To improve process monitoring in the sheet metal stamping process, it is of interest to measure the contact pressure distribution at the workpiece-tool interface. This paper presents the design and performance evaluation of a tooling integrated sensing method that estimates the pressure distribution on the contact interface through an array of force sensors embedded in the stamping tool. Experiments were conducted to evaluate two techniques for integrating force sensors into the tool structure. The spatially discrete nature of the sensor measurements necessitates the use of a numerical interpolation model to construct continuous pressure distribution maps from the discrete sensing locations. Experiments conducted on a customized panel stamping test bed confirmed the effectiveness of the tooling-integrated sensing method for improving the observability of the process with benefits to process designers.

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