improving fuel efficiency.  

Additionally, it facilitates rapid prototyping, allowing quick design iterations, and cost-effectively produces customised metal components. Laser-based additive manufacturing minimises the need for large-scale manufacturing facilities, precisely depositing material where needed and optimising utilisation. As technology advances, its seamless integration with metal forming processes promises unprecedented flexibility, efficiency, and innovation in metal component production, shaping the future of manufacturing across industries.  

Digital sheet metal forming technology is influencing the shaped components in the automotive industry. Your opinion.  

Digital sheet metal forming is transforming the automotive industry, enhancing precision, flexibility, and efficiency in component production. SLTL’s intuitive technology, incorporating IoT, Industry 4.0, AI, and ANN, enables real-time monitoring, defect detection, and waste reduction, contributing to high-quality, sustainable automotive components. As the technology evolves, its impact is set to grow, playing a key role in developing safer, lighter, and more customised vehicles.  

SLTL’s software integrates advanced nesting, simulation, and modelling tools for predicting and optimising metal sheet behaviour, ensuring higher accuracy and meeting strict industry standards. The in-house developed software aids in material optimisation, aligning with sustainability goals by minimising waste. The technology optimises the entire sheet metal forming process, covering tool path planning, material handling, and quality control.   

Automotive manufacturers leverage SLTL’s technology for customised components across various vehicle models, responding swiftly to market trends and safety regulations. The digital nature allows rapid design changes, empowering designers and engineers to adapt quickly.  

Please talk about new developments in laser welding for sheet metals.  

SLTL’s innovative approach includes customising machines for specialised requirements. The approach covers can-to-cap welding, heat exchanger welding for battery cells, and various lithium-ion battery types, efficiently meeting diverse industry needs. The range of options, including handheld, automatic, spot welding, and different laser types such as CW, QCW, and Fiber lasers in high-power machines, cater to sheet metal welding applications. Renowned for their extensiveness and high-quality weld joints, these laser machines are increasingly preferred across industries, including fabricators and railways, ensuring strengthened joints with futuristic solutions.  

Focusing on current market trends and leveraging in-house R&D expertise, SLTL pioneers laser welding solutions for the electric vehicle (EEV) industry. It is developing solutions for welding from battery cells to packs. These high-powered machines excel in welding batteries of various shapes and sizes, addressing applications such as bus bar welding, bi-metal welding, and battery connector welding, offering exceptional strength and flawless joints, making laser welding the preferred choice for battery manufacturers.  

Talk about sustainability initiatives associated with metal forming techniques.  

SLTL’s sustainability initiatives focus on minimising environmental impact and promoting eco-friendly practices. Current technologies, including closed-loop systems, recycle scrap and waste from metal forming processes. Innovating fibre lasers over conventional methods, such as waterjet cutting and plasma, is a sustainable shift implemented by SLTL Group. Energy-efficient technologies, like high-efficiency laser machinery and optimised processing parameters, demonstrate the commitment to sustainability.  

SLTL integrates lean manufacturing principles to eradicate inefficiencies, streamline processes, and minimise resource utilisation. Through life cycle assessments, the environmental impact of lasers is comprehensively evaluated, spanning from raw material processing to end-of-life considerations. The company promotes a culture of sustainability, actively encouraging employee contributions for continuous environmental improvement. SLTL exceeds regulatory requirements and strives for ongoing advancements in sustainability practices, showcasing a commitment to environmentally responsible metal forming operations.  

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