Two Point Incremental Forming with Two Moving Forming Tools
This paper describes a new development of an incremental, robot based sheet metal forming process for the production of sheet metal components for limited-lot productions and prototypes. The kinematic based generation of the shape is implemented by means of two industrial robots, which are interconnected to a cooperating robot system. Compared to other incremental sheet metal forming machines this system offers a high geometrical form flexibility without the need of any workpiece dependent tools. The principle of the procedure is based on flexible shaping by means of a freely programmable path-synchronous movement of two robots. So far, the final shape is produced by the incremental infeed of the forming tool in depth direction and its movement along the contour in lateral direction on each level. The counter tool, with its simple geometry, was used to support the sheet metal on the backside by moving synchronously along the outer contour, constantly on the same level. This corresponds to a fixed backplate used in other incremental sheet metal forming processes. Due to the use of a new robot system with extended control algorithms for cooperating robots, it will be possible to release the counter tool from its constant path on the outer contour and support the forming tool right on the opposite side of the sheet to generate a predefined gap between the two hemispherical tools. This way at each moment a small part of a full die, as it is used in other processes, is simulated without the need of producing a workpiece dependent die. The extended payload of the new robot system gives the opportunity to form steel blanks, for the first time.
F. Micari, M. Geiger, J. Duflou, B. Shirvani, R. Clarke, R. Di Lorenzo and L. Fratini
H. Meier et al., "Two Point Incremental Forming with Two Moving Forming Tools", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 344, pp. 599-605, 2007