Selected articles from May/June 2003 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
A growing manufacturing base in the Southeast spurred Thompson Steel in the mid-1990s to research what type of equipment to purchase for its new facility in Fountain Inn, S.C. The steel supplier had been shipping coils of slit steel from its plants in Baltimore; Franklin Park, Ill.; and Rome, Ga., almost daily to several customers in the area.
Dieless NC forming or incremental sheet forming is a numerically controlled incremental process that can produce complex shapes from various materials. The process is based on localized plastic deformation in the sheet metal blank. It was developed as an alternative manufacturing method to prototype sheet metal stampings and produce panels in small lot sizes.
Market pressures to reduce tooling costs are pressing the tool and die industry to seek lower-cost tooling solutions. This column discusses different build approaches and the merits of an integrated build for trying out stamping dies (and molds) as part of the manufacturing validation process.
Over time negative tonnage can cause significant press and die damage. Understanding the factors that influence the amount of negative tonnage can help you control it.
One of the cornerstones of an efficient stamping operation is its ability to perform die changes in less than 10 minutes. Retrofitting an entire stamping operation for quick die change can require a very costly investment. Justifying such a large amount of money in a short payback scenario can be impossible.
Before coiled material can pass through a die to produce an acceptable part, it must be straightened. Coil straightening is accomplished by bending a strip of material around sets of rollers that alternately stretch and compress the upper and lower surfaces so that the material's yield point is exceeded.
Think delicate: an antique vase, velvet gloves, the sweet sound of string music. Then imagine a typical stamping operation: bam-bam, metal on metal, all day long.
Imagine this: The line is running smoothly, delivery is tight but on schedule, it is 10 minutes to shift change, and suddenly Art the quality control inspector runs by the office window shouting, "We've got bad parts coming out!" You shut the line down, your production supervisor comes running, Art is grabbing as many parts as he can to start checking, and the operator is thinking, "I should run now and let the second shift deal with it."
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