Measuring the contact pressure during sheet metal forming of automotive components
Abstract: The competition in the car market in the world is continuously intensifying. To gain an advantage in the market while making a profit, each car manufacturer needs a strong focus on always improving in the technology development. It is not just technology of the cars that need development, but it is equally important to improve the manufacturing processes itself. In the end, this will result in more appealing products for the customer at a competitive cost. The aim and scope of this master thesis is to get a deeper understanding of the forces in the stamping die during sheet metal forming in manufacturing. By using strain gauges and microcontrollers, the forces during the entire forming process could be measured and analyzed. The relationship between the force on the pressure pins in the die and the length of the pressure pins was also investigated by adding shims on the pressure pins. A modular system using Arduino Uno with 3D-printed parts was developed to measure the forces in the blank holder during sheet metal forming. An Arduino software system and TeraTerm was found the most appropriate for collecting and organizing data from the strain gauge sensors and microcontrollers. Tests were then conducted using different settings of the press, and these showed that the forces in the blank holder were uneven. Adding shims to the pins so that they were all of equal length evened out the forces in the blank holder. Another test showed that adding more shims to only one of the pins increased the force in that pin, and that adding 0.5mm of shims to that pin more than doubled the maximum force. The system developed in this thesis can measure the forces in the blank holder during the sheet forming process at a lower speed of production. This system can also detect different force settings in the press. Lastly, it can also detect a difference in force for different pressure pin lengths.
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