Forging metal parts is possibly the oldest industrial process in continuous use, and thanks to the rapid evolution of simulation technology, new understanding about the forging process is emerging on a regular basis. More important, the various details of the new understanding are not confined to the program developers: because of the increasingly personalized nature of information technology, forgers, designers, and others are able to make their own discoveries.

That means the discoveries are not dependent on the arrival of new versions of simulation software programs. Simufact issued its most recent update to its forging simulation program, Simufact.forming 12 in January – and one feature of that release is Applied Function Sets, or AFS. According to Volker Mensing, marketing director for Simufact, software users have been enthusiastic about the utility of the AFS approach.

AFS allows the user, once launching the Simufact.forming program, to decide on a specific field of application. Process-dependent setups, e.g., selecting an appropriate solver, are displayed, and specific functions for other application fields are hidden. As a result, the functions for hot forging are bundled and the software limits itself to the process-relevant functions.

This significantly improves the usability of the software, streamlining decision-making and simplifying the overall project. More than that, Simufact.forming becomes more intuitive for each user, faster and more effective. And, because the program can be applied for hot forging, cold forming, sheet metal forming, rolling, ring rolling, open-die forging, heat treatment and mechanical joining processes, 
the variety of expertise available to users is amplified.

In one recent demonstration, Simufact emphasized how the software can be used to avoid typical manufacturing defects, such as the “fold formation” on a component.

This defect is particularly relevant for cold forming, with impact on finished part quality and on tool life. The characteristic yield stresses and the material hardening of cold forming require high pressing force, which exposes the forming tools. Often, tool resistance can only be attained by a supporting reinforcement.

So, cold forming simulation has to account for all such conditions, including the tool reinforcement and the material flow. And, a realistic presentation of these forces is necessary for high-precision simulation of cold forming, while taking into account the effects of spring back and the elastic-plastic material laws – all features that are provided by Simufact.forming.

The AFS technology bundles together the cold-metal forming functions, and the limits to the process-relevant functions. From a customer’s point of view, simulation software supports efforts to find answers to urgent matters. Simulation-based feasibility studies show whether or not a component ordered by a customer can be realized.