Simulation killed the interference curve star?

"Video Killed the Radio Star" goes the catchy tune by The Buggles. What might the songwriters have been thinking when they wrote these prophetic-sounding lines over 40 years ago:

„They took the credit for your second symphony

Rewritten by machine and new technology

And now I understand the problems you can see"

Although artificial intelligence algorithms are already being used to create paintings and, as predicted in the lyrics of the song, music as well, these are still creations based on an original, a specific style. Here I think one can discuss endlessly about the core of artistic work.

Similarly creative, although certainly more rationally shaped, is the engineer's craft. Working with 3D CAD has become an indispensable part of the tool designer's daily business. Sophisticated working methods and CAD design systematics have massively simplified the work of the designer. Start models, parameterized designs and finally the representation in 3-dimensional space not only reduce mistakes. But it also saves a lot of design time and creates a standard throughout the entire development process.

But what about the flow chart - or collision analysis? As a follow-up to the method plan / forming sequence layout, in which the manufacturing methodology, component orientations and production forces are considered, the link to the planned transfer presses is created in the throughput plan. In essence, this involves preliminary considerations to be able to produce the method on the intended press without collisions and at the maximum number of strokes.

The handling of interference curves is the core activity of the part flow designer. By means of these curves, collisions can be detected and thus the clearance of the component transfer can be ensured. As a result of the press setting, these curves can also be a measure for evaluating press performance, because each curve is also backed by press and transfer angles. If the communication flow from the design to the press is maintained, the dies can be set up on the press with a minimum of effort.

However, clearance curves are a leftover from the days when design was done on the drawing board, i.e. in 2D. For me, it is completely beyond understanding to repeatedly evaluate throughput layouts that are created with these curves transferred from 2D views. At the same time, nice stories of past tryouts and new startups are reported, as well as the consequences of rework or rebuilds, where the obviously buggy became reality.

Assuming a holistic and correct understanding of clearance curves, it is obvious to consider the movements of the 3-axis transfer as an 3-dimensional curve and to use corresponding curve representations. Not only do only two curves need to be defined and constrained instead of at least five, but also many misinterpretations are eliminated simply by the way the curves are shown. The flow chart is cleaner overall and can be grasped even by non-experts.

The virtual, kinematic simulation of the processes occurring in the tool and the transfer press then represents the conclusive continuation of this process using the current state of the art. Clearance curves offer here, especially resulting from the combination of curves and simulation, the possibility to highlight critical spots and to optimize the situation within the flow, since primarily: design time is short and the creativity of the designer should be used for stroke rate and productivity increase instead of positioning and thinking over curves interpretation.

 Correlation of simulation and interference curves.

 The motion curve to the lower tools represents the transfer motion, while the clearance curve (relative curve) faded in during the latter half also takes the slide motion into account and thus reveals the ample clearance to the upper tool.

Would you like to reduce the design time of your transfer tools and prepare them for the target press(es) in the best possible way through ideal throughput planning? Check out the service of virtual kinematic die simulation and please feel free to contact me.


In addition to the virtual kinematic simulation of your tools, I can support you in the implementation of a best practice in the area of throughput planning as well as through workshops for the design of forming tools suitable for the press.


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