ASPECT Project

The design of sheet metal forming processes is nowadays done virtually, i.e. by computer simulations. A limitation in these simulations is the industry practice of still using a constant friction coefficient. In reality, a temperature increase of typical 40°C due to the tool heat-up in the start-up phase negatively affects the production stability: the temperature increase affects the tribology between the tool and sheet material, which increases friction with up to 25% and leads to product failures in the start-up phase, but also in the rest of the production run.

The handling of the transient temperature effects is currently done reactively, by trial-and-error approaches, based on the individual experience of the machine operators. The current practice results in process instability, high costs and slow process development. Moreover, with the increasing use of advanced steel grades, which feature more heat generation purely due to their strength - predicting and controlling the influence of temperature on friction becomes critical.

The project ASPECT (Advanced Simulation and control of tribology in metal forming Processes for the North-West European Consumer goods and Transport sectors ) is a cooperation between 13 partners from North-West Europe, aiming to develop an advanced simulations technology which can accurately model friction variation as a function of temperature increase, during the start-up of the metal forming lines. The partners will also demonstrate  adaptive control systems to adjust the machine settings based on friction input.

The outputs of ASPECT:

  • advanced tribological model predicting friction variation based on process conditions (normal pressure, sliding velocity and temperature);
  • robust and fully-automated forming processes demonstrated in two existing forming lines, producing metal parts at both ends of the dimensional range;
  • joint demonstration facility, with open access for training and education;
  • guidelines to improve the material, tool and lubricant design.

The impact of ASPECT :

  • up to 40% increase in productivity for manufacturing OEMs;
  • 20-25% reduction of maintenance costs;
  • new design capabilities for metal alloys and lubricants.

Key Information
EU funding: € 2.35 m
Total budget : € 4.74 m
Duration: 45 months, between May 2016 and February 2020

Lead partner: Stichting Materials Innovation Institute (M2i)

Project Partners

  • Triboform Engineering BV
  • Falex Tribology NV
  • Universiteit Twente
  • Zeller+Gmelin GmbH & Co. KG
  • Tata Steel Nederland Technology BV
  • AutomotiveNL
  • Pôle EMC2
  • Dr. FILZEK TRIBOtech

Become part of ASPECT interest group!
The results of the project should span across the value chain and impact as many stakeholders as possible. That is why we have developed a survey to map the market potential for the ASPECT technologies. It will take you only a few minutes to complete it.

To start the survey please click here.

For more information please visit ASPECT webpage at :  



Final event ASPECT project - 15 June

Practical Training -18  June


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Jean Pierre Heijster
Jean Pierre Heijster
Programma Manager Materials & Manufacturing
+31 6 22 47 19 86
Freek de Bruijn
Freek de Bruijn
Program Consultant
+31 6 50 40 30 57