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TriboForm Engineering launches tribology simulation software for metal-forming processes; Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Škoda launch customers

TriboForm Engineering, a spin-out from the University of Twente in The Netherlands, introduced its TriboForm software at Triboforum 2016, a triennial industry conference. Tribology is a branch of mechanical engineering that describes the contact between materials under different conditions. In metal-forming processes, tribology plays a key role through the relative motion and interaction between the applied sheet material, the lubrication and the tooling.

TriboForm is a software solution for the simulation of friction and lubrication in metal-forming processes. With unique physically-based simulation technology, TriboForm enables its users accurately to simulate friction and lubrication conditions quickly and then directly integrate the results in metal-forming simulations.

Current practice is to use a constant (Coulomb) coefficient of friction in metal forming simulations. This, however, limits the overall simulation accuracy, according to TriboForm. Achieving more realistic simulation results with increased reliability, requires accounting accurately for tribology effects in metal-forming simulations.

TriboForm replaces the constant coefficient of friction in metal-forming simulations with realistic and highly accurate friction and lubrication data. This enables faster and more accurate metal-forming simulations with enriched simulation functionalities.

The software is used in the development and production of new automotive parts. Launch customers Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Škoda are already developing components such as automotive hoods using the software.

Director and founder Jan Harmen Wiebenga started TriboForm in 2013 with his collaborator Johan Hol during their doctoral research at the University of Twente. TriboForm has since grown to six people and is now located at Kennispark Twente in Enschede.

We have far-reaching ambitions. With the launch of our software product we are entering a new growth phase. Competition in the auto industry is fierce, which drives the need for innovative software products like ours.

—Jan Wiebenga

While many start-ups mainly establish ties with automotive companies’ R&D departments, TriboForm is actually involved in the production of the latest cars. According to Technical Director Johan Hol, this is due to the uniqueness of the software technology.

Our software is primarily used in the automotive industry, for the simulation of friction, lubrication, and wear in production processes for new car parts, such as a bonnet, door, or fender. This enables automotive companies and suppliers to produce high-quality parts in a time- and cost-efficient way. There was nothing of the kind available at this level.

—Johan Hol


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