Dr.-Ing. Malte Stonis

Managing director
+49 (0)511 279 76-119

Doctoral thesis

Defects like folds can arise using forging for the production of long flat pieces made of aluminium. A special defect is the formation of inner folds. These can be seen in the grain flow. Inner folds have a negative effect on the dynamic properties of the forged part. As a production process, forging can be divided into single-directional and multi-directional forging. The formation of inner folds was observed at the single-directional forging. By using the multi-directional forging, a forming operation working from different directions, the forming can be set variably. Thus the development of folds can be prevented. A newly developed method can help in the selection of the forming process and in determining an appropriate tool geometry. Here especially the area is adapted, where the development of inner folds occur. Therefore a calculation model was developed. It integrates a computer-aided identification of the inner folds. Using this model, a correction of the parametrically constructed forging tool is possible.

multidirectional-forging, long flat pieces, aluminium, fibre orientation


To this day, the design of preforms for hot forging processes is still a manual trial and error process and therefore time consuming. Furthermore, its quality vastly depends on the engineer’s experience. At the same time, the preform is the most influencing stage for the final forging result. To overcome the dependency on the engineer’s experience and time-consuming optimization processes this paper presents and evaluates a preform optimization by an algorithm for cross wedge rolled preforms. This algorithm takes the mass distribution of the final part, the preform volume, the shape complexity, the appearance of folds in the final part and the occurring amount of flash into account. This forms a multi-criteria optimization problem resulting in large search spaces. Therefore, an evolutionary algorithm is introduced. The developed algorithm is tested with the help of a connecting rod to estimate the influence of the algorithm parameters. It is found that the developed algorithm is capable of creating a suitable preform for the given criteria in less than a minute. Furthermore, two of the five given algorithm parameters, the selection pressure und the population size, have significant influence on the optimization duration and quality.

preform optimization, genetic algorithm, cross wedge rolled, adaptive flash

Bulk-formed components are used in many applications in automotive and plant engineering. The conditions under which the components are manufactured, often at more than 800°C and thousands of tons of forming force, lead to high die wear. One way to reduce wear is to use suitable protective coatings. Initial basic investigations showed that the use of hard Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) wear-resistant coatings can significantly reduce the tribological effects on the die surface. With new methods such as the use of multilayer layer coatings and temperature measurement on the die surface by use of thin layer sensors, the potential of wear protection for semi-hot massive forming is to be investigated and expanded.

DLC, hot forging, wear

The melt level and oxide layer quantity in an aluminum melting furnace cannot be monitored by contact sensors, since the melting bath is not accessible due to the high holding temperature (above 600°C). Therefore, the method of monitoring the melting bath by means of optical sensors is investigated for the first time. For this purpose, suitable optical measuring systems can be applied which will be able to record the melting bath. The height change of the melt is to be elaborated by means of image analysis and any oxide layer on the bath surface is to be detected.

aluminum melting furnace, metling bath monitoring, oxide layer

Abstract: For factory planning projects the layout capturing and layout processing process need a huge amount of effort, because they are typically done by hand. These processes could be accelerated and optimized by using a drone and automated analysis algorithms. Furthermore, this article shows a way to raise the digitization level for industrial processes. The key aspect lies on the usage of a drone in indoor environment and the processing of three-dimensional point cloud models for factory planning processes.

drone, factory planning, 3D-factory layout, object recognition

Material efficiency and the development time of a forging sequence are decisive criteria for increasing the economic efficiency in the production of complex forgings. SMEs can often only interpret forging sequences in a shortened form due to insufficient capacities and high competitive pressure. Therefore, a generally valid method is to be developed that automatically generates multi-stage, efficient forging sequences based on the mass distribution of any forged part.

automated process design, die forging, resource efficiency

In this paper, the validation of an inductive sensor for an energy self-sufficient sensor for condition monitoring of wet-running steel disc clutches in marine gearboxes is presented. For a reliable operation of these a permanent monitoring of their state is advisable. As part of condition-based maintenance, more and more sensors are being installed in machines. Reliability becomes even more important when people are endangered by possible failure of the machines. In shipping, it is essential that, for example, the powertrain and thus the transmission are in perfect condition. In case of long distance traveling, wear or even damage of important components has to be known so that maintenance can be carried out proactively. To address this need an energy self-sufficient and wireless sensor network is developed. Miniaturized sensor nodes monitor torque, rotational speeds, temperatures as well as the wear condition of the torque transmitting components. The energy needed to operate these sensors is obtained from the surrounding environment. Thus, the system operates wirelessly and without an external energy supply, whereby the installation and maintenance costs decrease significantly. In addition to the concept of sensor integration in the transmission, the energy harvesting concept is also described in more detail. Finally, measurements are taken in a gear-like environment and the behavior of a magnetoinductive sensor in a not constantly supplied situation has been examined.

