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Automated discrete-pin adjustment for reconfigurable moulding machine

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To stay competitive, the moulding industry must possess manufacturing systems that are responsive to rapid market changes. Reconfigurable moulding is therefore much in demand. After the development of a vacuum forming machine, in which the pins are configured to a near-net shape and machined to final shape with minimal material removal, this paper discusses in detail the support software development that enables the automatic adjustment of discrete-pins to represent different component geometry. In this paper, the methodology is first explained, and the implementation of the system within the software is then demonstrated. The software system includes three parts: (1) component discretisation, (2) discrete-pin construction, adjustment, and G code generation (SCAG) and (3) display and verification. Vacuum forming of a car model is used as case study.
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Keywords: automated pin adjustment; discrete pin tooling; reconfigurable moulding

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Engineering, Ningbo Campus, University of Nottingham, UK 2: School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Nottingham, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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