This article discusses how to guarantee that manufactured parts correspond to the production requirements. Article by Creaform.
At the beginning of a manufacturing process, a mould, die, or jig is engineered according to the theoretical CAD model. The aim of this tooling, made precisely from the nominal model, is to produce parts that correspond to the technical requirements. It turns out, however, that there are often differences between the theoretical model and the reality of an industrial environment. Different phenomena interfere with the tooling, causing problems and imperfections on the parts. Adjustments and iterations, therefore, are required to ensure that the tools and moulds, even if they correspond exactly to their nominal models, produce good parts that meet quality controls and customer demands.
Challenges: Non-Predictable Phenomena
The reality of an industrial environment differs from the theory illustrated in CAD models. During the manufacturing process, several phenomena that are difficult to predict can occur. Spring backs when stamping a die, shrinkage when building a mould made of composite material, or thermal forces when welding two elements together are all good examples of phenomena that impact tooling precision. Nevertheless, modelling the removal of a composite resin, the spring back of a die, the impact of a weld remains difficult, complex, and expensive.
Initially, the tooling is built according to the theoretical model, which is developed to create manufactured parts that meet the production requirements. But, in the reality of the industry, the aforementioned phenomena interfere with the moulded or stamped parts. As a result, the parts do not meet the technical demands and must be adjusted, corrected, and altered in order to pass the quality controls.
Starting with nominal models is, of course, a good first step, but let’s not forget that what manufacturers want is not so much a perfect tooling, but good parts that meet technical requirements and customer needs.
Solution: Iterative Process
When unpredictable phenomena alter manufactured parts, an iterative process of quality control starts. The most commonly used method is to work on the part before adjusting the tooling. More precisely, this method involves producing a part, measuring it, and analysing deviations between the part and the CAD model. Hence, if we notice that there are some missing (or extra) mms in one place, we will go to the corresponding surface on the mould, die, or jig in order to grind or add material. Thus, the iteration is performed on the tooling after measuring the manufactured part.
Once this operation completed, we restart the manufacturing process in order to produce a new part that will be measured to verify if there are any remaining deviations. This iterative process will continue on a loop until we obtain the desired part (i.e., when the manufactured part corresponds to its CAD model).
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