Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : High Pressure Guerin Forming Process of Aluminum Sheetmetal
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis applies guerin forming, or rubber pad forming, to improve the quality and producibility of sheetmetal parts. This method involves high pressure forming and utilizes a rubber pad inside a chamber to apply pressure on metal blanks placed over tools. The pressure on the blanks forms them around the tools.
The MDA-St. Louis machine, built by Siempelkamp Press Systems in Germany, has been used in production since June 1989. It is a 25,000-ton press with up to a 30,000 psi forming pressure. It has four operating stations with two pallets per station, and all eight stations can be concurrently loaded into the system. This press is the only 30,000 psi rubber-pad type, high pressure forming facility in the world. It has a capacity of one million parts per year based on a two shift, five-day-a-week operation. The cost of the machinery was $4.3M, and installation was $710K.
The higher forming pressures result in fewer press hits to manufacture an acceptable part. One hit is normally required instead of two or three using the previous method at lower pressures, and little rework is required. A reduction of up to 80% in rework time and 60% in cycle time can be achieved by using this high pressure forming method.
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