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  • Manufacturing

    Apart from support in design and engineering, we assist the automotive industry in optimising their production processes for new materials.

    In the same way, we optimise our materials for the production processes of our customers. In addition to solving immediate production problems, we also work closely together in the process design, prototyping and start of production phases.

    Forming technology

    The first step in the production of a car is the forming of sheet metal parts. For this, a deep drawing process is usually applied, but bending and roll forming are also used. Recently novel production techniques such as hydroforming and warm- and hot-stamping have been introduced. We have extensive experimental and numerical facilities to support our customers with these processes. Our facilities are used for the support of:

    • Part formability analysis
    • Press tool development
    • Tool making and optimisation (Tool buy off)
    • Prototyping and start up of new models
    • Elimination of production problems
    • Process development and optimisation
    • Material and coating development
    • Introduction of new materials.

    Joining technology

    Joining is a key technology for the assembly of the body-in-white. In the Automotive Applications department, research is performed with regard to most joining techniques used in car manufacturing. The effect of the joining process on the mechanical performance of the joined structure is investigated extensively. Finite element modelling of welding is an important tool to support this work. New joining techniques are investigated and compared to existing techniques. Experimental facilities and expertise are available for joining tests and prototyping. Our expertise on joining techniques is of great value in areas such as:

    • Material development (chemistry, coatings) for improved joinability
    • Process optimisation at the customer or on Tata Steel production lines
    • Advice on which joining process to apply to which product and application combination
    • Advice on process parameters for joining Tata Steel materials.

    Coating technology

    Our knowledge of surface technology is used to improve corrosion resistance, enhance coating performance and engineer the surface appearance of steel and aluminium sheet. This expertise enables Tata Steel business units to design the surface and substrate of our products as an entire system, giving an excellent cost-effective performance enhancement. Our knowledge of the coating processes of our customers is also available to support them in the optimisation of their processes and systems for optimum end product properties.

       

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