The hydraulic radial forging machine SMX by SMS group has been a success story for more than 30 years, where the defining feature of the SMX is given by the hydraulic drive of the four forging dies. Compared to the conventional mechanically driven system, our hydraulic drive offers the significant advantage with regard to the forging process and workpiece quality that the full forging force is available over the entire stroke of each forging cylinder. Hence, a good core penetration as well as flexible forging strategies with a controlled movement of the dies becomes possible.
Nowadays, radial forging processes are mainly designed based on the experience and knowledge of the operator or geometry based pass-schedule calculation. Although this allows a well-proven analysis on the process sequence, forces and kinematics, it gives only a statement on the geometrical evolution of the workpiece and does not provide any further information e.g. on the distribution of equivalent strain or temperature.
On the other hand, a numerical simulation of open-die forging process using FEA (finite element analysis) is complex, requires large numerical effort as well as personnel with technological knowledge and is very time consuming, since forging processes usually consist of up to many hundred forming steps. Hence, the process design in radial forging is often very time-consuming, expensive and leads to pass-schedules, where too large safety margins e.g. regarding the temperature are chosen resulting in a reduced profitability.
To overcome this challenge and improve the process of radial forging, SMS group presents the newly developed software ComForge® Property Predictor, which can calculate the temperature and deformation for a given pass-schedule within seconds.