Once again, the team was able to demonstrate the advantages of Picum with one of our mobile machining systems in a new application at LÄPPLE Automotive.

Operational wear and tear are unavoidable, because the dies used in sheet metal forming are exposed to enormous stress. As a result, repairs may be necessary, some of which can be done manually or with the support of a Picum system. Replacing individual segments or inserts is another option if the design of the die allows it. This is especially of interest if a major repair is necessary or if repairs are not technically or economically feasible. 

Such spare parts are easy to produce using existing design data, but they have one main disadvantage. They usually do not match to the geometry of the corresponding forming tool that has been worked on during the tryout process. The spare part cannot simply replace the part to be repaired, it must be modified to fit the surrounding contour before the new part can be used in production. This additional try out process is normally time consuming. 

In the application described below, we successfully used our systems to carry out precisely this adaptation of a spare part on site while reducing manual reworking to a minimum. A spare part was made based on existing CAD data to replace a ca. 200 mm long punching or cutting bar which was hardened to 56 HRC. The component is in operation stage 30 of a tool of about 10 t weight. The segment which needed to be replaced had already been repaired several times and it was suspected that it could break during production. As described before, it was also the case here that the spare part did not fit the surrounding contour of the tool and an adjustment was needed. 

The original part was still in use and installed in the tool. We took that opportunity to digitize the actual situation of the surface geometry of the relevant segment by using our high-precision measuring technology. After assembling the new spare part and a further scan, the data was used to generate a milling strategy to machine the new spare part on four sides obtaining the target contour of the original part. 

The spare part could be brought into a production-ready condition with the high-precision on-site machining of our systems and manual reworking of the part could be reduced to almost zero. This not only avoided the need to transport the 10t tool to a large milling machine, but also saved time and money compared to the conventional procedure and significantly minimized the time needed on a tryout press.