perm filename PROP4C[1,VDS]1 blob sn#081096 filedate 1974-01-10 generic text, type T, neo UTF8
00300			     An Automated Sheet Metal Shop
00500		Sheet metal fabrication has long been considered  a  hard  to
00600	automate  field because of the types of machines used and the need to
00700	do a lot of manipulating of material, which can frequently  be  large
00800	floppy   sheets  of  varying  thickness,  yield  strength  and  stock
00900	dimension. For prototype manufacture, the setup time of each cutting,
01000	notching,  punching,  bending  or  spot  welding operation represents
01100	almost the entire cost of manufacture. Automation of these  processes
01200	has  been  limited  to numerically controlled (n.c.) punches and n.c.
01300	stops on hand fed shears. True automation has been accomplished  only
01400	in  very  high production runs using special purpose dies in cascaded
01500	blanking and stamping transfer presses  to  replace  the  traditional
01600	short run methods.
01800		I  propose  to  study  and  design  an  automated  design and
01900	manufacturing system consisting of an  interactive  graphics  display
02000	terminal,  a large timeshare computer, a design automation program, a
02100	manufacturing planning program, a  manufacturing  execution  program,
02200	and   a   totally   automated  manufacturing  facility  containing  a
02300	collection of computer controlled sheet metal  working  machines  and
02400	one  or  more computer controlled manipulators to set up the machines
02500	and perform all the necessary manipulation of the sheet material.
02700		To demonstrate the completeness of the design study,  I  also
02800	propose  to  develop  and  assemble  a  demonstration fully autometed
02900	prototype part sheet metal fabricating shop.
03100		To  execute  this  ambitious  project,  I  will  develop  new
03200	programs  and will utilize existing programs and routines to create a
03300	complete chain of automation. More specifically, I will take existing
03400	and shortly forthcomming rapid geometric design (GEOMED) programs and
03500	will develop new  monitor  routines  to  provide  interactive  design
03600	assistance  reflecting  the manufacturability of a particular design,
03700	as it is being designed. I will also develop a program  to  interpret
03800	the  completed  design  in  terms  of  manufacturing operations. This
03900	manufacturing planning program would have as its inputs  the  design,
04000	the  materials available, and the machines available. The output will
04100	be a set of instructions detailing each operation  required  to  make
04200	the  part. Completing the entire system, I will work to develop a set
04300	of computer controlled machines and a  manipulator  with  a  suitable
04400	grasping  device  to  handle  the  material and operate the machines.
04500	Along with  this  hardware  setup,  I  plan  to  develop  a  workable
04600	execution   program  which  would  properly  interpret  the  planning
04700	program's output in terms of machine and manipulator commands.
04900		To make the scope of this project realistic from a standpoint
05000	of  both actually working, and being completed in a reasonable period
05100	of time, I propose to limit the acceptable design to  sheet  aluminum
05200	chassis  and  boxes  of  a  generally regular shape. Included in this
05300	category would be degenerate shapes, such as  brackets  and  sections
05400	with simple hole patterns and bends.
05600			Coupled  with  this  programming  effort and hardware
05700	development project, will be  a  study  of  new  technology  and  new
05800	approaches  to  the  execution  of  some  traditional problems. As an
05900	example, laser cutting of cloth is in industrial  use  now,  and  its
06000	implications for use in the sheet metal cutting , shaping and forming
06100	field are obvious. Electromagnetic, impact, and explosive forming are
06200	other  areas  where  new  automatic  planning , control and execution
06300	methods can put laboratory demonstrated techniques into  a  realistic
06400	and viable place in industry.