Computer aided geometric design of form-rolls for NC manufacture
Conventional methods of form-roll design and manufacture for Cold Roll-Forming of thin-walled metal sections have been entirely manual, time consuming and prone to errors, resulting in inefficiency and high production costs. With the use of computers, lead time can be significantly improved, particularly for those aspects involving routine but tedious human decisions and actions. This thesis describes the development of computer aided tools for producing form-roll designs for NC manufacture in the CAD/CAM environment. The work was undertaken to modernise the existing activity of a company manufacturing thin-walled sections. The investigated areas of the activity, including the design and drafting of the finished section, the flower patterns, the 10 to 1 templates, and the rolls complete with pinch-difference surfaces, side-rolls and extension-contours, have been successfully computerised by software development . Data generated by the developed software can be further processed for roll manufacturing using NC lathes. The software has been specially designed for portability to facilitate its implementation on different computers. The Opening-Radii method of forming was introduced as a subsitute to the conventional method for better forming. Most of the essential aspects in roll design have been successfully incorporated in the software. With computerisation, extensive standardisation in existing roll design practices and the use of more reliable and scientifically-based methods have been achieved. Satisfactory and beneficial results have also been obtained by the company in using the software through a terminal linked to the University by a GPO line. Both lead time and productivity in roll design and manufacture have been significantly improved. It is therefore concluded that computerisation in the design of form-rolls for automation by software development is viable. The work also demonstrated the promising nature of the CAD/CAM approach.