By Henry Cialone
President & CEO, EWI
Metal stamping has a long history. While there have been changes around the margins, the materials and technologies involved in the process had been substantially static until a decade or so ago.
That was when, driven primarily by the needs of the auto industry, lighter-weight, higher-strength steel entered the scene. This new steel delivered on its promise to help make cars both safer and more fuel-efficient. But simultaneously it dealt manufacturers some new challenges.
These issues stem largely from the new steel’s chemical and microstructural complexity, which results in inconsistency in its material properties — not only from manufacturer to manufacturer, but also from coil to coil for the same manufacturer.
Integrating this new steel — which has significantly more material property variation than conventional steel — with traditional metal stamping design and manufacturing processes has proven problematic. The industry is now experiencing higher scrap rates and more poor-quality parts, along with decreased efficiency and, as a consequence, increased costs.
Enter data science…
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