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Development of a linear-motor-driven feeder for micro-sheet-forming applications

Razali, Akhtar and Qin, Yi and Zhao, Jie and Harrison, Colin (2009) Development of a linear-motor-driven feeder for micro-sheet-forming applications. In: International Conference on Manufacturing Research 2009, 2009-09-08 - 2009-09-10.

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Abstract

Precision feeding is essential for micro-stamping, especially in multi-stage progressive forming operations, where necessary feeding rates also have to be maintained. Research in micro-stamping of thinner sheet metals (<100 microns) led to investigations of the performance of existing sheet-metal feeders, regarding their accuracy and repeatability in high speed micro-stamping. The results indicated that the pursuance of higher feeding accuracy and repeatability which aimed at 5-15% of the strip thickness was unachievable with the existing micro-feeders. A new high-precision and high-speed feeder was, therefore, developed for micro-sheet-forming. The feeder design was supported with micro-forming process analysis and feeding simulations. It was constructed with collaboration with an industrial partner. The initial tests conducted demonstrated higher feeding accuracy and repeatability, compared to existing commercial feeders, which indicated a promising solution for micro-sheet-forming where thin sheet metals are to be fed.