Original Date: 05/12/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Sheet Metal Art to Part
Cincinnati Milacron is in the process of implementing a concurrent systems strategy. Part of that strategy will be the capability to design and produce a sheet metal part without paper and with minimal human analysis. Major manufacturing objectives include 100% conformance to specifications; improved facility and equipment usage; reduced manufacturing costs; and on-time delivery.
The concurrent systems strategy consists of the Engineering Database; Pro-Engineer CAD; Product Data Manager; Pro-Review Engineering Markup; ERP: Shop Floor Control (with requirements planning and finite capacity scheduling); Pro-Sheet Metal Optimation; Distributed Numerical Control; Computer Aided Process Planning; and Pro-Manufacture. The ERP and Computer Aided Process Planning are currently in the pilot implementation stage.
Traditional methods for producing a sheet metal part rely on 2-D CAD to create the flat pattern layouts. Using the 2- D engineering drawing, a numerical control programmer manually calculates the bend radii, the dimensions from edges, and the angles. Flat pattern layout errors may occur if the programmer misinterprets the 2-D engineering drawing. Average turnaround time is 60 minutes, while some complex parts may need up to 16 hours. When engineering change notices require flat pattern layouts to be updated, an engineer usually needs 30 minutes to manually incorporate the changes.
With Cincinnati Milacron’s new method, a design engineer uses the Pro-Sheet Metal 3-D model to create the flat pattern layouts of new part designs. Flat pattern layouts can now be generated in about ten minutes. In addition, the new method eliminates the chance of interpretation errors. Engineering change notices for updates can be handled within minutes, since the flat pattern layout is parametrically driven by the Pro-Sheet Metal 3-D model.
Cincinnati Milacron’s concurrent system will improve part quality through Computerized Numerical Control part manufacturing and decrease part costs, program prove-out times, and scrap rates. In addition, the system will reduce the lead-time from part design to part manufacturing and the costs of indirect activities (e.g., process planning, numerical control programming, tool design).
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