More than 150 years ago, Danish chemist Hans-Christian first successfully extracted aluminum from ore. At the time, the intricacies of the extraction process made aluminum a truly precious commodity.
Over the ages, manufacturers have found ways to make this extraction process increasingly efficient. Similarly, the process of fabricating implements and parts from aluminum, or aluminum forging, has dramatically evolved.
Today, modern technology ensures consistency and quality in the aluminum forging process. From design software capabilities to physical forging methods, aluminum forging is a more exact science than ever before. If your business precise and strong aluminum components, look for a forging company that makes use of the following technology:
Data-based Process Control
Modern manufacturers collect data about various aspects of the forging process to refine the process further. Once optimal production parameters are established, the information collected about the forging equipment and inputs by the manufacturer is used to reproduce the same quality parts consistently.
Equally critical to maintaining consistency is the health of the equipment used. Many aluminum forging companies now use databases with information about all machiner parts to ensure they’re well maintained and regularly updated.
Similarly, advanced aluminum forgeries will have a system to perform preventative maintenance on the equipment. In this way, the manufacturer can avoid extensive downtime, which can compromise their ability to maintain a reliable supply of parts.
3D Modeling and Printing
Using specialized software programs, technicians in the aluminum industry can now create 3D models of the components they forge. The production of 3D graphical representations of the parts will allow you, as the buyer of the component, to see how it will look upon completion and see if it meets your requirements. The designers can make adjustments to the model, so you have an accurate depiction of the finished product before work begins. Besides increasing accuracy, 3D models reduce the time spent on modeling.
Instead of the traditional assembly line, many aluminum manufacturers now use cellular manufacturing. In this method, the assembly line is broken up into cells, each of which comprises a group of machines that completes a specific part of the process.
Manufacturers often prefer this process because of the flexibility it offers forgers. If production needs to scale up, cellular manufacturing allows for a seamless transition. Even if the entire design of a part needs to be changed, this production technique allows the manufacturer to incorporate these changes and begin mass production more efficiently.
Also, workers in the cells can identify and rectify production issues faster than if they had to wait until the part moves through the entire assembly line. This cuts lead time and curbs wastage, resulting in lower production costs and further ensuring part consistency and quality,
Advancements in cellular manufacturing have made monitoring the machines in each cell less tedious. Cell managers can monitor what the machines are doing without physically being where production takes place, thanks to mobile connectivity.
CQI-9 Heat Treatment
About 15 years ago, the Automotive Industry Action Group created the CQI-9 heat treatment standard to ensure quality within the vehicle manufacturing industry. By applying these heat treatment standards, manufacturers can pinpoint areas in their processes that require improvement.
Heat treatment ensures that manufactured aluminum car parts will perform as required when subjected to the road’s rigors. The standards stipulate that you subject all your heat treating processes to assessment every year to ensure these standards are maintained.
A Tech-savvy Partner
These techniques, standards, and methodologies can help ensure your products meet your customers’ expectations in a cost-effective way. The more efficient your aluminum forging partner, the better and faster you can complete production and serve your own customers.