Towards Smart Manufacturing Techniques Using Incremental Sheet Forming

Towards Smart Manufacturing Techniques Using Incremental Sheet Forming

J.B. Sá de Farias (University of Aveiro, Portugal), S. Marabuto (University of Aveiro, Portugal), M.A.B.E. Martins (University of Aveiro, Portugal), J.A.F Ferreira (University of Aveiro, Portugal), A. Andrade Campos (University of Aveiro, Portugal) and R.J. Alves de Sousa (University of Aveiro, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5836-3.ch007
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The current world’s economical crisis raised the necessity from the industry to produce components cheaper and faster. In this sense, the importance of smart manufacturing techniques, proper articulation between CAD/CAM techniques and integrated design and assessment becomes critical. The Single Point Incremental Forming (SPIF) process represents a breakpoint with traditional forming processes, and possibly a new era in the small batches production or customized parts, being already used by automotive industry for light components. While classical stamping processes need a punch, a die, a holder and a press, in the SPIF process the final geometry is achieved incrementally through the action of a punch with a spherical head. Since the blank is clamped at the edges, there is no need to employ a die with the shape of the final part. However, this process must be further improved in terms of speed and dimensional accuracy. Because the process is cheap and easy to implement, it is currently the subject of intensive experimental and numerical research, but yet not deeply understood. This chapter gives an overview on the techniques currently being employed to optimize the process feasibility.
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2. Scope And Motivation

As referred, Incremental Forming Processes have been gaining a growing interest both on academia and production industry. It is a low cost sheet forming process – mainly applied to metals – once it doesn’t require the use of dies and punches as in press sheet forming. Doing so, it is still a versatile option in terms of geometrical possibilities of final parts. Several applications have been found on biomedical industry (implants) and usable prototypes, which can represent considerable savings on RD costs (Ambrogio et al., 2005). However, the low production rate and relevant geometrical inaccuracy are impairing a deeper implementation into industrial environment.

Several studies are being carried out by many research groups from all over the world, covering both numerical and experimental aspects (Aerens et al., 2009; Tanaka et al., 1999). Nevertheless, there is still much to explore and understand on the field of Incremental Forming Processes and several questions remain open.

In this work, focus is more given on how these techniques can work together in order to optimize the process, make it more fast and feasible, and finally easier to implement in industrial environment. Summing up, the scope of the present survey is to highlight how computer aided design and manufacturing, computational mechanics, optimization processes and experimental techniques can act together to push up processes boundaries and enlarge its potential towards a smart manufacturing approach.

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