Asociación de fabricantes de maquina herramienta.
Asociación de fabricantes de maquina herramienta.

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10 June, 2021

The sheet metal forming business unit of the machine tool manufacturer Danobatgroup, and the world leader in the development of steel forming solutions, Fagor Arrasate, have designed and manufactured a pioneering solution for cutting sheet metal from metal coil for use in strategic sectors for the economy such as the automotive industry.

The solution, known as laser blanking, is an innovative alternative to traditional press cutting and is the result of a partnership of Danobatgroup and Fagor Arrasate, both companies part of the Mondragon Corporation, leading to a technology exchange between the two companies to create a technologically cutting-edge, robust and competitive solution. This is a development that puts the machine tool sector on the map abroad and reinforces the international positioning of the Basque industrial fabric.

Compared to the systems used to date, the main competitive advantage is a reduction of the set-up times with respect to blanking presses, a greater flexibility for modifications, and the cancellation of the use of dies. Moreover, this system offers greater productivity and enhanced cutting quality with respect to a conventional laser. The development combines different technologies to fully automate the entire process, which entails that the material from the coil is flattened, cut and finally stacked.

The machine, which can hold several laser cutting heads, is able to handle different materials such as common steel, stainless steel, high strength steels HSS or aluminium, of different widths, thickness and qualities.

This development is aimed at automotive manufacturers (OEMS), automotive component suppliers (TIER1) and service centres that supply cut sheet metal in blanks to different industrial companies.

In the automotive sector, this solution is particularly useful for the production of short or limited series of vehicles, special ranges, electric vehicles and for manufacturers of spare parts and bodywork.

It can also have applications in prototyping, as the flexibility of this system allows design changes to be made without the need for the use of dies.

“As it is a flexible line, it can be adapted to different widths and the design of the parts to be manufactured can be distributed over the entire surface of the sheet, making much better use of the material. This optimal distribution of the parts results in material savings of up to 10%. This percentage is very important as material accounts for 80% of the costs", assures Mikel López, Sales Manager of the Fagor Arrasate Steel Business Unit.

Another major advantage is that, since no dies are required, production is not interrupted as the different part geometries are pre-programmed and production changeover is almost immediate. In addition, space is saved on the shop floor because storage areas for the different die sets are no longer required.

The importance of intercooperation

Sharing of technical know-how of the two leading companies in their fields of activity has been paramount in the design and manufacture of this solution. Danobatgroup has contributed its know-how in the development of laser cutting solutions and its capacity in the development of simulation software. While Fagor Arrasate has added its know-how in the processing of materials and the needs and demands of the automotive sector.

Both companies assure that the intercooperation of "two complementary and sister companies has made it possible to develop a product that combines the skills of each one to offer to the market an innovative solution and generate value".




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