Forming Analysis Team Enhances Work Efficiency by Adopting AutoForm
The Forming Analysis Team at SDM Co. Ltd. (hereafter SDM) has been using AutoForm since 2009 and has veteran master level users who have worked together to increase the output of their compensation modelling by double within the same working hours. In this blog post, we will learn how this competitive company utilizes simulation tools to enhance their tool making accuracy, thereby shortening tryout times.
SDM is a company renowned for consistently winning bids in competition with domestic metal forming companies. They are highly familiar with AutoForm, as evidenced in their recent robustness analysis presentation in Korea. In continuation of our flourishing relationship, we at AutoForm visited SDM to observe their usage of AutoForm-ProcessDesignerforCATIA, which was newly adopted last year.
SDM Forming Analysis Team leader Dongjin KONG states that, “In the past, we could do just 10 parts a week with CATIA. But now we are doing 20 parts, using ProcessDesignerforCATIA. Our work speed has literally doubled! Currently, simulations for the entire forming process are being performed for all tool types, including progressive dies, tandems, and transfer dies, all of which require modeling for process analysis. Where CATIA took too long, our new efficiency saves half the time and labor. Another satisfaction point (unlike the early days when only free springback was considered) is that springback compensation accuracy is very high due to analysis run for each operation and draw shell application.”
As the entire process becomes CAD-based and enters its 3D layout, the related modeling is linked with CATIA, thus becoming much easier. KONG says, “Although the software was initially purchased for the process engineering (flowchart) review, SDM has found a big advantage in that compensation modeling and initial simulation can also be done easily. In addition, the feature of the “roughness check” during surface modelling also makes machining much smoother.”
“It must be said, the compensator functionalities greatly improved the springback compensation quality so that in the CMM, the initial score is over 80 PIST (points in tolerance) on average, going up to 90-100 points. We apply the compensation results to the forming process, including the draw shell, springback analysis and compensation, so that with these three processes finished, machining data can be completed.”
Regarding materials to which they have applied compensation include aluminum of over 2.5mm for overseas lightweight, high-end sports car models. Another is 3.6mm aluminum, used to make the rear plate of a side member for pickup truck models. KONG stated that springback compensation is applied to almost all of their products, depending on customer requirements.
As a result of using AutoForm, Mr. KONG says “Fewer and fewer people are required in tryout as the emphasis is more on digital engineering. In the past, the company expected a lot from the shop floor workers. Now we rely heavily on software. If any problem arises in the field, then we depend upon the analysis team for problem solving, and tryout work is based on the simulation results we get. We engineer according to good simulation results.” He continues, “Looking back, our team first standardized a lot of manual tryout processes. Nowadays, we train on-site workers based on AutoForm.”
Mr. KONG also mentions that many factories in Korea still largely depend on old-fashioned know-how and manual labor for parts production. However, as the parts and tools become more sophisticated and the processability becomes more complex, the need for forming analysis is becoming more important. For this reason, he expects an increase in the use of formability analysis across the Korean industry.
SDM Co. Ltd. (www.toolmaker.co.kr) was established in Gwangju, Korea in 2001 and currently retains over 100 employees. As a tool maker, the company supplies a variety of products, including Transfer, Line and Progressive dies (for both casting & steel) to customers such as Hyundai Motors, KIA, GM, Ford, Magna, Volkswagen, Proton, Toyota, SGM, JAC, Uchida, etc. Contact SMD Co. Ltd. to find out more.