E3 Hemming Press
2007 - PACE Award Winner
What: E3 Hemming Press
The manufacture of car doors, hoods, trunks, and other closures made of sheet metal, requires a process known as hemming, utilizing a variety of available presses and hemming dies.
Automakers are constantly searching for better hemming systems and methods - lower cost, greater flexibility, increased speed, less noise, reduced maintenance. Since this is a primary business sector for Hirotec, they tried a new approach.
Their innovation, the E3 hemming press, is a revolutionary, electric press. It offers multiple advantages over current, competitive hydraulics presses. The name E3 stands for environment, efficient, and electric.
Environmentally, the press is quiet, energy-efficient and uses no hydraulics or in-plant compressed air. The lower cost, eight second cycle time, 120 metric ton capacity, easy installation and "plug and play" nature, along with easy maintenance, makes it the most efficient option available. Sheet metal engineers and plant operations managers value the self-contained "robotic style" electric control system.
Hirotec's system is ten times more energy efficient than current hydraulic presses doing same job. It uses a simple dual crank shaft driven by two electric motors, eliminating ball screws, which uniquely offers many advantages to high volume sheet metal hemming.
What was a commodity in the capital equipment business based on price is now a simpler "green" solution at lower cost, with better function and higher flexibility. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are already experiencing the benefits of the new HIROTEC E3 hemming press. Hirotec is now exploring other markets for the E3 press, including plastics and composites processing.
The system is in full production in one of the VW Jetta paint shops in the VW Puebla, Mexico, complex, and in the VW paint shop in Pamplona, Spain. It will soon start up in VW South Africa. At present, the plant level of defects from other causes and overall paint rework are about the same as with the old paint system, but the new system has more diagnostics for improvement of paint process quality. The new paint is repairable with no new problems, in dealer body shops.