Page 15 - MetalForming June 2019
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                                   Tooling by Design
changes and related expenses. Full tool compatibility with select mechanical four-slides also makes it possible to run existing production tooling.
Advanced, servo-drive slide forming elevates production analysis and adjustments to a new level. Integrated sensors within the servo controller measure and analyze various process parameters in real time, including dis- tance, torque and temperature. The controller automatically compensates for changes or shuts down the process. It even can alert operators or supervi- sors directly on their smartphones or other smart devices.
New functionality and programming ability also change the role of the tool designer and tool builder. Most CAD systems support tool and machine motion simulations, a technology rou- tinely used to evaluate interference and optimize press/tool motion pro- files for progressive and transfer die applications. Technology also exists to enable the timing chart developed from CAD simulations to load automatically as motion profiles into servo-controlled four-slide machines.
Advance tooling strategies also allow standard modules to quickly adapt to a plug-and-play programmable system, including the radial grip feeder and presses, as well as thread forming, screw insertion, contact welding and assembly capabilities.
In the future, additive metal man- ufacturing, or 3D metal printing, may dramatically reduce the time required to create slide tools. Tooling that tra- ditionally takes a month or more to complete using traditional toolmaking methods could be 3D printed, machined and ready for use in a week.
Author’s note: Thanks to Bihler of America for contributing to this month’s column.
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Perfectly customised & standard carbide solutions
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