Within the framework of Programma Operativo Nazionale “Imprese e competitività 2014-2020 ERDF, Asse I, Azione 1.1.3, Susta has been granted funds for the implementation of the research and development project called “SpEcS: Development of Soft zone technology in hot formed metal sheets in the automotive field” in the “Smart Factory” area.
The SpEcS project involves the so called “soft zone” process in hot forming of metal sheet. This process makes it possible to manufacture from a single metal sheet a part with complex geometry characterized by two or more zones with different mechanical characteristics: on one hand there will be high mechanical strength and low deformability; on the other hand, low mechanical strength but high deformability.
With this project Susta is committed to developing an innovative system that aims to standardize the hot forming process with soft zone, with control equipment that makes it possible to process different products without the need to adapt the hardware. In addition, the project aims at a standardization of die design to allow the total interchangeability of the dies, with the goal of reducing the tooling time. Finally, Susta is committed to defining and implement a standard process that can comply with the changing needs or specifications of both the end customer (OEM) and the stamping companies where this technology is employed.
The current solutions in the market seem to be very rigid for the hot stamping product/process.