Thousands of parts, just like yours – simulated and confirmed with AutoForm
AutoForm and StampingSimulation.com partnered in 2007, to deliver world class forming simulation services to the SME market (small and medium size businesses). Naturally, the largest companies with the largest sheet metal panels (such as body outer, fender, hood and rear deck lid) own and operate their own simulation software in-house. Via StampingSimulation.com, AutoForm can be injected into any small or medium size business. Even the one-man tool designer has access to AutoForm advanced simulation technology, using StampingSimulation.com and their online approach to simulation services.
“Autoform – not just for large body panels”
The efficiency and cost benefits that AutoForm brings to the sheet metal forming industry are hard to ignore, and although developed originally with the largest body panels in mind, the same benefits are available to any size sheet metal product. In fact, smaller and medium size sheet metal products can be analyzed in significantly shorter time frames, compared to large body panels. With the ever increasing speed and efficiency of the AutoForm solver, it makes sense to simulate just about every sheet metal product that requires stamping.
The most common question received at StampingSimulation.com, is “but can you simulate my part”? Almost always, the answer is yes. Although the product shape/size/complexity may differ, if it’s a sheet metal product design, StampingSimulation.com and AutoForm can design and simulate a successful forming process, and provide all the detailed process engineering data needed to make a tooling project succeed.
New clients often like to “see” a simulation of a similar part to get comfortable with the capabilities of AutoForm. StampingSimulation.com has simulated thousands of part, just like yours and experienced just about every forming method known to mankind, in simulation and in reality.
Although StampingSimulation.com often signs Non-Disclosure Agreements with their clients and therefore exact details of complex projects can not be shared amongst clients, the experience of how to form complex products is passed from StampingSimulation.com engineers and into your sheet metal process design, and then developed with AutoForm simulation.
Fig 1. Example of four different products optimized by StampingSimulation and AutoForm software.
“I had this tool made overseas – can you help me fix the forming problems?”
Even if the horse has already bolted (ie: the tools are already made) AutoForm and StampingSimulation.com can assist to turn around a project at any stage. Too often we see tooling brought back to the homeland from abroad, after failing to make parts successfully. Using AutoForm at this point is still very effective, as the problem process can be simulated, then adjusted to remove forming problems from low quality tooling, or a cheap forming process. A modified tool design can be proven with simulation prior to making changes to tooling that is already built.
The sting of a failed tool design is made worse, if simulation is not used to confirm major tooling changes prior to implementation.
Fig 2. Help! A failed tooling process from an overseas source
“The prototype parts worked – why can’t we make it in production”
Prototype sheet metal shops are amazing at what shapes they can form….when they only need to make one hundred parts. Heating, annealing, slow forming, plastic films, 3D laser cutting, shaping with a hammer…….all the tricks under the sun to make a few parts successfully. But high volume production must be fast, efficient and result in a safe forming condition, every time the press cycles. AutoForm and StampingSimulation.com design, develop and simulate processes that are suitable for high volume manufacturing, including full progression strip designs, confirmed with simulation.
By the way, prototype shops also use AutoForm and StampingSimulation.com to ensure they can succeed with their low volume methods.
Fig 3. Progression tooling, complete with stretch webs and carriers, can be simulated in every detail.
“Our secret weapon”
The advantage of having access to an on demand sheet metal forming simulation service is very powerful. Clients simply transfer 3D data to StampingSimulation.com (via secure FTP, our website, or otherwise) and engineers assess and quote a fixed price for simulation using AutoForm software. Many simulation jobs can be turned around in 48 hours and often “try1” results are sent to StampingSimulation.com clients in <36 hours from receipt of order.
To improve confidence and quality of the simulation results, StampingSimualtion.com also provides material tensile testing (via Thyssenkrupp lab services, Detroit, USA) and uses the test data to validate final simulations before tooling manufacture.
It’s also fair to say that once StampingSimulation.com clients experience the quality and speed of AutoForm simulation results, many go on to purchase the software for themselves and make sure they are always one step ahead of their competition.