In the LAPF process, the sheet metal is heated and softened locally by laser. The workpiece is then deformed as usual by the forming die immediately after the heating process. Better formability, dimensional accuracy and surface finish can be achieved as compared with the conventional forming. This allows the forming of products with complex geometry, enabling lightweight design.
Vehicle weight reduction can be realised by using high-strength materials. However, the forming of complex geometry with high-strength materials is extremely difficult, and it usually leads to cracking defect on the formed parts, leading to short die fatigue life. A complicated process route is now generally required, resulting in high cost and low productivity.
Automotive Platforms and Application Systems (APAS) R&D Centre was established in 2006 by the Innovation and Technology Commission of HKSAR Government and hosted by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. The Centre undertakes R&D programmes as well as commercialising R&D results in collaboration with industry, universities and technology institutes for the development of the APAS technology. Since its establishment, APAS R&D Centre has carried out over 100 R&D projects and focus on 3 R&D areas, Green Transportation, Smart Mobility and Intelligent Systems. To facilitate greater synergy and further enhance cost effectiveness, APAS is form part of the Hong Kong Productivity Council with effect from 1 Nov 2012.