Reference Case - Cessna Aircraft CompanyCustomer reference
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Flexform, also called fluid cell forming, is a low-cost sheet metal forming process designed for both
prototyping and lower volume parts production.
A widely trusted technology
Quintus Technologies has designed, built and installed more than 150 Flexform fluid cell presses for major manufacturers worldwide, including Airbus, Ford, Boeing, Daimler-Benz, Bombardier, BMW, Embraer, and Volvo, along with a growing number of component suppliers to the aerospace and automotive industries.
Speed, versatility and inexpensive
Flexform is a versatile solution for the manufacturing of highly defined prototype components, particularly for industries where speed and lower costs are crucial in reducing time-to-market and staying globally competitive. The inexpensive prototype tool can also be used for parts production in low quantities for niche markets.
Many companies, particularly in the aerospace market, use Flexform to form the majority of their sheet metal production parts. Fluid cell forming is perfectly suited to the relatively low-volume requirements of commercial, military and business aircraft. Quick cycle models can produce up to 120 parts per hour, and automated pallet systems can substantially improve efficiency in longer production runs.
Manufacturers profit from the unique advantages of the Flexform concept:
✓ Very low tooling costs
✓ Intricate shapes formed to close assembly tolerances
✓ Multiple parts per cycle
✓ Short setup times
✓ Finished parts directly off the press with little or no manual rework
Fluid cell forming has proven to have a number of economic and processing advantages, particularly when compared to rubber pad pressing and mechanical or hydraulic stamping.
1. Flexform requires only a single, shape-defining punch or die, cutting tool costs by 50 to 90 percent
2. Complex, close tolerance parts can be produced, often in one operation
3. Higher productivity, because multiple parts can be processed in a single cycle
4. Faster lead times with quick tool setup and cycle times ranging from one to three minutes
5. Virtually any sheet metal from 0.1mm to more than 16 millimeters (.004 to .63 inches) can be formed
6. Blemish-free parts, free from scratches or gall marks
7. Complex parts can be designed and produced that would be prohibitively expensive with conventional presses
Quintus offers a full line of standard models of Flexform Presses with rectangular trays dimensions up to 1.8 x 3.6 m (71 x 142 in) and pressures from 800 bar (11,600 psi) to 1,400 bar (20,000 psi). The cycle time is normally one to three minutes, depending on press size, formed parts and selected pressure.
QFL presses are compact units with circular trays, designed for faster forming of smaller parts. Cycles average about one minute, with maximum pressure of 800 bar (11,600 psi). These presses are commonly used for off-loading and back-up for larger rectangular tray presses and for rapid forming of smaller parts.
Quintus offers a line of standard deep-draw press models with forming area/diameter ranging from 560 mm / 22 inch to 1100 mm / 43.3 inch. Pressure ranges from 800 bar / 11,600 psi to 1,200 bar / 17,400 psi. The cycle time is depending on the tool size and the pressure level required, but normally range from some 30 seconds to two minutes.