This presentation, made at the inaugural Virtual Engineering Centre Workshop on 25-26th October 2011, provides an overview of the application of simulation to optimise manufacturing processes and determine mechanical properties that can affect in-service performance. These properties can be imported into structural FEA programs such as ANSYS for subsequent analysis of the final product.
Wilde Analysis believes that simulation techniques can play an important part in ensuring that parts are produced to a required standard and in an efficient way. Many of us are aware of simulation techniques such as finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) being applied to product design.
These techniques are now used extensively in product development for applications such as checks on structural integrity or pressure drops in fluid applications. However, fewer people are aware of the application of these and similar techniques to design and optimise the manufacturing processes and how they can deliver benefits in areas such as metal forging, machining, heat treatment and the injection moulding.
The simulation of any one of these processes is technically demanding, but is now used extensively by many manufacturers, some of whom will not commit to making tools to produce a new part without first ‘proving’ the process using simulation. These simulations require advanced techniques including the modelling of non linear materials, large displacements, evolving contact surfaces and material removal in a multi-physics environment.
Having mastered the modelling of a single process, the technology is now being applied to multi-stage modelling to simulate multiple operations and predict final properties that can affect in-service performance. This presents many new challenges and for some applications it’s still at the research stage. Nevertheless, current technologies are now being used to optimise manufacturing processes