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Data management | DFM


The DFM process generates a great deal of valuable data. André Eichhorn explains how to bring that valuable information together in a structured fashion


your DFM data


The early phase of the design for manufacturing process is not only important in generating a good component design that lends itself to effective produc- tion. It also allows the engineering team to collect a considerable volume of valuable information for the next phase of the product development process - de- signing and building the mould tools. As part of the DFM process an analysis of the tool setup will have been completed to determine what the gating conditions will look like. And a mould fi lling study will have indicated the appropriate venting require- ments and show cooling times, distortion issues, clamp force requirements, shear rates and other signifi cant processing values. This data allows the engineering team to make calculations on cycle time, part shrink- age, injection moulding machine size requirements, and mould tool dimensions. It is now vitally important that these fi ndings, calculations and requirements for the mould tools are collected in a structured way. The best way to manage this data collection is in a


Tool Specifi cation sheet. Such a document provides the ideal means to bring together all the information required for the subsequent mould production stages. The Tool Specifi cation will carry all of the essential information required by the toolmaker to produce a quote, as well as to design and build the mould. A typical Tool Specifi cation sheet will be structured


as follows: www.injectionworld.com


1) General part information This area will contain information on the component itself. This will include names, numbers, materials, cycle time, shrinkage factor, and the like. The general part information becomes even more useful if the 2D part drawings are not available, which is not unusual at the early stage of a project.


2) Mould tool information This section of the Tool Specifi cation will include information on all mould tool-related areas. It will not only specify the tool steels, hardening, coating and coat- ing areas but will also show the number of cavities, the number and type of sliders and lifters required, and the tool layout to be used. Information on anticipated hotrunner systems would be found here as well. Figure 1 shows a schematic tool layout with gating


information. This ensures the tool designer has everything on hand to start the design once the component design is released for tooling. Figure 2 shows the specifi ed areas of marking on the component geometry, which most often will be overlooked at the tool concept phase. This is because the position of markings is typically considered at a later stage, generally while 2D drawings are being created. The problem that can often then arise is that, especially for smaller components, there is not enough space available to get datum stamps, material information or


April 2014 | INJECTION WORLD 63


Integrate


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