From Stamping Engineering to an Alternative Computer-Assisted Environment 910770
The time and cost to introduce new quality products are emerging as major competitive factors in the world automotive market. The industry will need to achieve substantial improvement, if metal stampings are to be introduced within the time frames being established by major international companies. There will need to be significant advancement in the technology of designing and tooling metal stampings.
A present limitation is the lack of predictability in the actual forming operations of metal stampings. To achieve predictable results, without extensive development and trial and error, requires that the present “ART” of tooling development be transformed to an experience-enhanced science based technology. This suggests that an alternative system is required. The alternative system would utilize Computer Aided Analysis Tools. While much work has been done to develop such systems, to date there has been little acceptance by the industry. This is because of the lack of a clear fit between computer simulation aids and the flow of the stamping engineering tasks.
This paper describes the implementation of an alternative system being developed by Forming Technologies Incorporated on behalf of a consortium of Canadian steel producers and metal stampers. The system is called FTICASE (FTI Computer Aided Stamping Engineering).
The FTICASE environment is based on the requirements previously identified by researchers in the field, and mimics the functional task flow in the practitioners' environment. The environment provides a TOOL KIT of computer programs, based on a classification system for non-exposed panels. The system design is open ended, and while not yet complete, the framework, and infrastructure of the system is basically in place. Some examples of tools of the FTICASE system are shown in this paper.