Spray-formed tooling is a new approach for the making of stamping
dies and molds. The new rapid-tooling process involves spraying molten steel
over ceramic casts, which eliminates machining and other processing steps. Ford
is using spray-formed tooling for making torque-converter blade dies for
lift-gate brackets, wiper-motor brackets, instrument brackets, and inner-hood
reinforcements. "The spray-formed tooling process will shave millions of dollars
and several months off of the production process," says Dr. Charles Wu, director
of the Ford Manufacturing Systems and Vehicle Design Research Laboratory. The
technology is an all-inclusive rapid-tooling process that includes die
development, design, and construction. Envelope size for the initial dies was 1
sq ft, but the size is expected to grow to 8 x 8 ft. For more information,
contact Henry Fradkin, Tel: (313) 594-1993, Fax: (313) 323-2647 or Joseph A.
Szuba, Tel: (313) 845-8226, Fax: (313) 323-1129.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
A customer who was thermal printing strip steel had a problem: When the strip's speed increased, the thermo printer would catch fire. When he set a flame to a piece of the strip, he couldn't get it to burn. What was the problem?