Archive for the Finite Element Analysis Category

American Hydroformers Employs Faro Edge Scan Arm HD

American Hydroformers Employs Faro Edge Scan Arm HD

At American Hydroformers we recently obtained and implemented a new Faro Edge Scan Arm HD that enables enhanced product development, inspection, and quality control. As a 3D scanning and probing device, the Faro Edge Scan Arm HD provides capabilities such as rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, 3D modeling and rapid point cloud collection and comparison. Ideal for scanning challenging materials, the Faro Edge Scan Arm HD also allows for contact and non-contact measurements.

  • Rapid Scanning Speed
  • High Definition Data
  • Up to 2,000 Points per Scan Line
  • Fast Frame Rates
  • Scan Challenging Materials
  • Highly Accurate and Repeatable
  • Contact & Non-Contact Measurements

Acquiring this new Faro Edge Scan Arm HD will allow American Hydroformers to probe virtually any part or tube and collect all of the data needed to reproduce it.  With up to 2,000 actual points per scan line, extreme resolution and high accuracy, we are able to reproduce even the most intricate parts and components. The actual setup of the scanning arm features an extra wide scan stripe as well as fast frame rates. This allows for increased productivity with the large coverage area and the reducing scanning times.

Autoform Hydro Simulation

In addition to the Faro Edge Scan Arm HD, our in-house capabilities also include the utilization of AutoForm Hydro simulation software as well as FEA simulations. Our team of engineers are trained and regularly updated on this software which provides a comprehensive understanding and analysis of the entire hydroforming process. By employing this software in-house and utilizing the simulation process, we supply our customers with rapid verification, shorter development time, and improved process reliability.

  • Easily Identify Forming Issues
  • Rapid Tool Design
  • Accurate Springback Simulation
  • Quality & Cost Improvements
  • Reduced Development Time
  • Improved Reliability
  • Lower Material & Production Costs

By enabling better price controls and reduced tooling expense, American Hydroformers provides a cost-effective source for part production. Unlike other metal forming techniques, hydroforming allows for increased part strength, lower part weight, and greater design flexibility, while also improving overall part quality. Contact American Hydroformers to see how you can reduce your tooling and part costs.

Source Says: FEA Soon Available in the Cloud

Source Says: FEA Soon Available in the Cloud

According to a tech engineering firm known as Frame, CAD Windows apps, like FEA (Finite Element Analysis), can now be moved to the cloud, which will bring a hug change in how CAD operates.

From an article that outlines the subject:

The value of CAD systems for electronic envisioning of designs has been one of the most important drivers of what some call the post-industrial age.

CAD revolutionized the design industry, allowing fewer people than ever to render 2D and 3D objects. Significantly cutting down manpower.

CAD, as the article points out, is apart of the larger Digital Product Development (DPD), which is situated inside the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) set of processes, which includes Finite Element Analysis (FEA) among others. It is, for the sake of design argument, the home base for how all design and planning begins.

CAD isn’t, as is probably no surprise, a set of systems that has made it to the cloud. Because of render computational speeds and a specialized set of codecs that need to be speedy in how they operate, CAD is relegated to localization. But Frame aims to change that.

As Frame’s website says: Frame is like Box, except instead of them delivering your documents via the cloud, they deliver your apps.

Apps that can be ran from an internal infrastructure, or from a cloud-based one, depending on your preferences.

But why CAD?

Because CAD needs it. According to Frame engineers, CAD is among the most demanding of all design programs, often requiring the most intense graphics, and a need for preserving and storing the highest quality of images.

It also boasts a compatibility with other Windows software, the key ability to host PDM or cloud storage, and a greater than stellar graphical performance.

All in all, having apps stored locally or in the cloud is a huge advancement for business and potential savings alike.

Those who are interested in taking it for a spin can sign up for a BETA at Frame’s website.

For more information on how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us any time.

In House Finite Element Analysis Capabilities

In House Finite Element Analysis Capabilities

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is an engineering simulation discipline that has its roots in the aerospace industry, during the 1950’s.  Since that time the discipline has ‘come into its own,’ spurred by the progress of computer hardware and software technologies, coupled with aggressive competition between software companies specializing in FEA products.

While FEA applies to many engineering fields, it is most often understood in terms of structural analyses for mechanical engineers.  A typical question addressed by FEA analysts would be, “Will a part fail under such-and-such loading (forces and restraining) conditions?”

Our company is a little different in that the questions we address by our FEA simulations.  Our simulations answer questions like, “what are the prestresses caused by the manufacturing process?”  Or, “Will the prestresses of the manufacturing process cause failure in the client’s part under the conditions specified by the client?”  And finally, there is always the iterative process of changing a manufacturing process within the virtual world of a given finite element analysis, to perfect the process.

One might ask, “Why not just do actual experiments?”  We would of course arrange to do such tests for our clients.  However, the problem with the more established ‘Make and Break,’ approach compared to FEA is additional (1) timing and (2) expenses loaded onto a given project.  These factors make it prohibitive for project engineers to rely exclusively on laboratory testing.  FEA usage cuts down on the time in the design phase of a project, a phase which affects all others in the product development process.

As an added benefit – when FEA analyses can be standardized (as we have with our hydroforming simulations), significant time and cost savings can be achieved that would not be possible using the old ‘Make and Break’ product testing methodology.

For further information about how our Finite Element Analysis capabilities may achieve cost savings and enhanced structural performance for your products, please contact us.

What is Hydroforming

What is Hydroforming

Every time you drive a motor vehicle, fly in an airplane or ride a bicycle, hydroforming was likely used as part of their manufacture. Hydroforming provides a number of advantages when compared to other alternative methods of metal shaping. By learning more about what is hydroforming, understanding the significance of this process in our daily life should be possible.

The Standard Concept

Aluminum is a malleable material that is often molded using hydroforming. Two processes can be used during the hydroforming process for manipulation. The first is using high pressure hydraulic fluid to produce a certain shape with the metal. The metal (typically a flat sheet) is placed inside a container with a mold. The container is sealed off and hydraulic fluid injected until a certain pressure is achieved. This pressure causes the metal to mold to the shape of the dye. A variation of this concept involves the manipulation of a hollow tube of metal. The hollow tube is placed inside of a negative mold and fluid is injected into the inside of the tube, causing it to expand into the shape of the mold.

Low Pressure Versus High Pressure Tube Hydroforming

In tube hydroforming, two methods are typically used. The only difference between the two are the pressures used and when they are applied. In high pressure hydroforming, the tube is exposed to high pressures (typically between 1500 and 2000 bars) only after being closed in the dye of the hydraulic press. In low pressure hydroforming, the tube is exposed to a low pressure of between 120-180 bars before being closed in the dye of the hydraulic press. According to Metal Working World Magazine, “The material does not collapse, taking the die shape, but simply it is uniformly stretched (thus avoiding the corrugations of the inner surface that are instead frequently present in the high pressure method), like in a pre-forming process.”

Be sure to contact us at American Hydroformers if you have any questions about what is hydroforming.