Enhancing Manufacturing Productivity

Modern automotive vehicles use a large number of stamped sheet metal parts in their construction. Understanding the dynamic behavior of sheet metals during transfer from one die station to another becomes an urgent task in the tooling design phase to achieve optimum transfer motion, avoid high cost equipment damage and improve overall production uptime.

To get a better understanding of this critical process and to improve the productivity of the tooling design and stamping process, Ford looked for external input to compliment its own internal experience and expertise.

Having worked on many previous projects together, Ford selected Altair ProductDesign to assist in this process. The newly developed Altair HyperDieDynamics (HDD), a unique tool to analyze sheet metal transfer and dynamic behavior, was implemented within Ford's design process. By introducing flexible body blank representations and a virtual model of the stamping press line, Altair ProductDesign and Ford users could easily conduct a panel transfer dynamic analysis, visualizing the in-motion blank deflections, accelerations, and resultant forces.

To fully understand the complex nature of the stamping process, Altair ProductDesign created a reduced model representing a single press station along with several types of real parts to be simulated in order to validate the virtual press model and improve the robustness of the solution.

The implementation of the highly customized software and newly formulated design process in partnership with Altair ProductDesign had a number of positive results for Ford: Ford engineers could successfully predict dynamic panel transfer behavior (displacement, forces, stresses, etc) faster and crucially more accurately than was previously possible. Material behavior could be predicted with greater accuracy thus avoiding interference during panel transfer and reducing part or die damage. The tooling design could be optimized to maximize production output while reducing wasted material.

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