AETHRA Automotive Systems anticipates critical aspect issues on large automotive body components with ESI PAM-STAMP

Sheet Metal Forming
Ground Transportation

AETHRA Automotive Systems, with the help of ESI South America in Brazil, significantly improved the results in prediction and resolution of surface defects in external panels using PAM-STAMP. Nowadays, to satisfy customer needs, we can test different strategies in the process development because we have confidence that we'll see the same behavior in try-out.

A. Micheletti Viana / Wellington Caetano Soares / Arlem Picinin Campos
Mechanical Engineering - Formability / Mechanical Engineering - Formability / Simulation Manager


In the automotive industry there is a ceaseless search for more resistant and lighter materials, modern design, fuel savings, safety, comfort, quality and repeatability in production and especially lower environmental impacts.

AETHRA, like other automotive press shops, facing daily the challenges presented by this quest. New materials are developed, thicknesses are reduced, product designs are made more complex.

For such a company to grow given the current world economy, wasting time and raw materials is economically unacceptable. In the stamping process, most of the waste is concentrated in tool tuning, which also turns out to be the most costly work for the company, hence the necessity to reduce the required work time in testing and tuning. A reliable stamping simulation software can effectively reduce trial times as well as the number of material blanks needed for testing, in addition to contributing to securing part quality. AETHRA has repeatedly obtained great results here with the help of ESI PAM-STAMP.

For external panels, the quality of the product’s surface is critical to customers. To validate an external panel it is necessary for it to be free of tool marks and any kind of superficial defect. Furthermore, though the product must have structural hardness, it cannot show any sign of necking caused by excessive strain. When this kind of flaw is found during testing, the tuning process typically becomes very expensive and time-consuming. Although the die is already machined and assembled, the press isn’t in fact producing: personnel is spending time on analysis and careful modification, and for each test one metal blank is rejected.

After acquiring ESI PAM-STAMP, the engineering and the tool testing teams from AETHRA, with the constant support of ESI South America in Brazil, started a reverse engineering work aiming to set the contour scale from ESI PAM-STAMP’s analysis in order to find the defect that actually occurred during physical testing. The goal was to benefit from the lessons learned by applying them to future simulations. The results obtained in the first comparisons between simulation and testing proved to be incredibly accurate. Consequently, a software feedback was implemented for every product, resulting in a significant increase in result accuracy and reduced testing time for die release to AETHRA’s press shops.

Reverse engineering

In 2008, AETHRA’s engineering department received an investment to expand its formability cell. At that moment a benchmark operation was launched to gather information about the software solutions available on the market for stamping process simulation. The strong and weak points of each solution were compared and reviewed in order to meet the company standards. After several months visiting users, exchanging with carmakers and conducting extreme tests with challenging parts, AETHRA concluded that ESI PAM-STAMP would be the best fit for the press shop's needs, especially when related to issues of surface quality.

AETHRA's team began the reverse engineering work according to the following process:

  • Identify and monitor the test variables,
  • Audit the first manufactured parts,
  • Compare audited and simulated parts then setup the contour scales in order to recreate the problems found,
  • Solve the problems using the simulation adjusted with the modified contour scales,
  • Adjust of the dies according to the new setup.
Feedback cycle to set the contour scales

About Aethra Automotive Systems

Founded in 1947 with the first plant called Hammer, only in 1981 began operating in the automotive field as its exclusive vocation. During the last decades the RHEA Group participated in the major developments of vehicles in the Brazilian market, offering everything from engineering services with its modern stations of CAD/CAM/CAE, as well as construction of soft tooling, prototypes, 5D laser cut, development of definitive dies, welding and assembling lines. And finally, the series parts manufacturing with JIT logistics to several automotive clusters in Brazil.

For more information, visit Aethra Automotive Systems