|CAD||Wire EDM||CNC Mill||Process||Tooling||Parts|
The design of the die is the most complex part of the overall process. Each part is unique and requires special tooling. In this example the aluminum must be cut and bent at different locations to form the finished part. This requires a progressive die. Each station within the progressive die will do a specific amount of work on the part. The part "progresses" through the die and, in this example, exits complete.
The problem is to determine the most efficent way to manufacture the die and the parts. In this case we have already determined that this is to be a high production die that will be manufacturing parts out of a relatively expensive material (aluminum). So the cost of the die itself is not as much of a factor as keeping the material waste down and providing a low maintenance manufacturing process.
However the cost of the die is still an important factor and we need to determine the optimum utilization of labor for constructing and assembling the die. We are currently using AutoCad® to draft our designs. Using a CAD product allows us to output parts of the design to DXF or IGES data files and transfer that data to various CNC machines within the facility. This ability reduces cost and error because the physical specifications of the work can be shared by any number of different computer systems.