Manufacturers and designers have much interest in virtual design and modelling for formed sheet metal products. There can be significant advantages, including reduced time to manufacture, lower cost, environmental friendliness, and greater flexibility in experimentation. The problem many encounter, though, is that virtual modelling results can differ quite a bit from the results on the plant floor. There are several actions you can take to “bridge the gap” between virtual results, and real mechanical results.
Probably the best thing you can do is to get your designers and modellers away from their monitors and onto the plant floor. Productive discussion between designers and plant employees can be the greatest “on-the-job” training your virtualization employees can recieve. How much better do you think design, modelling, and experimentation will be if virtual designers understand of such things as:
- tool and die build and set up,
- geometry and material effects on die temperatures,
- real binder force and draw bead impacts on material flow on your plant floor, with your equipment and skill sets, and
- the impact of design and materials on machine and die wear rates?
Continuing discussions and reliable information are the real contributors to the value of virtual design and modelling on your product quality and profitability.