Producing metal parts is an intricate process, and companies must find ways to reduce production costs whenever possible. Choosing the right blank size and shape can help reduce the amount of energy needed to manufacture a part and lower the waste produced. In this article, we discuss how determining an accurate blank size with simulation can considerably cut production costs.
A blank shape must be determined for every sheet metal part, that is not a simple flat shape.
How Accurate Blank Size Estimation Reduces Production Costs
Incremental sheet metal forming simulation not only predicts common defects such as wrinkles, splits, or springback, but is also regularly used to accurately calculate blank shape and trim developments, reducing production costs in the meantime.
In many cases, a sheet metal forming process starts with a 100% developed blank OR requires mid-process trimming before final forming. In either case, manually developing the blank or trimming profile is a source of costly try out time, typically taking more than a few days and maybe even weeks of expensive shop floor labor and machine time.
There are many cases where it is not possible to simply blank the sheet metal material to the shape estimated in the first step (blank shape estimate), form it and end up with a perfect result. If the part needs to be drawn then wiped down, for example, then some trimming occurs after drawing and needs to be developed so that after the wipe-down, the trim length is correct.
With the simulation software, this can all be done in a virtual environment. After the draw simulation step is complete, the “virtual draw panel” can be virtually “laser trimmed”, then wiped or flanged down. The virtual laser trim shape can then be adjusted until the final trim line is developed to the correct shape. This means that when the time comes to develop an actual trim die in reality, a very accurate starting point which rarely needs further adjustment is available, meaning the time and cost to build a real trim die is drastically reduced.
The AutoForm-TrimPlus module is a powerful tool for accurate developments.
Using the AutoForm-Trim module, Stamping Simulation reduces tryout time and production cost by optimizing the required cutting profiles via AutoForm-Incremental simulations. This means that every step of the forming process is considered, unlike inverse one-step solutions and therefore, the resulting accuracy is much higher and manufacturing costs are reduced.
AutoForm-Trim is an iterative process (used in either SimulateLite or SimulateComplete service options), similar to the shop floor method but entirely in the simulation environment and without the cost of manual labor and press time. Blank or trim developments are usually solved accurately within a few hours, a saving of many days on the shop floor.
“This job went very well and the main challenge was the blank development. We were very impressed with the 1st hit of the tool. The result was very close to the required development.” – Jeremy Dutkiewicz, Tool Designer at Williams Tooling and Manufacturing, Inc.
Improve Your Manufacturing Process
StampingSimulation uses AutoForm to accurately calculate blank shape and trim developments for any sheet metal product, reducing your production costs. To learn more about how we can improve your production process, contact us today.