"Applications of computers in foundry"


-computer version of A classroom presentation by Shrinidhi H

Computers are being used in every field these days and our good old foundry can't be an exception. I'll be giving a brief overview of application of computers in foundry. I'll divide my presentation into 3 main categories- Need for computers, Advantages of using computers and some of the computer packages that can be used for foundry. Some of my opinions will be a repetition of what Abhishek has told but bear with me for that because if I skip them the continuity will be lost.

We, the mechanical engineers may think why we should learn computers? Particularly in foundry - it'll be difficult to believe if I say we can make wonders in foundry by using computers.

The need for computers:
1. Fail proof & SAFE products - certain things in life have to be fail roof. We can't afford to take chance. -for example satellite casings and components-it must work as per requirement not on earth but in outer space- under whatever condition it may encounter there. You can't say I can make the casing but one in every 5 may fail. We can't send 5 satellites and see which one works and which one fails. If it doesn't work the loss will be in billions. Forget money, what will happen to the morale of scientists who've spent years to develop that satellite? Similarly break shoes and drums- they must work not once or twice but for years together as long as vehicle is being used. In conventional practice the failure rate will be high. Using Computer simulation minimizes the failure rate to a huge extent compared to manual production. That doesn't mean computer can give 100% safe outputs. Look at Columbia Space shuttle
2. To ensure durability- should work for considerable time. Life of a product can be estimated.
3. Stay ahead in competition -better product in lesser time at reduced cost
4. When experimental setup is very expensive.
5. For effective quality control- Manual inspection of products is quite time consuming and there'll be chances that a worker may not identify a defect. By using sensors quality inspection may be done very easily and in less time-particularly for mass productions.
6. Greater accuracy and precision Human interference can be totally eliminated.
7. Reverse Engineering & Rapid Prototyping Developing a product directly from an existing product, when no other data on the product like design sketch, material used, etc are not available.
8. Reduces wastage and rejection rate
9. To facilitate Continuous R & D

Advantages of Computer application
1. Animation advantage
-better imagination/presentation

2. Simulation advantage
-Predicting complicated outputs- flow of molten metal, possible obstacles, stress & strain, Solidification sequence, chances of defects etc -complex calculations like stress analysis are done in fraction of second.

3. Database advantage-facilitates R & D. -Computer can suggest alternative materials and design options from its inbuilt database to save cost, weight, size, availability, to vary properties etc -Examples: cost-cheaper material-bench frame, durability-axle, weight-for aircraft/piston/laptop/space applications etc. Availability: order from England. Compact: laptops, projectors etc. -And also issue warning about failures etc. -Helps in continuous R & D-best examples-mobile phones. -Compare case studies and histories.

4. Better history management

5. Communication & networking advantage -collecting order/feedback, interacting with team members etc very easy. -better customer support

6. The machine advantage
Can work for 24 hours a day -no wage hike-promotion-late come early go -tiring -laziness etc.

Software Packages which can be used in foundry
Stimulation softwares- generally known as CAD/CAM/CAE tools: It'll just introduce few of them:
1. Catia- jointly developed by Dassault Systems and IBM. Dassault employs about 1000+ highly qualified engineers and are leading CAD/CAM developers today. Catia (Computer Aided Three Dimensional Analysis )
It's a general purpose CAD testing and mfg system- most expensive in its category- you must know this- how much windows 98 cost? XP? Office XP professional? AutoCAD? Estimate the cost of Catia - the original industry version costs Rs.50 lakh plus- not a one time payment-you'll have to renew the license on regular interval. I've just started working on this last Saturday. It's highly versatile package-has assist in almost all kinds of design-Drawing production, Mechanical design, machine parts, sheet metal designing, Free style shaper, Hybrid design, structural analysis, Mold and die casting, prismatic machining, manufacturing plant layout, and so on. So expensive and hence only top industries are capable of buying it. Ford Motor, ISRO, HAL are using it.
2. Unigraphics-by Unigraphics solutions Inc, USA It covers entire design production loop in air space, automobile, engineering and medical industries. General motors are using this one. 3. Solid Edge
4. Pro E- this you've heard of. Quite cheap. It's by Parametric Technology Corporation-US firm.
5. iDeas Master series- It's developed by Structural Dynamics Research Corporation. This package can optimize design at early stages which greatly improves product quality while reducing time & cost. 6. Solid Works: It can create geometry, refine features of a part, make drawings, model trajectories of cutting tools, and also develop numeric control. 7. ADAMS: its best package for kinematics and dynamic analysis of mechanical systems. It can predict the behaviors of mechanical systems undergoing large displacement motions. It's used for chain mechanisms and inversions like 4 bar chains etc.
8. DelCAM- by DelCAM Plc, Britain.
9. Ansys-It's a finite element package which can handle different types of analysis-from linear and non linear stress and thermal to piezoelectric and acoustics- It has some supplementary packages namely Ansys Flotrain and Ansys EMag which allow the user to
determine the effects of the interaction of stress, temperature, fluid flow, and or magnetic phenomena.
10. MSC-NASTRAN www.mscsoftware.com
11. C-MOLD: It's a set of integrated CAE simulations for plastic molding process, including injection molding filling, post filling and cooling, part shrinkage, co-injection molding, gas injected molding, reactive molding, blow molding, thermoforming etc.
12. Fluent- It's best suited for fluid dynamics, fluid flow, heat and mass transfer and chemical reaction. www.fluent.com
13. Altair Optistruct: Finite element analysis package can optimize structures to minimize weight, maximize performance using topology, topography, and shape & size optimization techniques.
14. Pro CAST- Casting exclusive package.
15. Pro Weld-Welding specific package
Prodigy Plus by Starsys-prototype developing machine with related software- This machine can make prototypes of any complex material.

Mechanical student can always learn softwares from outside but for a software graduate it's very difficult to understand mechanical concepts.

For those who are interested I'll give some key words, just search on internet and learn more on them. These are emerging trends and latest technologies: 1. Reverse engineering
2. Rapid Prototyping
3. Shape metal alloys
4. Quality Function Deployment
5. Failure Mode Effective Analysis
6. Flexure mechanisms.
7. Computer Integrated Manufacturing.
8. Computer aided process planning.
9. Flexible manufacturing system
10. Mechatronics


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Back to home page *My works published in media Thank you.
Shrinidhi H
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