Original Date: 05/12/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Machine Tool Product Development Process
Machine tool designing involves numerous critical steps including comprehending and controlling various design variables, such as cutting forces, structural stiffness, motion, vibration, noise, dynamic stiffness, natural frequencies, and damping. Previously, Cincinnati Milacron verified dynamic characteristics of machine tool designs through strain gauge measurements and hand calculations. The process required several concept and design cycles to produce multiple prototypes that were then subjected to testing and redesigning until the goals were met. Results, verified with experimental versus analytical techniques, typically needed additional redesigning and further prototypes which increased the cost and product development cycles. In response, Cincinnati Milacron significantly integrated the critical steps of its machine tool product development process by using finite element analysis (FEA) software tools.
Improvements in FEA software tools now allow for static and dynamic-concept design modal analyses. In turn, new testing tools, based on continuously-improving computer techniques, have improved the confirmation of the models, thereby shortening the design process and reducing material requirements. This is achieved by using sequential static and dynamic FEA modeling and simulation with the applicable loads, material specifications, and restraints applied. If the results are unsatisfactory, the design is iterated and the simulation repeated until a viable solution is achieved, prior to physical prototyping.
Cincinnati Milacron coordinates solid models by using translation software to move concept-design data electronically from the design station into the analysis model. The static analysis ensures that key stiffness stress and deflection criteria are satisfied before the more extensive dynamic analysis is conducted. This process, along with strong troubleshooting and test expertise, has enabled Cincinnati Milacron to develop numerous, patented methods for overcoming vibration and related dynamic structural problems. Tuned damped absorber capabilities have significantly enhanced the performance of machine tool products. Other engineered damping solutions are available through Cincinnati Milacron’s dynamic analysis based capabilities. The unique damping devices are used to satisfy the required machine performance.
Not only does Cincinnati Milacron’s machine tool product development process provide better structural integrity predictions, but it greatly reduces the number of iterations needed for an effective design. In addition, the process has successfully reduced the number of prototypes to one, required fewer tests, and decreased the design-to-market time for new products. Structural integrity can be displayed during the machine-concept phase which increases and expedites the human perception of critical performance. Resource costs to complete development are also reduced along with a lowered risk of non-performance.
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