Creating a preform within 60 seconds with evolutionary algorithms

Classical forging parts: Connecting rods made for power trains of vehicles. (Photo: IPH)

IPH | The future belongs to forging preforms that are designed automatically: IPH is presently working on a software programme based on evolutionary algorithms, allowing companies to save valuable development time and improve the efficiency of forging processes.

In multistage hot forging processes, the preform shape is a central parameter that mainly influences the final forging result. Nevertheless, the design of multistage hot forging processes is still a trial-and-error process and therefore time-consuming. The quality of the developed forging sequences strongly depends on the engineer’s experience. To overcome these obstacles, IPH researchers are working on an automated creation of forging preforms in cooperation with forging experts of Hammerwerk Fridingen.

An automated creation of forging preforms can increase the economic efficiency of multistage hot forging processes significantly. Especially for forging parts with a low batch size, the development time is a crucial factor. The researchers use an evolutionary algorithm to create and rate suitable preforms. The evolutionary algorithm uses the methods selection, recombination and mutation as in nature. The results show the feasibility of the algorithm to develop a preform within 60 seconds.

by Johannes Knust

Image gallery for this article

  • Classical forging parts: Connecting rods made for power trains of vehicles. (Photo: IPH)
  • Connecting rod manufactured in several forging steps, as shown by the example forging sequence. (Photo: IPH)
  • Comparison of preforming and final forging: The algorithm gives as good results as humans. (Graphics: IPH)

Video for this article

  • Evolutionary optimization of preforms: The algorithm always selects the best part of one generation, thus approximating the optimum shape. (Video: IPH)
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