perm filename PROP4D[1,VDS] blob sn#081097 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 punches and stops on hand
01300	fed shears. True automation has been accomplished only in  very  high
01400	production  runs  using special purpose dies in cascaded blanking and
01500	stamping transfer  presses  to  replace  the  traditional  short  run
01600	methods.
01800		I  propose  to  study  and  assemble  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.
02800		To execute this project, I will develop new programs and will
02900	utilize existing programs and routines to create a complete chain  of
03000	automation.  More  specifically,  I  will  take  existing and shortly
03100	forthcomming  rapid  geometric  design  (GEOMED)  programs  and  will
03200	develop new monitor routines to provide interactive design assistance
03300	reflecting the manufacturability of a particular  design,  as  it  is
03400	being  designed.  I  will  also  develop  a  program to interpret the
03500	completed  design  in  terms  of   manufacturing   operations.   This
03600	manufacturing  planning  program would have as its inputs the design,
03700	the materials available, and the machines available. The output  will
03800	be  a  set  of instructions detailing each operation required to make
03900	the part. Completing the entire system, I will work to develop a  set
04000	of  computer  controlled  machines  and a manipulator with a suitable
04100	grasping device to handle the  material  and  operate  the  machines.
04200	Along  with  this  hardware  setup,  I  plan  to  develop  a workable
04300	execution  program  which  would  properly  interpret  the   planning
04400	program's output in terms of machine and manipulator commands.
04600		To make the scope of this project realistic from a standpoint
04700	of both actually working, and being completed in a reasonable  period
04800	of  time,  I propose to limit the acceptable design to sheet aluminum
04900	chassis and boxes of a generally  regular  shape.  Included  in  this
05000	category  would  be  degenerate shapes, such as brackets and sections
05100	with simple hole patterns and bends.
05300			Coupled with this  programming  effort  and  hardware
05400	development  project,  will  be  a  study  of  new technology and new
05500	approaches to the execution  of  some  traditional  problems.  As  an
05600	example,  laser  cutting  of  cloth is in industrial use now, and its
05700	implications for use in the sheet metal cutting , shaping and forming
05800	field are obvious. Electromagnetic, impact, and explosive forming are
05900	other areas where new automatic  planning  ,  control  and  execution
06000	methods  can  put laboratory demonstrated techniques into a realistic
06100	and viable place in industry.