How FluidForming Technology is Changing Metal Forming
FluidForming: Redefining Precision Metal Forming Technology
Technology is changing the metal forming industry. And it’s about time.
Companies are constantly responding to the call of technology to improve existing products, develop new products, and reduce costs. Automation dramatically changed automotive manufacturing in the 1940s, computer-integrated manufacturing entered our lexicon in the 1970s, and 3D printing first became a resource for rapid prototyping in the 1980s.
Manufacturing is changing. And the metal forming industry is changing with it.
Although technology has changed how we interact with metal forming machinery, the underlying process for forming shapes out of metal — that is, forcing a tool into a sheet of metal to create a predetermined shape or bending a tube into a complex formation — has remained largely unchanged.
Until recently, that is. FluidForming technology is changing the metal forming business.
Technical Superiority Translates to Business Superiority
Thanks to forming pressures of up to 4,000 bar/60,000 psi, FluidForming is a highly accurate and repeatable hydroforming process that achieves a 99.996% first-pass-yield rate. And it’s redefining the metal forming industry.
For the first time in nearly 70 years, companies known for the highest levels of quality and industries that demand precision — such as luxury car brands, high-end appliance manufacturers, medical equipment manufacturers, and aerospace companies — have a metal forming option that’s accurate, reliable, precise, and repeatable.
The FluidForming process was invented and patented in Germany in 2000. Soon, companies like Mercedes-Benz, Airbus, Miele, Porsche, BMW, were turning to FluidForming for innovative solutions to their metal forming challenges.
Established in 2014, FluidForming Americas brought the FluidForming process and the FormBalancer family of precision presses to the U.S.
FluidForming Americas’ metal forming machines, FormBalancers, achieve the highest forming pressures of any machine on the market.
The bladder-free technology simultaneously reduces maintenance costs and improves precision and finish quality. Because the FluidForming process doesn’t require a bladder — unlike legacy hydroforming methods — only one side of the material comes in contact with the forming force, which is water.
This innovative approach produces significant quality advantages and cost-saving benefits.
Quality Advantages of FluidForming
- Six Sigma quality, accuracy, and repeatability.
- Eliminates bladder friction and tool marks.
- Accommodates the formation of complex shapes.
- Forms detailed impressions and microchannels.
- Accommodates undercuts.
- Minimizes springback and material thinning.
- Increases dimensional stability.
- Encourages creative and innovative design.
- Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
- Enables the use of pre-painted, polished, and patterned materials.
Cost-Saving Benefits of FluidForming
- Reduces secondary operations or post-production fixturing.
- Uses a single die from prototyping through production.
- Reduces the use of consumables.
- Eliminates bladders and the risk of bladder ruptures.
- Lowers scrap costs.
- Minimal material waste.
- Nested tooling capabilities.
- Accommodates die inserts and product branding.
- Clean and quiet operation.
- Reduces overall energy costs.
- Shortens product development cycles.
- Accelerates time-to-market.
FormBalancer Technology is Changing Metal Forming
Find out which FormBalancer is right for your next project. FluidForming Americas works with clients to manufacture highly precise components to desired specifications. FormBalancers are also available for lease or purchase.
FluidForming Americas, Inc. is a member of the Precision Metal Forming Association and is AS9100 Rev D, ISO 9001:2015 certified.