1995-02-01

Novel Approach to Reduce the Time from Concept-to-Finished Piston 950524

An increasing emphasis is currently being placed on reducing the design-to-manufacturing time for all products. Pistons for internal combustion engines are being placed under the same emphasis. A new method has been established which reduces the piston design-to-manufacturing time and thus, brings pistons to market quicker than ever before.This new method involves performing the four standard steps to any product design-to-manufacturing sequence. The first step is to design the product from an initial concept. The second step is to design the manufacturing tooling necessary to produce this product. The third step is to build this manufacturing tooling and the final step is to produce the product using this tooling. The new method now involves the use of a 3-D solid modeling CAD/CAM system to design the pistons and the manufacturing tooling necessary to make these pistons. This piston information is used to produce 3-D solid models of the tooling necessary to manufacture this particular piston. The tooling geometry information is then passed to the tooling manufacturers who use this information to build the piston tooling directly through the use of CNC machines. To help shorten the tool build, all standard tooling components have been pre-machined so that the only critical machining added is the piston geometry. Once the tooling is complete, the pistons are manufactured in a flexible prototype environment which utilizes standard tooling andprocedures.The effective use of 3-D solid modeling CAD/CAM systems and the use of standard tooling has reduced the time necessary to perform each of the design-to-manufacturing steps for a new piston concept. By reducing the time necessary to perform each of these steps, the overall concept-to-finished piston time has been reduced by 60%.

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