Hatebur, the Swiss company that develops hot- and cold-forming processes and machinery, recently added a new model to its range of hot-forming systems. In its first application, the new AMP 50-9 has proven to be a highly productive system for processing heavy-duty roller bearings, with the flexibility to produce a wide range of other parts.

“In stark contrast to the situation in consumer product markets where the shelf life of new developments can sometimes be expressed in months rather than years, forming machines are designed to last for decades,” explained Thomas Christoffel, who became CEO of Hatebur Metalforming Equipment Ltd. last June. A mechanic by training, Christoffel studied engineering and earned an executive MBA, and has been with Hatebur since 1998. Starting his career there in technical customer service, in 2005 he switched to a role in sales before taking over as Sales and Marketing Division Manager at the start of 2013.

The primary example for group’s business philosophy is the Hatebur AMP 70, one model of which just completed its 50th anniversary in operation at SONA BLW Precision Forge in Remscheid, Germany. That plant specializes at manufacturing precision forged parts such as gear wheels and axle components for cars and trucks.

This particular AMP 70 – one of the first of its kind – has delivered more than 600 million forged parts since it started production in 1965. Featuring four forming stages, a stroke rate of 50-80 min-1 and a total forming force of 15,000 kN, this tireless workhorse can be used to produce a wide range of parts with diameters of up to 145 mm and weights of up to 5,000 g. It is slated to continue its service for quite a few more years to come thanks to thorough modernization measures such as the latest Hatebur control unit.

Reworking a proven design — “The main reason for getting to the drawing board for a major makeover of the well-proven AMP 50 XL was the desire to enhance its capacity,” according to Christoffel. The AMP 50 XL is effective for producing a broad range of hot-forged parts, with diameters of up to 104 mm and a maximum weight of 2,000 g. Its typical products are gear wheels, axles, flanges, and roller bearing rings.

A special variant of the machine, HFE, produces forward extruded parts, such stub axles. One particularity of this variant is the fact that the parts are held and transported by the narrowest section, not the widest section. The stroke rate can be varied between 60 and 100 min-1.

The AMP 50 is a versatile performer that is the centerpiece of manufacturing programs for forgers in many parts of the world. Over the years, many improvements have been implemented, such as a modern operator guidance system: commands are entered via a touchscreen, and the visualization of important process steps and key production figures provides a sophisticated base for economic production. Still, for a number of applications some users have wanted to operate at somewhat higher press loads.