We didn’t reinvent the wheel,
just the way it is made.

The new market sensation

LEIFELD WSC Flex

The flow forming technology has been embraced across the globe: The LEIFELD WSC Flex goes one step further and revolutionizes the market. The new machine for manufacturing rims is using a flow forming process, which, for the first time ever, works with inner rollers.

No tooling is needed, no time-consuming changeovers. The LEIFELD WSC Flex increases efficiency by a minimum of 15% and gives manufatures maximum flexibility in production and wheel design. What makes it a real game changer: batch size one can be produced economically.

15 %
more efficiency

10 %
energy savings

No tooling
needed

Batch size one
produced economically

Top features

no tooling

no changeover

independently controllable inner and outer rollers

multi-functional clamping chuck

Top benefits

economic production of batch size one

Maximum flexibility in wheel design

Increased efficiency and reduced costs

Energy savings

Lean manufacturing possible

Wheel Manufacturing Reaches a New Level

Learn more about "WSC Flex Technology"

Development of the Wheel Market

Growing design complexity and increasing wheel size along with increasing variant variety and rising cost pressures are just some of the trends that are currently shaping the wheel market. Manufacturers have to be able to react very flexibly to these market developments in order to keep up with demand and competition.

Current market trends and outlook
  Visible trend towards larger sized wheels
  Increasing number of different wheel variants
  Decreasing production batches based on just-in-time production
  Legal requirements to reduce CO2 emissions require weight-reduction for wheels
  Market share of flow formed wheels is increasing, inter alia through rising importance of electromobility
  Wheel manufacturers who have not used the flow forming technology so far are planning to use it
  Increasing interest in flow forming machines on the after-market
The results

The need to produce wheels by flow forming technology is now greater than ever. Due to higher price competition, incentives to minimize production costs and generate USP’s are more important than ever before.

Why is the flow forming technology that popular?

Aluminum rims are often cast or forged as single pieces. The flow forming process improves the material’s grain structure, which significantly increases the final rim strength after heat treatment.

Improved microstructure and increased strength
  increased strength enables additional reduction of the material cross-section or the use of more cost-effective material
  wall thicknesses in the cross-section can be adapted to the load request of the wheel resulting in flexible wheel design
  optimal weight savings for the wheel
Cost and Material Savings
  Reduction of scrap wheel preforms
  Reduction of recycled material
  Reduction of the allowance for turning operation
  Reduction of wall thicknesses for the final part caused by optimized material properties after heat treatment
The process of WSC Flex Technology

We offer the LEIFELD WSC Flex with various workpiece changeover concepts and with different numbers of rollers, depending on customer-specific performance requirements. The cycle times of the new machine are comparable to those of tool-bound machines. One function that was previously not available allows a completely cylindrical region to be formed with the new process for improved wheel stability.

The new process also offers numerous advantages for manufacturing of forged aluminium wheels. With the new WSC Flex Technology, the user has the option to chaotically produce 18- to 24-inch wheels starting at batch size one.

Forming principle similar to pottery
  The human brain of a potter is being replaced by CNC Control.
  The inner hand is being replaced by the inner roller.
  The outer hand is being replaced by the outer roller.
  The clay is being replaced by alu.

Our patented LEIFELD WSC Flex Technology works flexibly without tools. The principle resembles throwing pottery. The forming movement of the hands is similar to the axial and radial movements of the inner and outer rollers.

Your benefits in detail

For manufacturers of aluminum wheels, our patented WSC Flex Technology is a real sensation. It offers far-reaching potential in wheel manufacturing for improving productivity, lowering cost, and thus creating relevant competitive advantages for OEMs and after sales wheel manufacturers.

Machine features:
  No tooling and no changeover of tools
  No gas burner is required as preheating the tool after a product change is no longer necessary
  Independently controllable inner and outer rollers with automatically adjustable axial and radial offset
  Inner roller with automatic angle adjustment
  Emulsion is used for roller spraying
  Multi-functional clamping chuck for flexible workpiece holding
  Three access areas - two areas for part changes and one for process observation
  Synchronization via CNC control
  Offline programming via FlowSpin Software
Your benefits:
  Efficiency increase by a minimum of 15 percent
  Working with High-Mix Low-Volume Manufacturing (HMLV) lot size one can be produced economically
  10 % energy saving by reducing the preform temperature
  Maximum flexibility in wheel design thanks to new machine functions:
  • possibility to cover up to 7 different wheel sizes (18”-24”)
  • different rim profiles and wheels with completely cylindrical area can be formed
  • higher strength in the horn area can be reached
  Increased material strength allows more flexible wheel design and maximum weight savings
  No product-specific tooling costs in terms of production, storage, maintenance
  No set-up times:
  • Saving 3 hours on average with 2 setup processes per day
  • time savings as there is no machine downtime
  • reduction of scrap production, direct product transition without warming-up tools
Technical data
LEIFELD WSC 700-6-1 Flex
Outside diameter min. 410 mm
Outside diameter max. 720 mm
Nominal rim diameter min. 18 inch
Nominal rim diameter max. 24 inch
Rim width min. 3 inch
Rim width max. 14 inch
Workpiece length approx. max. 400 mm
Work piece mass 18-40 kg

Full machine data, information about machine configuration and prices on request. Further machine models are in development, e.g. with 2 spindles.

our innovative process

Highest Flexibility Without Tools

There are more than 130 LEIFELD machines for wheel manufacturing in the field, smoothly running in full time production over years. Which highlights the high quality and longevity of our machines. To support our customers even better in reacting to market trends such as increasing wheel size and variety or just-in-time production with a high level of flexibility, we revolutionized the well-known flow forming process. The result: The patented LEIFELD WSC Flex Technology that works flexibly without tools.

Our innovative process enables users to be as flexible as it gets and produce different rim diameters, profiles, wall thicknesses, and rim widths. Whereas classic flow forming uses one tool per rim type, the new LEIFELD WSC Flex uses no tools whatsoever and comes with a multi-functional clamping chuck. That means: No setup times and no product-specific tooling costs during operation. Tooling procurement costs, storage, and repair are eliminated completely. As a result, production factors are used economically and efficiently, so lean production can be realized. The user can carry out product changes seamlessly without having to perform disruptive setup activities.

Worldwide unique patented technology for chaotic production of cast aluminum wheels makes automatic product changeover possible in seconds.

Wheel designs with undercuts that were not possible on a conventional mold previously are now enabled by the inner roller technology.

Significant CO2 reduction through state-of-the-art energy-saving measures such as recuperation on the main drives.

Market leading developments by Leifeld

6.125+ sold machines Worldwide

1989 - LEIFELD ST

for cast aluminium wheels with charging unit

1996 - LEIFELD FFM

with optimised loading concept & automatization

2006 - LEIFELD WSC

vertical machine design and 30% cycle time reduction

2021 - LEIFELD WSC Flex

for maximum flexibility without tooling

Are you ready for the next step?

Get in touch with us

Book a free expert call and learn more about WSC Flex Technology.

Germany

Leifeld Metal Spinning GmbH

Japan

Nihon Spindle Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

China

Leifeld Machinery Trading Co., Ltd.