Schuler Waghäusel plant has produced one of its biggest-ever hydraulic lines for state-owned Russian company
They take astronauts and tourists to the International Space Station (ISS), supply them with oxygen, food and spare parts and fire satellites into space: the “Soyuz” rockets built by TsSKB-Progress. They have already been launched from cosmodromes like Baikonur in Kazakhstan, Plesetsk in Russia and Kourou in French Guiana some 1,900 times – and following the explosion of the US space shuttle Columbia in 2003, they were temporarily the only connection with the ISS. The Russian state-owned company now plans to produce its launch vehicles on a Schuler press as of 2015.
The pre-acceptance for the hydraulic line with a press force of 2,600 metric tons has already occurred, it is due to be delivered in the end of May. The triple-action press will be used, for example, to produce aluminum tank lids. These must be extremely robust in order to withstand the extreme loads – especially during takeoff. The blank holder above and bed cushion below each provide 600 metric tons of press force.
“With bed dimensions of five by six meters, the line is one of the largest hydraulic presses we’ve ever built in Waghäusel,” says Dr. Martin Habert, Managing Director of Schuler in Waghäusel. Carrier rockets are steadily increasing in size in order to transport ever greater payloads into space. This has led to a growth in the size of components used to assemble the rockets – and the lines on which they are produced.
“This obviously represents a challenge for us in engineering the press,” explains Dr. Habert. The logistics involved are also impressive: the individual line components must not exceed 160 or 170 metric tons in weight – to ensure they can still be safely transported by road. The longest part of the journey, though, will be made by river and sea: via the Rhine, North Sea, Baltic Sea and finally the Volga. Schuler’s experts are confident about the success of the project, however, as they have many decades of experience in producing such large-scale equipment: “There were good reasons for TsSKB-Progress to choose us,” says Managing Director Dr. Habert.
Photo source: Schuler
About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com
As the technological and global market leader in metal and plastic forming equipment, Schuler offers cutting edge presses, automation, dies, process know-how and services for the entire metal forming industry and lightweight vehicle construction. Its clients include car manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as companies in the forging, household equipment, packaging, energy and electrical industries. Schuler is the market leader in coin minting technology and supplies systems solutions for the aerospace, railway and large pipes industries. The company can trace its roots back to a locksmith shop founded by Louis Schuler in 1839 and celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2014. In fiscal year 2012/13 (ending Sep. 30), Schuler posted sales of € 1,185.9 million. With 5,600 employees, Schuler is represented in 40 nations around the world. The Austrian ANDRITZ Group holds a majority share in Schuler.