ship, gearbox, wear, sensor, torque

The joint is the weak point at a hybrid metal semifinished product in tube hydroforming. In real forming processes, a deformation at the joint would be prevented in order to avoid failure. A better knowledge of the forming behavior enables to reduce the effort in process design. Thus, this study investigates in hybrid material combinations and the forming behavior of the joint area regarding their suitability for tube hydroforming.

hydroforming, tube, steel-aluminum, FEA

This paper describes the development and prototypical implementation of an energy self-sufficient sensor for condition monitoring of wet-running steel disc clutches in marine gearboxes. For the precise control of an automated system and the monitoring of its performance, the knowledge about the possible wear is an essential prerequisite. In addition, the storage of sensor data over the life of the system offers the possibility of long-term condition monitoring. The combination with various other technological components creates a solution that enables cost-effective condition monitoring of marine gearboxes. Compared to existing systems, for example, the costs for installation and maintenance are significantly reduced. Both the methodology from the morphological box to the fine concept as well as the first measurements of the sensors are presented.

automated system, condition monitoring, metrology, clutch, gearbox

Lightweight automotive construction increasingly relies on hybrid structures made of steel and aluminium. These materials are currently joined mainly by form locking, for example by riveting. Welding and bonding are also used for joining the two materials. Hybrid composite forging allows to join the two components during the forming process. This shortens the process chain. With the help of zinc as a brazing material, the components are joined to form a material bond. This publication explains the results of the simulative parameter study. It shows how temperature, geometry and speed influence the joining result. Furthermore, first results of practical joining tests are presented.

lightweight construction, aluminum, simulative parameter study

Resource depletion and climate change are the main drivers for the rapid change of power generation structures. The energy transformation is causing an increase in energy prices for manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Within the last decade energy prices in Germany have doubled and are expected to grow even further . Metal processing SMEs are already attributing 4.5 percent of their gross production value to electricity costs. The paper shows the possible savings potential of the use of inventory levels as energy storage and provides approaches to an efficient solution of the associated optimization problems.

production program planning, energy costs, inventory level, energy storage

In average, more than 1,275 wind turbines were installed annually since 1997 in Germany and more than 27,000 wind turbines are in operation today. The technical and economic life time of wind turbines is around 20 to 25 years. Consequently, dismantling of aging wind turbines will increase significantly in upcoming years due to repowering or decommissioning of wind farms and lead to millions of costs for operators. An option to supersede the costly and time-consuming dismantling of wind turbines entirely on-site is to establish a dismantling network in which partly dismantled wind turbines are transported to specialized dismantling sites for further handling. This network requires an optimization model to determine optimal locations and an appropriate distribution of disassembly steps to dismantling sites. The challenge is to consider the networks dependency on the trade-off between transportation and dismantling costs which, in turn, depends on the selection of dismantling depths and sites. Building on the Koopmans-Beckmann problem, we present a mathematical optimization model to address the described location planning and allocation problem. To permit a proof-of-concept, we apply our model to a case-study of an exemplary wind farm in Northern Germany. Our results show that the model can assist dismantling companies to arrange efficient dismantling networks for wind turbines and to benefit from emerging economic advantages.

dismantling, wind turbine, optimization model

Structured factory planning is a key to ensure the competitiveness concerning to the increasing pressure from globalization and the high market dynamic. Companies though avoid to do factory planning projects, because of the high effort. For this reason, the processes of factory layout capture and factory layout assessment are in need of improvement in order to increase the efficiency, which will be achieved through new technologies and a semi automation of the processes.

factory planning, drone, photgrammetry, laserscan, image data processing

Constantly increasing quality requirements and ever-stricter conditions pose difficult challenges for the foundry industry. They must produce the high-quality components demanded by the market at a reasonable cost. Modern technologies and innovative methods help to master this challenge. Until recently, production, from the design of the aluminum melting furnace to daily process, relied largely on traditional methods and experience. However, important data and information about the melting process—for example, the temperatures and the shape of the aluminum block in the furnace—can hardly be obtained with conventional experimental methods, as the temperatures exceed 700 °C. Therefore, this research project investigates the method of monitoring a melting process by means of optical sensors for the first time. The purpose of this paper is to predict the surface shape of the block during the melting process, as it is not possible to maintain a constant monitoring due to the heat and energy loss during measurement (Einsatz einer Lichtfeldkamera im Hochtemperaturbereich beim Schmelzvorgang von Aluminium. To generate the necessary data, a 3D light-field camera is installed on top of an aluminum melting furnace in order to monitor the process. The basic idea is to find a general method for curve modeling from scattered range data on the aluminum surface in 3D space. By means of the (x, y, z) data from the 3D camera, the aluminum surface is modeled as a polynomial function with coefficient derived using various interpolation and approximation methods. This study presents an attempt to find the optimal polynomial function model that describes the aluminum surface during the melting process by interpolation or approximation methods. The best method for curve fitting will be extended and implemented for surface modeling. 

melting process light-field, polynomial function, interpolation, approximation, aluminum surface

The development of an ecological logistical impact model for the holistic consideration of the logistics performance should allow companies and especially SMEs to be able to record the CO2 emissions of the logistics transparently. For the development of such a model, the basic influencing factors must be defined and furthermore established as quantitatively assessable criteria. This paper discusses the basic relationships between logistics and ecology. Moreover, the boundaries for an ecological and logistical impact model are discussed and procedures for the definition of the required evaluation criteria are described.

