Extend tool life with improved process knowledge

Tool life is a key overhead in all manufacturing industries. It impacts profitability directly through the replacement costs of components, and indirectly through the gradual impact of worn or damaged equipment upon product quality and downtime for repairs and maintenance.

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Tool setup is a skilled job that requires the accurate setting of alignment, torque and other factors. Often this calibration entails calling in specialist service companies, with more overheads. If you can monitor your equipment electronically, you can also automate its adjustments. This can add up to huge improvements in your bottom line.

Design processes to be lean and efficient from the start

You can do this using a process simulation program. Such programs help you to optimise setup parameters and schedule maintenance operations into predictable and controllable production workflows.

In recent years, both computers and the available algorithms to run on them have improved considerably. They are easier to use, easier to understand, and easier to automate; for example, it is now possible to model optimal die wear in software, monitor processes via smart sensors on headers and thread rollers to avoid overload or detect quality defects, and automate compensating interventions without human labour and downtime.

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In part, this intelligent engineering analysis has been enabled by the implementation of finite element analysis (FEA) algorithms. This complex area of mathematics was originally developed for aeronautical design, dividing complex problems into small elements and predicting the outcome of adjusting multiple production variables.

The relationship between modelled and actual performance is two-way

Measurements of actual forces applied during machining can be correlated with results and fed back into the press elasticity parameters used in the model in a lifecycle of process improvement. Simulation modelling and process monitoring therefore merge into one.

Process designs can be downloaded directly onto the production line. This also means much faster transition from drawing board to production for brand-new products.

Using the best electrical control components is therefore increasingly critical to compete and survive; for example, electrical control components in Ireland can be bought from providers such as http://www.osmelectrical.com.

Adopting more sophisticated production control systems is not all or nothing; instead, you can improve control instrumentation incrementally. With expert advice from the professionals, incremental improvements can also move you closer to a position upon which additional automation can be built.


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