Feintool has been constantly developing fine blanking technology for nearly 50 years
Precision technology originally developed for the office-machine industry is ensuring that today’s motor vehicles run like clockwork.
Fineblanking combines sheet-metal blanking and cold-forming in a single process. It produces high-precision parts ready for installation with little or no post-processing. The technology can also be used for complex multifunctional parts with high mechanical and dimensional requirements, according to the technology leader in the field, the Swiss Feintool Group. It has been developing fine blanking technology for nearly 50 years, and its Swiss base is a continuation of a legacy - fineblanking was patented in Switzerland.
As the global market and technology leader, Feintool has developed and promoted not only the fineblanking process itself, but the associated equipment and all related production processes, from parts engineering to integration in sub-assemblies.
Feintool’s four core competencies include fineblanking and forming technology, manufacturing of multifunctional precision parts, injection/insert molding technology, and assembly technology. The company manufactures products for the automotive, electric tools, electrical apparatus and telecommunications markets.
Over 60 per cent of Feintool’s revenues come from its traditional fineblanking and forming segment, with growing sales of presses due to increased development work at major car manufacturers.
This has given rise to the development of new technology, such as the Feintool HFAplus LT long-table press, featuring FFS technology (fineblanking-forming-stamping), which has been well received by the market.
Automotive applications are the principal domain of fine blanked parts. Feintool offers design consulting, prototyping, and just-in-time production delivery of the ready-to-install assembly. The company also manufactures adjustable pedal groups consisting of several fine blanked parts designed in a collaborative effort by the customer and its engineering department.
Automotive Industries spoke to Christoph Trachsler, Head of Fineblanking Technology Division, Feintool Technologie AG, which has over 500 automotive sector customers.
Automotive Industries (AI): What is the future of the fineblanking and forming technology in the automotive industry?
Trachsler: The big advantages of the fineblanking and forming technology are the reduction or complete elimination of post processes and the high precision and reliability. This helps the manufacturer to respond to the tremendous price competition and the continually growing quality specification. Feintool is also developing the fineblanking and forming process to enlarge the application range. Based on these two factors we are convinced that fineblanking will continue to expand its position for high quality metallic parts for automotive applications.
AI: Tell us about Feintool’s precision components for automated gearboxes.
Trachsler: For many years Feintool has been cultivating a close collaboration with different gearbox manufacturers, and is already involved in the development phase of a new product series.
AI: Feintool states to be the global technology leader for fineblanking and forming. How do you back this up?
Trachsler: When Feintool was founded 48 years ago, founder Mr. Bösch had a strong focus on the development of the technology, and not only on delivering the equipment. In the US, Europe and Japan we run our own technology centers with tool shops where we develop, produce and test fineblanking tools for our customers. Feintool has a long collaboration with several international well acknowledged universities running numerous research projects. It is also the only company that has published a book about the fineblanking technology.