CORDIS - EU research results
Content archived on 2024-04-19



NETTFORM has produced a computer-based design-support-system to support the designer in the design phase. This design support system consists of two parts:
an unique Knowledge Base System for 2-D components which combines forging expert knowledge in the Knowledge Base with a CAD modeller
a PC information system which includes information about 500 references about modelling material technique, general forging rules and forging of compressor blades for jet engines.

To support the engineering in the design phase several experimental techniques have been developed to be able to form Nett-shape components:
Optimisation of material flow by use of model material technique. The technique has been improved and an infinite stiffness modelling material press has been developed and constructed. This includes control system and data acquisition system. A decision-matrix for the experimental evaluation of the optimal processing route has been setup.
Optimisation of tool position in the press by use of the modelling material technique. A new 6-axis force transducer has been developed and constructed for measuring the reaction from the component on the press. The transducer has been developed with an integrated data acquisition system.
Press stiffness transducer for measuring the stiffness of the production press. A new stiffness transducer based on a completely new concept has been developed and constructed. The transducer has been developed with an integrated data acquisition system.
By optimising through each of the component considerations off-line - without disruption of the schedule of production machinery - the system will enable the design of the forming route right first time.
NETTFORM encompasses both nett- and near-nett forming technologies.

Design for the forming of metal products in major industries such as the automotive, aero engine, consumer and mechatronics relies on long-term, craft-level observations. This dependence on observations of variable quality for prescribing future production specifications can be replaced by the proposed computer-based, design support system NETTFORM form nett-forming. This system will constitute a major advance over current research efforts to define processing routes using FE techniques only: the proposed system is based on Physical Modelling techniques which replicate the behaviour of metals more exactly and is supported by FE techniques. NETTFORM will be an integration of separate optimisation routes-physical modelling for flow considerations and Finite Element analysis for machine - and die-elasticity considerations. This will enable optimal specification of the design of the product and of the process route thereby increasing the competitiveness of industries. Dependence on craft-based observations will be minimised. NETTFORM will reduce the manufacturing lead-time for products by 25-50% as tool trials will be eliminated. The tool cost will be reduced by at least 20%, resulting from optimal tool design. It would enable the definition of the sequence for the nett-forming of a product resulting in raw material savings of 10-20% and reduction in scrap generated by subsequent metal removal processes by 30-50%.

Three consequent advantages are the reduction in investment in metal-remove machinery of the order of 10-20%, the ability to process smaller batch quantities and the elimination of the disruptive use of production machinery for tool proving trials.

NETTFORM will provide the designer with an integrated design-support system for the nett-forming of engineering components.

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