How Data Science Can Increase Efficiency in Metal Stamping

By Henry Cialone
President & CEO, EWI

Metal stamping has a long history. While there have been changes around the margins, the materials and technologies involved in the process had been substantially static until a decade or so ago.

That was when, driven primarily by the needs of the auto industry, lighter-weight, higher-strength steel entered the scene. This new steel delivered on its promise to help make cars both safer and more fuel-efficient. But simultaneously it dealt manufacturers some new challenges.

These issues stem largely from the new steel’s chemical and microstructural complexity, which results in inconsistency in its material properties — not only from manufacturer to manufacturer, but also from coil to coil for the same manufacturer.

Integrating this new steel — which has significantly more material property variation than conventional steel — with traditional metal stamping design and manufacturing processes has proven problematic. The industry is now experiencing higher scrap rates and more poor-quality parts, along with decreased efficiency and, as a consequence, increased costs.

Enter data science…

To read the full article, click here.

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A New Path Forward for Small and Medium-sized Manufacturers

EWI’s Buffalo Manufacturing Works is an innovation engine for manufacturers in the Western New York region and beyond. In the past few years, our team has helped small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) work with local partners to overcome barriers to technology adoption and development.

The integration of new manufacturing technology into production processes helps SMMs attract new workers, operate more efficiently, and ultimately become more competitive and successful in the global marketplace.

A new series of short videos, Moving Manufacturing Forward, highlights selected contributions Buffalo Manufacturing Works has made (often through its Shift manufacturing program) in support of SMMs as they embrace advanced technology and plan for future success.

Are you a small or medium-sized manufacturer looking to update, innovate, and progress by adopting advanced technology? EWI can help! Let’s talk. To contact us, click here or call 614.688.5152.

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Robotics Training Courses for Engineers at EWI to be Offered in Fall 2021

The EWI Skillform Center is pleased to offer a range of robotics courses in September and October 2021. These practical courses are specially designed to help engineers with minimal experience in robotics gain the knowledge needed to bring automation into a production setting. This training series, directed by Senior Automation Engineer Mike Garman, is taught in the automation labs at EWI’s Buffalo Manufacturing Works in Western New York. Each course offers opportunity for hands-on instruction and practice.

The three courses vary in length to cover the subject material. Professional development hours (PDH) can be earned for each one:

  • Robotic Basics: A Hands-on Workshop provides a practical introduction to both static industrial and collaborative robot (“cobot”) platforms. In a single day, this lab-based crash course covers basic programming moves, end-of-arm tooling options, common applications, and safety considerations. The course will be taught on Wednesday, September 1. (6 PDH)
  • Robotic Fundamentals & Applications gives engineering professionals a broad overview of robotic technology, applications, and operations. Through a mix of in-class and hands-on instruction, students quickly gain familiarity with both industrial and collaborative platforms and acquire a critical base of robotic knowledge that can later be applied in the workplace. The course will take place on September 22-23. (15 PDH)
  • Robotic Integration is a five-day intensive that prepares students to return to their workplaces with the necessary skills and knowledge to implement robotic automation on site. The curriculum covers robotic selection, operation, and set up; safety standards; electrical and pneumatic interfacing; basic and intermediate programming; and applications programming. At the end of the week, participants will have wired and assembled a fully functioning robotics cell. This immersive class will be offered the week of October 18-22. (35 PDH)

To register for one or more of EWI’s robotics courses, click here now.

To learn more about professional training offered by the EWI Skillform Center, visit Questions? Please contact Susan Witt at [email protected].

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K&M Machine Fabricating Joins EWI Membership

EWI welcomes K&M Machine Fabricating, Inc. to membership. The company provides outsourced machining, fabricating, burning, and assembly. K&M is based in Cassopolis, Michigan, and serves the defense, oil & gas, power generation, machine tool, construction, and mining industries.

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Challenges of AHSS in Automotive Production, AM Predictive Modeling to be topics of EWI Webinars

EWI will present two free technical webinars in August 2021. All are invited to attend:
  • Gaps and Gen 3 Steels, August 3, 11:00 am EDT 
    Presented by James Cruz, Principal Engineer
    Generation 3 steels offer many benefits for automotive, body-in-white manufacturing, but they are also associated with cracking behaviors in resistance spot welds. In addition, the presence of zinc coatings on the steel (for corrosion protection) is correlated with liquid metal embrittlement-related cracking. Some of these challenges were discussed in a recently published paper, “Influence of Gap on the Susceptibility of Interfacial Failure for Spot Welds on Advanced High-strength Steels.” This webinar will offer a better understanding of the challenges that can arise when implementing Gen 3 steels.
  • Predicting AM Part Performance, August 11, 1:00 pm EDT
    Presented by EWI associates Alex Kitt, Luke Mohr, and Arushi Dhakad
    In additive manufacturing (AM), post-processing steps are just as crucial to the success of the final product as the build itself. EWI has developed a new performance prediction model takes both build and post-build processing into account. A paper describing this project is available to download. Learn how the predictive model has been applied to titanium alloys and plans for applying it to other metal alloys and post-build processes.

There is no cost to attend an EWI Technical Webinar, but advanced registration is required.

Reserve your spot today for one or both of these events.

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Patents Issued on Three EWI Projects

EWI is broadly recognized as an engineering consultancy that can help manufacturers solve their problems and improve their processes. Less well known is the fact that EWI has a robust internal R&D program aimed at developing innovations that advance the state of manufacturing technology overall. We’re pleased to announce that three recent projects were awarded U.S. patents this spring:

  • Capacitive Discharge Welding System – This new technology creates weld-to-weld polarity-switched capacitor discharge current, enabling the use of stacked core transformers with better coupling between the workpiece and power supply. The system demonstrates clear advantages for automotive applications. Investigations involving the system were covered in two EWI papers, Joining of Copper Foils by Capacitive Discharge Welding and Capacitive Discharge Welding of Battery Foils. This project was directed by Jerry Gould, EWI Senior Technology Leader for Resistance and Solid-state Processes.
  • Computed Tomography for Nondestructive Evaluation of Manufactured Parts – EWI Applications Engineer Luke Mohr and Director of Data Science Alex Kitt developed a new methodology that incorporates prior knowledge into CT reconstructions of manufactured parts. This technique reduces CT scan time for inspection by a factor of 3-10x. The process can vastly improve ROI for NDE inspection of many components build from the same design. EWI first introduced its work in a 2020 article, A New Approach to Reduce CT Scan Time and Cost.
  • Laser Beam Profiling System for Use in Laser Powder Bed Fusion Manufacturing – This unique sensor can analyze laser beam characteristics and position accuracy in multiple locations while in motion during an L-PBF build.  First discussed in a 2020 article, A Solution for Laser Beam Quality Analysis in L-PBF AM Production, the system has the potential to eliminate many expensive and time-consuming qualification builds. EWI’s Jacob Hay and Stan Ream led this effort.

EWI congratulates all of our patent awardees on their outstanding, leading-edge work.

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Applications of Laser Welding for Automotive Electronics

With an array of enhancements in recent years, laser welding offers many advantages as a joining process for automotive components.

EWI Principal Engineer Eric Stiles has written Laser Welding for Automotive Electronics to present a range of advantages and applications of laser welding for vehicle parts and products. You are invited to download this paper for FREE by completing the form on this page.

For more information about EWI’s laser processing capabilities and services, contact [email protected].

Complete this form to download the paper:

To view the paper, please submit the form above.

Want to contact an EWI expert about a project? Call 614.688.5152 or click here.

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