Uponor GmbH is a supplier of modern plastic pipe systems and is organized in different branches: panel heating and cooling, water, gas and compress air installations as well as piping for building services. It is one of the largest and most successful manufacturers in its sector today, with a distribution in more than 100 countries worldwide.
In 1996, Uponor decided that the metal fittings, which had been purchased from an external manufacturer, should be produced in-house. The reason for this was to become more flexible to the demand for these components. At first, the simulation that was needed for the development of the forming process was completed with Fraunhofer Institute. Afterwards, Uponor tested the components and produced them.
After a short time it became obvious that it was more beneficial to perform the simulation directly at Uponor. The in-house simulation has a lot of advantages for the development process in terms of flexibility and time involved. Besides, the process costs were significantly reduced in the long term.
Uponor uses Simufact.forming for the simulation of forming processes, with the help of this software, forming processes and dies can be evaluated and optimized before the first blow or pressing even took place.
A current application shows that great need for optimization also existed for established processes. Production output could be increased by 50% and material savings for this components reduced the cost by 102.000 euros per year.
Several forming processes were evaluated with the help of the forming simulation. The conclusion was the adjustment of an existing process from double component manufacturing to quadruple component manufacturing and thus increasing the machine output from 800 pieces to 1000 pieces per hour. In addition, around 35 tons of material could be saved by this, which at a price of 3 euros per kilogram, resulted in a significant cost reduction.