In this study, a hydroforming system was designed, built, and experimentally validated to perform lab-scale warm hydromechanical deep drawing (WHDD) tests and small-scale industrial production with all necessary heating, cooling, control and sealing systems. This manuscript describes the detailed design and fabrication stages of a warm hydroforming test and production system for the first time. In addition, performance of each subsystem is validated through repeated production and/or test runs as well as through part quality measurements. The sealing at high temperatures, the proper insulation and isolation of the press frame from the tooling and synchronized control had to be overcome. Furthermore, in the designed system, the flange area can be heated up to 400 °C using induction heaters in the die and blank holders (BH), whereas the punch can be cooled down to temperatures of around 10 °C. Validation and performance tests were performed to characterize the capacity and limits of the system. As a result of these tests, the fluid pressure, the blank holder force (BHF), the punch position and speed were fine-tuned independent of each other and the desired temperature distribution on the sheet metal was obtained by the heating and cooling systems. Thus, an expanded optimal process window was obtained to enable all or either of increased production/test speed, reduced energy usage and time. Consequently, this study is expected to provide other researchers and manufacturers with a set of design and process guidelines to develop similar systems.

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