Computer aided design and manufacture of form-rolls
Cold roll forming of thin-walled sections is a very useful process in the sheet metal industry. However, the conventional method for the design and manufacture of form-rolls, the special tooling used in the cold roll forming process, is a very time consuming and skill demanding exercise. This thesis describes the establishment of a stand-alone minicomputer based CAD/CAM system for assisting the design and manufacture of form-rolls. The work was undertaken in collaboration with a leading manufacturer of thin-walled sections. A package of computer programs have been developed to provide computer aids for every aspect of work in form-roll design and manufacture. The programs have been successfully implemented, as an integrated CAD/CAM software system, on the ICL PERQ minicomputer with graphics facilities. Thus, the developed CAD/CAM system is a single-user workstation, with software facilities to help the user to perform the conventional roll design activities including the design of the finished section, the flower pattern, and the form-rolls. A roll editor program can then be used to modify, if required, the computer generated roll profiles. As far as manufacturing is concerned, a special-purpose roll machining program and postprocessor can be used in conjunction to generate the NC control part-programs for the production of form-rolls by NC turning. Graphics facilities have been incorporated into the CAD/CAM software programs to display drawings interactively on the computer screen throughout all stages of execution of the CAD/CAM software. It has been found that computerisation can shorten the lead time in all activities dealing with the design and manufacture of form-rolls, and small or medium size manufacturing companies can gain benefits from the CAD/CM! technology by developing, according to its own specification, a tailor-made CAD/CAM software system on a low cost minicomputer.