Automated Computer Systems for Manufacturability Analyses and Tooling Design - Applied to the Rotary Draw Bending Process
Doctoral thesis, 2011
Intensive competition on the global market puts great pressure on manufacturing companies to develop and produce products that meet requirements from customers and investors. One key factor in meeting these requirements is the efficiency of the product development and the production preparation processes. Design automation is a powerful tool to increase efficiency in these two processes.
The benefits of automating the manufacturability analysis process, a part of the production preparation process, are shortened led-time, improved product perfor-mance, quality assurance, and, ultimately, decreased costs. Further, automation is beneficial as it increases the ability to adapt products to new product specifications with production preparations done in a few or in a single step. During the automation process, knowledge about the manufacturability analysis process is collected and stored in central systems, thus allowing full control over the design of production equipments.
Topics addressed in this thesis include the flexibility of design automation systems, knowledge-bases containing alternative design rules, the automation of the finite element analysis process, manufacturability analysis over several productions steps, and the determination of production limits by looping the automated manufacturabili-ty analysis process. These topics are discussed in connection with the rotary draw bending of aluminum profiles.
It is concluded that the concept of design automation can be applied to the manufacturability analysis process at different levels of automation depending on the characteristics of the implemented knowledge. The concept of object orientation should be adapted when implementing a knowledge-base and when developing the geometrical representations of the products. This makes a design automation system flexible enough to edit underlying knowledge and to extend the targeted design space. It is possible to automate the process of setting up, running, and interpreting finite element analyses to a great extent, enabling the design automation system to evaluate its own design proposals. It is also possible to enable such systems to consider sequences of manufacturing steps and loop them to develop decision support guiding engineers early in the design process, saving time and money while still assuring high product quality.
Design For Manufacturability
Rotary Draw Bending
and Knowledge-based Engineering (KBE)