Event of the company SiEVA
On Friday 4th September 2015, the Hidria Institute for Materials and Technologies hosted the annual meeting of employees of the SiEVA Development Centre. The meeting was convened at the opportunity of the conclusion of the so-financing operation for the Centre, which lasted from 01.02.2011 - 30.06.2015; the funds being provided from the European Regional Fund.
The first part of the meeting focused on the R&D achievements of the Centre in this period and on opportunities and plans for the future. Achievements and products that were developed by the Centre were presented by the managers of the respected BUs. Products and solutions spanned from ICE components, electric drivetrain components, safety and comfort systems, mechatronics and technologies and processes.
This was followed by a presentation by Ms. Samanta Krapež of the two SiEVA’s projects and their respected consortia that were funded under the Horizon 2020 European research framework, FACTS4WORKERS and COMBILASER.
The second part of the event focused on metrology: this scientific field has been steadily gaining prominence in the automotive R&D sector due to ever increasing quality and reliability demands. The presentations included Ines Mohorič of Hidria Rotomatika, who presented the activities of laboratories that form the Hidria Institute for Materials and Technologies and Mr. Matjaž Lindič from the Slovenian Institute for Quality and Metrology – the leading national institution in this field – who presented the latest industrial and R&D trends in metrology.
The third part of the event was designed as an open discussion. Participants discussed possible R&D ideas for future projects and also touched on possibilities on cooperating in further European R&D projects, especially under the Horizon 2020 European research framework. SiEVA’s both already acquired projects gained a lot of attention and much discussion was focused on the need to transfer the acquired experience and partner contacts to possible new possible projects and creation of new R&D consortia with European partners.
First place awards for two SiEVA's innovations
1. Definition of the fold shape on the tubes made of HSS with increased static and dynamic load capacity of the car seat linking shaft
SiEVA Development Centre, Business Unit Novo mesto, has developed within the framework of R&D project MEVES on behalf of and in cooperation with company TPV from Novo mesto, an innovative definition of key features of the fold shape on linking shafts carrying and supporting the seating part of the car seat. They researched legality and requirements related to fold shaping on the thin wall tubes made of high-strength steel. The purpose of these research actions was both to reduce the weight of the seat and increase the static bending and continuous dynamic load capacity of the linking shaft.
The linking shaft function is to provide comfort and safety. Shaft is the key element of the seating height adjuster enabling vertical adjustment of the car seat and so providing better comfort for the driver and passenger. In addition, it absorbs the collision energy in case of a lateral crash decreasing pelvic and leg injuries of the driver or front-seat passenger. In a regular use the fold on the linking shaft is subject to dynamic bending loading while in case of collision it has to bear enormous quasi-static loading, owing to which it can be deformed only to the extent that its functions are still maintained.
Within the framework of these research actions we found out that it is not possible to reduce weight only by using thin wall tubes made of high-stength steel. Moreover, it is necessary to develop a new shape of fold and new technological processes for serial production. Therefore, the innovation is a result of systematic research actions performed on the areas of design, manufacture, and measurement of carrying capacity of the folds on thin wall tubes made of high-strength steeel. The research also included study of different impacts made by material parameters, different fold shapes, different technologies and control procedures used in serial mass production of linking shafts.
TPV has used the aquired knowledge to design new shapes of the folds within the IBK fi18 and fi35 project which has made possible to meet the customer's key requirements relating to function and weight of the product.
2. Integrated resistance welding in the forming tool
In cooperation with technologists and experts in the field of mechanical engineering from TPV Novo mesto, SiEVA Development Centre, Business Unit Novo mesto has developed an apparatus for electric resistance welding of small metallic items onto a surface of a continuous metallic banc.
The initial technological process comprised two production stages: the first one consisting of cutting and forming the plate in the forming tool and the second one of nut welding on the plate in the welding tool. The innovative approach resulted in developing a tool allowing integrated welding already at the stage of plate forming in the forming tool.
This innovation appears to be one of the minor and simple ones, however these very ones usually turn out to be the most successful. The reasons why this innovation is relatively inexpensive yet advanced and profound are the following:
- in the new tool, the manufacturing time of the product is 70 % shorter than in the usual process;
- operating costs and maintenance costs for tools and machines have decreased;
- internal logistics costs and intermediate stocks have been reduced;
- as this technology represents a new design, a patent application for protection of innovative technological process has been filed;
- products made out of this innovative tool are successfully sold to a European OEM through the partner company TPV.
Meeting of the partners of the COMBILASER consortium
On 20th and 21st January 2015, Spodnja Idrija and Tolmin in Slovenia hosted the first meeting of the European COMBILASER consortium.
The European COMBILASER research consortium has been chosen by the European Commission for funding under the new European research framework - Horizon2020.
The goal of the COMBILASER project is to develop advanced state-of-the-art laser welding and laser metal cladding techniques that could be ready for industrial use in different branches of European industry. In this regard testing procedures of the newly-developed technology will be made on three different industrial use-cases, each with its own specific conditions.
The COMBILASER project aims to contribute to development of state-of-the-art technologies that will in the next years become integrated in the European industry, helping it to increase its global competitiveness and in doing so contribute to economic growth and social cohesion in Europe.
The consortium brings together 12 partners from 7 countries. Beside SiEVA the partners in the project are: HIDRIA AET (SLO), IK4 - LORTEK (ESP), LASER ZENTRUM HANNOVER (GER), RECENDT (AUT), UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD (UK), LASERLINE (GER), ORKLI (ESP), TELLERES MECHANICOS COMAS (ESP), MONDRAGON ASSEMBLY (FR), 4D GMBH (GER), CAVITAR (FIN).