Ecology, Logistics, CO2 calculation, Impact Modell, sustainabilty

A hot forging process allows to produce parts of excellent quality and technical properties. Nevertheless, it is not possible to forge undercut geometries like piston pin bores, it is usually necessary to manufacture them in subsequent processes. Thus, an undercut-forging process was newly developed. Such a process requires a multidirectional forming tool, which is challenging due to a high clamping force of the tool during the process. With the research results, the requirements to the crucial tool components of heavy springs diminish, allowing using standard spring devices instead of large and expensive custom designed devices. The aim of this study is to analyze the clamping force, its origin, and influencing factors in order to facilitate the tool design. Therefore, in forming simulations the input parameters press velocity, initial temperature, and punch shape were investigated, and their effect on the clamping force was statistically evaluated. The press velocity has the major impact on the resulting clamping force. The initial part temperature and the shape of the punch tool showed minor but still significant effects. This combination of input parameters reduces the load and the stress on the tool, enabling to perform the process on smaller forging presses. Eventually, forging trials validated the results.

forging, undercut, FEA, multidirectional, clamping force, tool design

Currently used methods for factory layout planning are limited in their evaluation methods. Factory evaluation is either qualitative or quantitative, but limited to a few objectives. These deficits were overcome by the development of a quantitative, multidimensional ad hoc factory evaluation method. On this basis, it is now possible to develop a method for factory layout planning that reduces the planning effort and significantly increases the quality of the solution.

facility layout planning, factory planning, operations research, mathematical modelling

In forging industry, the development of new bulk metal forming technologies still is determined by a separation between construction and simulation. The resulting iterations take a lot of time. In this paper, the data mining method neuronal network is used to predict the forming force of a finite element forging simulation of a flange.

simulation, AI, prognosis, forming force

In lightweight construction, light metals like aluminum are used in addition to high-strength steels. However, a welded joint of aluminum and steel leads to the precipitation of brittle, intermetallic phases and contact corrosion. Nevertheless, to use the advantages of this combination in terms of weight saving composite hybrid forging has been developed. In this process, an aluminum solid part and a steel sheet were formed in a single step and joined at the same time with zinc as brazing material. For this purpose, the zinc was applied by hot dipping on the aluminum in order to produce a connection via this layer in a forming process, under pressure and heat. Due to the formed intermediate layer of zinc, the formation of the Fe-Al intermetallic phases and the contact corrosion are excluded. By determining the mathematical relationships between joining parameters and the connection properties the strength of a specific joint geometry could be adjusted to reach the level of conventional joining techniques. In addition to the presentation of the joint properties, the influence of the joining process on the structure of the involved materials is also shown. Furthermore, the failure behavior under static tensile and shear stress will be shown.

lightweight construction, aluminum, joining properties

The measurement of the absolute rotational angle and torque via sensors forms the basis for many industrial sectors. Until now, combined sensors have not been available, so that a lot of installation space is occupied by sensor setups. In addition, the sensor setups get expensive quickly. Therefore, an optical and non-contact measurement method to detect the absolute angle of rotation and torque was developed. This paper presents the validation methodology, the setup of the test bench and the validation results. With an angular resolution of 0.001 degree and an accuracy of more than 0.05 percent, the results are promising. However, for industrial application further investigations on determining torque and miniaturizing the optical setup are required.

absolute angular position, angle difference, sensor, torque

In this paper, the investigation of thin flash generation in precision forging process of an aluminum long flat part is described. The aim was to derive a predictive simulation method for thin flash generation in order to increase both process and part quality in the future. The forging processes were varied by use of different preforms with equal volumes but different mass distributions while using the same final part geometry. The experimentally forged parts were analyzed concerning the amount and part area of the generated thin flash. The conducted FE simulations were analyzed concerning the hydrostatic pressure values p in the part areas near to the tool gap between upper and lower die immediately before form-filling. For a more detailed comparison, single p values were included to hydrostatic pressure functions P. The comparison between the P functions and the experimentally determined thin flash height shows, that high pressure values as well as high gradients of the P functions indicate less thin flash generation. The method therefore allows a qualitative prediction of thin flash generation. It can provide two kind of information. First: The prediction of the specific locations where thin flash is likely to occur in one final part by use of one single preform. Second: The qualitative prediction of the specific final part areas were thin flash is likely to occur depending on different preform geometries. This method will decreases the necessity of time-consuming forging trials and can shorten the preform designing process in the future.

forging flashless precision forging FEA aluminum predictive simulation method