Methods for improving the robustness of panel forming including the introduction of process sensing and feedback and control has resulted in significant gains in the quality of parts and reduced failures. Initial efforts in implementing closed-loop control during panel forming used active tool elements to ensure that the total punch force followed prescribed trajectories. However, more recently local forces within the tooling have been demonstrated to not only follow desired force trajectories but have been shown to increase the operational envelope of the tooling compared to open-loop tests and even closed-loop test where the total punch force had been controlled. However, what has not been examined is the effect of local force, especially during closed-loop control panel forming operations on the total punch force measured during forming. This paper addresses this by comparing the results of both open-loop tests and closed-loop tests and examining the effects on both local and total punch forces. It was found that while open-loop forming with various constant draw bead depths resulted in varying total punch forces, once closed-loop control was implemented the total punch forces followed virtually identical trajectories.

The tooling for this project included local force transducers and a total punch force transducer. In addition, active draw beads could be controlled during forming and a flexible blank holder with variable blank holder forces were part of the setup.

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