Material utilization has become one of the most important issues in the automotive industry. The search for material cost optimized solutions is mainly driven by two current trends. On the one hand, the price for both steel and aluminum has been on the rise over the past few years. On the other hand, more and more high-strength steels and lightweight materials are used in automotive body structures in order to reduce weight and at the same time to improve crash safety.
Finding a balance between time, cost and quality targets is a challenging task already during the early development stages of automotive body parts production. Metal forming simulation plays an important role as it supports engineers in the decision making process regarding the specific car model and its target market.
For example, for luxury cars which are produced in small numbers, part quality and perfect finish are much more important than material utilization. In contrast, material utilization and the related costs are dominant factors for a middle-class car model produced in volume. However, material utilization has the greatest impact on a low-end car model, where significant cost savings can be achieved with every millimeter saved in blank size and each scrap part which is avoided.
Further information on material utilization at AutoForm: