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E-01 - 1 Introduction Technology has exerted a far greater...

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1 Introduction Technology has exerted a far greater influence on the development of our past than most history books give credit for. As late as the 19th cen- tury, craftmanship and technology were practically synonymous. It is only with the advent of mechanisation – through the use of machines – that the term technology took on a new meaning of its own. Today, technology is one of the bastions of our modern lifestyle and the basis for our prosperity, in which metal forming technology plays a central role. Alongside the manufacture of semi-finished products through rolling, wire drawing and extrusion, the production of discrete components using sheet metal and solid forming techniques is of major significance. Its fields of application range from automotive engineer- ing, production line and container construction through to the build- ing construction, household appliance and packaging industries. The machine tool, with its capacity to precisely guide and drive one or more tools for the machining of metal, has become a symbol of eco- nomic metalworking. In the past, the work processes typically seen in metal forming technology used to be executed in a series of individual operations on manually operated machine tools. Today, however, auto- matic production cells and interlinked individual machines through to the compact production line with integrated feed, transport, monitor- ing and finished part stacking systems are the state of the art. Develop- ments in this field created the technological basis to allow the benefits of formed workpieces, such as a more favorable flow line, optimum strength characteristics and low material and energy input, to be com- bined with higher production output, dimensional control and surface quality. As a reputed German manufacturer of machine tools, the company SCHULER has played a determining role in this development over a period Metal Forming Handbook /Schuler (c) Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998
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of more than 150 years: From the manually operated sheet metal shear to the fully automatic transfer press for complete car body side panels.
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