Fasteel, de Rovalma

Disruptive innovation through new tool steels with unique thermo-mechanical performance for material forming applications

Lack of productivity means that European Automobile manufacturing (AM) is slowly losing competitiveness with foreign markets. Since Henry Ford first used the production line, the AM industry has been at the forefront of adopting productivity improving innovations.

At the heart of any AM manufacturing production line is the “tool”. These “tools” shape materials into the required forms, which the production line then assembles into the final product. Almost all the parts that make up an Automobile are made through MFPs, which are tools that allow the AM manufacturers to use less material, work faster, produce more quality pieces and make them last longer, and significantly reduce the final cost of the finished product.

ROVALMA is a Spanish SME devoted to producing and selling high performance steel and special alloys. ROVALMA has developed a prototype scale high-thermal conductivity tool steel that goes beyond the state-of-the-art. The solution represents a disruptive innovation in the sector with two main advantages leading to improvements in terms of efficiency, productivity, quality and speed of delivery: i) superior thermo-conductivity and mechanical properties, ii) simpler tool manufacture requirements.

ROVALMA anticipates that the new technology will lead to a 25% cost reduction in steel production and tool manufacturing, and 50% energy savings in tool steel production for plastic injection moulding, hot stamping and aluminium die-casting.

ROVALMA aims to seize this Phase 2 SME Instrument grant to take the next vital steps towards fullscale commercialisation of the technology, which will require further innovation activities, including validation, up-scaling, measures for IPR protection, certification and a pre-commercial pilot in a real industrial setting.

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