We figured out a way to build a better mousetrap. We mean it figuratively, but we could probably do it literally, too. The FluidForming metal forming process — and the technology that makes the process possible — is better, faster, and smarter than any legacy hydroforming method on the market today. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say that FluidForming is the very definition of smart manufacturing.
If you’d prefer a more Wikipedia-style definition, here it is: “smart manufacturing is a category of manufacturing with the goal of optimizing concept generation, production, and product transaction.”
That’s pretty much precisely what we do here at FluidForming Americas.
FluidForming is hydroforming reinvented — and better
FluidForming’s FormBalancer machines (which come in a number of different sizes to accommodate a number of different metal forming functions, such as fuel cell manufacturing or satellite dish production) utilize highly pressurized recycled tap water as the forming liquid. It’s the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable metal forming method available to manufacturers today.
Other key benefits of FluidForming include:
- Unprecedented forming pressures of up to 400 mPA/60,000 psi
- Six Sigma process — 99.996% first pass yield rate
- Low energy consumption
- Low noise operation
- The ability to form complex geometries and undercuts
- Compatibility with pre-painted or pre-painted metal surfaces
- Improved quality — parts that were previously made from plastic can now be formed in metal
FluidForming is a modern take on hydroforming — and faster
It’s true: FluidForming dramatically streamlines the pre-production timeline by integrating 3D dies and nested die structures. This means that your new product’s time-to-market is minimized. Changeover times between component runs are minimal. Instead of waiting weeks or months from ideation to production, FluidForming produces high-quality, production components in just a matter of days.
But wait, there’s more! With forming pressures of up to 60,000 psi, FluidForming virtually eliminates warping and springback, which, in turn, minimizes post forming fixturing and clamping. Our Advanced Element Analysis feature even allows for the evaluation of part design prior to tool build so we’ll give you a heads-up if your design needs some revision before production.
We save time.
FluidForming is cost-effective — and smarter
When we save time, you save money.
Our marketing department hates it when we say that FluidForming is “cheaper,” but it really is less expensive than legacy manufacturing methods. We’ve hit the trifecta: better, faster, and… smarter. Here’s how we do it:
Reduce Tooling and Die Costs
Legacy die casting equipment and dies are very costly. Because the FluidForming technology seamlessly weaves in CAD and additive technologies, die costs are slashed. And, unlike traditional metal stamping which requires two dies, the FormBalancer requires just one die and can even accommodate 3D-printed dies.
Nested, Modular Die Structures Reduce Material Waste
Nested tooling saves in tooling costs and supports the use of 3-D printed dies, composites and other materials, unlike conventional tooling approaches.
Minimize Post Forming Labor Costs
As we've already noted, thanks to our high forming pressures, we're able to eliminate warping and springback — which minimizes or eliminates post forming fixturing and clamping.
Keep Maintenance Costs Down
When compared to traditional, bladder-based hydroforming, die casting, or sheet metal stamping, the cost of maintaining the FormBalancer machine is minimal.