A manufacturer of deep-draw dies and die-cutting tools for the automotive sector, Aggressive Tool & Die, Inc. uses its measuring arm in tool development and quality control.

During the deep-draw process, a sheet is put under pressure and when it is released from the tooling, it relaxes: this is called spring back. While this deformation is determined and compensated in the tool design stage, a full scan of the part makes it possible to check the accuracy of the compensation.

In addition to verifying the overall deformation of the part, the arm also allows other checks to be made, such as measuring position angles and diameters. GD&T specifications are very common in the automotive sector, and in the Polyworks software, there are automatically integrated into the CAD import. This greatly simplifies part inspection.

When excessive deviations occur, they can be corrected via manual adjustments. Reverse engineering is then performed on all the modified parts to keep the tooling CAD file up-to-date.

Why is the Ace arm with the Zephyr II scanner so well integrated into the workflow?

  • It is faster than a CMM system for scanning. The parts to be controlled being unique, there is no need for programming, while no automation gains would be possible using a CMM. Moving the scanner manually with the measuring arm is much more efficient than scanning the part surfaces with a CMM probe.
  • It quickly reveals the deformations of parts (color mapping).
  • It allows for fast scanning of manually adjusted parts in order to reconstruct them in CAD.
  • It is a handy replacement for contact-based solutions, where very thin sheets might get deformed by the probe.

Having observed numerous shortcomings on the CMM – slowness, incomplete surface acquisition with the probe, fixed machine impossible to move near large tooling – Aggressive Tool & Die, Inc. chose to acquire a large measuring arm with a working volume of 3.5m. The freedom of movement offered by this arm allows it to move around the parts, scanning even the areas hardest to reach. This makes large parts and dies easy to inspect.

Joe DeGlopper, CMM Programmer:
“With delivery times tight, the Kreon measuring arm plays an essential role in our ability to quickly manufacture tooling in full compliance with our customers’ requirements.”

Deep-draw work involves several operations (cutting, bending, drilling, punching), particularly on parts from progressive dies (see image below). Each step of the process must be mastered in order to ensure parts of perfect quality.

About Aggressive Tool & Die, Inc.:

ISO 9001:2000 registered corporation specializing in progressive, transfer and line dies serving a global customer base using Alter Hyperform Simulation and Catila V5 Design software. Aggressive Tool & Die, inc. Was established in 1993 and operates out of a 35,000 square foot facility located in Coopersville , Michigan.

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