1998-09-29

Flexforming of Prototype and Low-Volume Parts 982398

Recent trends in automotive manufacturing call for fast development of sheet metal parts. Flexforming is a manufacturing method requiring only one rigid shape-defining tool half where the redundant second rigid tool half is replaced by a flexible rubber diaphragm.
The flexform principle is described and its characteristics discussed for different forming applications, as well as the unique possibility to include trimming and flanging. The influence of the forming pressure is explained.
The application of flexforming in the production of development and prototype sheet metal parts is summarized highlighting the advantages to be gained and debating some objections that have been raised concerning the flexforming of prototypes. Also presented are current examples of production of low-volume parts using flex-forming, including technical and economic facts.

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