Manufacturing cost savings through 300% tool life increase of spindle punches with ceramic coating
Meritor Inc., a global leader in providing advanced drivetrain, mobility, and braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets, collaborated with Fraunhofer engineers to test new high performance ceramic coatings for high temperature forming processes. Several spindle punches were coated using a physical vapor deposition process developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials and Beam Technology (IWS) in Dresden, Germany. The coated tools were tested in manufacturing using a hydraulic press at a Meritor plant in Morristown, Tennessee. The punches are used for hot forging of steel parts at an operating temperature of 1950 °F (1065 °C). The results are very encouraging. Compared to uncoated spindle punches, the best performing coated tools lasted three times as long while enabling tool changes once a day rather than every shift.