Research Papers

Development of a New High-Precision Feeder for Micro-Sheet-Forming

[+] Author and Article Information
Akhtar Razali, Jie Zhao, Colin Harrison

Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management,  University of Strathclyde, James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow G1 1XJ United Kingdom

Yi Qin1

Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management,  University of Strathclyde, James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow G1 1XJ United Kingdomqin.yi@strath.ac.uk

R. Smith

 Pascoe Engineering Ltd, 127 Nitshill Road, Glasgow G53 7TB, United Kingdom


Corresponding author.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 133(6), 061025 (Dec 27, 2011) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005046 History: Received March 29, 2011; Revised August 31, 2011; Published December 27, 2011; Online December 27, 2011

Feeding the raw material accurately is essential in microsheet-forming, especially in multistage progressive forming operations and also when in particular, a certain feeding rate has to be maintained. Research into the microforming of thin sheet metals (<100 μm) led to investigations of the performance of existing sheet metal feeders, regarding their feeding accuracy and repeatability. The results indicated that the pursuance of greater feeding accuracy and repeatability, which was aimed at 5–15% of the strip thickness, was difficult to achieve with commercially-available feeders. A new high-precision and high-speed feeder was, therefore, developed for microsheet-forming. The feeder design was supported by motion analysis and feeding simulations. The feeder was constructed in collaboration with industrial partners. The conducted feeding tests and forming experiments demonstrated that greater feeding accuracy and repeatability can be achieved, compared to those of existing commercial feeders. This suggests a promising solution for high-precision strip feeding in microsheet-forming where thin sheet metals are to be fed.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Micro-hat design specification

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Figure 2

Construction of the feeder

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Figure 3

Integration of the feeder with the microsheet-forming machine

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Figure 4

Types of related forces, friction between parts and payloads that contribute to the calculation of the total peak- and continuous-forces

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Figure 5

Diagram of the load exerted on the forcer, and the direction and distance of movement

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Figure 6

FE models and displacement results: (a) the roll feeder and (b) the linear-motor feeder model

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Figure 7

Illustration of motion profiles tested in the FE simulation, (a) 45–45 motion profile, (b) 50–50 motion profile

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Figure 8

Set-up of the linear encoder for the measurements

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Figure 9

Illustration of the settle-time and the feed distance

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Figure 10

Produced microparts with an embossed part feature of less than 500 μm: (a) copper LED connectors and (b) stainless steel microhat discs

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Figure 11

FE results of the positional error for the 5 mm feed distance and for both servo-roll and linear-motor feeders, at 2 Hz feeding frequency: (a) 45–45 motion profile without brake force, (b) 45–45 motion profile with brake force, (c) 50–50 motion profile with brake force; L—linear-motor feeder, R—servo roll feeder; C50/C100—carbon-steel strip 50 and 100 μm thicknesses, and S50—stainless steel strip 50 μm thick

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Figure 12

Measurement of the feeding accuracy between holes



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