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A part-transport design and the system for micro-forming applications

Razali, Akhtar and Zhao, Jie and Law, Fraser and Qin, Yi (2011) A part-transport design and the system for micro-forming applications. Journal of Plasticity Engineering, 18 (6). pp. 81-86. ISSN 1007-2012

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Efforts in micro-forming have been focused largely on fundamental studies and laboratory processes which may ignore some of the key issues related to production realization. A micro-forming machine alone, for example, without a proper handling-system, is seen to be impractical to meet industrial demands. Continuous production requires not just an efficient manufacturing machine, but also autonomous synchronization between the machine and the material-handling system itself. This is inclusive of the way in which the machine automatically transports the finished parts/products away from its working environment and automatically packs the parts/products for shipment. A handling-strategy was presented for the finished parts/products produced by micro-forming, with a focus on the investigation of the handling device and the development of design considerations for a new transportation system for a micro-sheet-forming machine developed at the University of Strathclyde, UK. FE simulation was employed to study the feeding characteristics and also the positional accuracy, and the system was constructed, followed by experimental validations.