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Title: Rapid manufacturing of vacuum forming components utilising reconfigurable screw pin tooling
Author: Wang, Zhijian
ISNI:       0000 0001 1877 060X
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2010
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Current market trends are moving from large quantity production towards small batch production and mass customization. This has led to the high demand for the flexibility and adaptability of manufacturing technology and systems. Several reconfigurable pin type tooling systems have been proposed and developed to satisfy such demands. However, these reconfigurable tooling systems still suffer from several drawbacks, including difficulties associated with positioning and locking the pins and problems of uneven “staircase” surface effects from relying on discrete finite size pins. The main focus of this research is on building a hybrid vacuum-forming machine system (HAVES) based on reconfigurable screw-pin tooling (SPT)as a test bed for understanding the processes involved in developing this technology and to examine the feasibility of implementing such technology in an industrial system. The SPT used is composed of identical screw pins,which are engaged with each other in an array pattern. By adjusting vertical displacement of the screw pins, a wide variety of component geometry can be formed. The adjustment methodology of the SPT is formulated mathematically in order to help construction of the SPT be parametrical thus enabling automatic CNC G-code generation. The HAVES test bed development involves full machine design and hardware and software integration. The hardware integration task included a CNC controller, drive motors, encoders, milling and screw adjustment heads, SPT, vacuum forming system. The software integration task involved the processing of three-dimensional CAD geometry to automatically generate post processed G codes in order to adjust the screw-pin to the required component geometry and subsequent surface machining for driving the final die geometry and minimize operator intervention. The completed HAVES test bed has been tested for accuracy, repeatability and functionalities with quality good results. An economic analysis has been also conducted to verify the economic feasibility of the HAVES test bed by comparing the cost of making vacuum forming components using a dedicated mould versus using the HAVES test bed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available