Page 38 - MetalForming May 2016
P. 38

 3D Metal Printing
To develop a cost-effective and rapid process to print dies, the Ricardo-UTRC team opted to use preforms—starting plates or extru- sions—and then use the WAAM process to 3D-print all of the necessary features onto the preforms.
It can analyze key business drivers such as tooling invest- ment, equipment cost, process time, materials, scrap, automation, labor, supply-chain impact and factory over- head.
The model is supported by an extensive database of infor- mation on a range of materials, manufacturing processes, equipment and a common set of factory operating parame- ters. All of this allows the comparison of traditional manu- facturing techniques to emerging technologies. The cost model and approach has been vetted by industry experts rep- resenting OEMs, suppliers, academia, consultants and national laboratories.
Leveraging its expertise and the manufacturing-cost model, Ricardo studied the costs associated with the con- ventional manufacture of 10 subassemblies for the Toyota Corolla, representative of a traditional high-volume pas- senger vehicle. The cost analysis shows that, for all of the ana-
lyzed components, production costs start to become pro- hibitive below an annual volume of 50,000 units. The root cause is the relatively large capital investment needed for dies, fixtures and other tooling. For this reason, manufacturers must try to achieve economies of scale by sharing platforms for different vehicle models, and using common components.
Table 1: Approximate geometries of the stamped Toyota Corolla parts being studied
36 MetalForming/May 2016
Part dimensions
Part envelope (cm) Footprint (cm2) Part depth (cm)
B-pillar panel
108 × 20 2168 2.5
Outer door skin
113 × 74 8362 10
Floor pan
139 × 132 18,335 16

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