The combination of forming and hardening in the production of sheet metal parts, for example in the automotive industry, allows a high stability and stiffness of the components with a simultaneous reduction of sheet thickness. This process is called hot forming. The specially developed automated test system PRESS-CHECK by InfraTec monitors the temperature distribution throughout the sheet metal part surfaces with two highperformance infrared cameras of different wavelengths. A high-resolution camera in the shortwave infrared range enables highprecision temperature sensing of up to 950 °C heated plates before start of the press procedure. In addition, the camera automatically detects the contours of the plates, and hence automatically generates measurement fields. Thus, an erroneous positioning inside the tool is prevented. Accidentally superimposed sheets of metal can also be detected. The error message is directly submitted to the process control system, so that the press process can be stopped immediately. In this way, any increased tool wear or even tool damage can be avoided.
With the help of the test software the various tools can be managed automatically, and associated measurements can be analysed and recorded. Thus, the system is universally applicable for all orders running on the press line without any changeover time. In comparison to other solutions PRESS-CHECK allows for uninterrupted operation which is a distinct advantage of this system. With highly reliable components, special protective housings, flexible layout and data interfaces, the test system can be easily adapted and integrated to the conditions of different press lines.