Zhejiang Wanliyang Co. Ltd., an automotive parts manufacturer at Hangzhou, in China’s Zhejiang Province, ordered a fully automatic closed-die forging press from SMS group, with one of the buyer’s representatives calling it “the best integrated package of mechanical and automation equipment.” The type MP 2500 press will deliver a force of 25 MN with capacity to forge up to 5 million parts annually, mainly high-performance gear wheels.

According to SMS, the new press will be the first fully automatic closed-die forging press for Zhejiang Wanliyang, and significantly increase productivity. Start-up is scheduled for June.

Zhejiang Wanliyang manufacturers automotive interior parts and transmission gearboxes for passenger cars, light trucks, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and agricultural machinery. Its products are distributed domestically and to some overseas markets.

The new closed-die press will have programmable ejectors, an electrically actuated automatic walking beam system, a mechanically coupled and retractable die-spraying system, and a quick-change bolster system for die placement.

The electrically actuated automatic walking-beam system developed by SMS group consists of four, individually encased drive units mounted on outside the press frame and protected against scale and other contamination. The automatic system moves the forgings fully automatically within the press, guaranteeing “very finely tuned, smooth movements,” according to SMS.

The reliable movement is achieved by a series of servo motors with downstream gears for each axis of movement: horizontal transport, lifting/lowering, and opening/closing. The system controls the path, speed, and acceleration or deceleration of each of the three servo axes. In order to minimize wear on the mechanical equipment and cycle times, the automatic walking-beam system has optimized starting and deceleration ramps: “By permanently reading in the ram positions of the press,” SMS explained, “the movement of the walking-beam system adjusts ideally to sequence of press movements.”

Another feature of the press is the SE spraying manipulator positioned at the back of the press and designed to be swung into and out of position, which provides free access to the tool room.

The SE spraying device is controlled simultaneously with and relative to the ram movements. By coupling these two processes, the inward and outward movements of the retractable nozzle holder are coordinated with the ram positions and transfer movements of the walking-beam in each individual case.

During set-up, the spray device is operated pneumatically. For resetting and maintenance activities, the manipulator can be swung out of the press area. The spraying times for the various operations can be programmed separately.

“Our objective is to produce flashless forgings in a fully automated and resource- and cost-saving process,” according to Wang, vice general manager of Forging at Zhejiang Wanliyang.