Manufacturing companies continually need to develop and produce products faster, cheaper, and of better quality to meet requirements from customers and investors. One key factor in meeting these requirements is the efficiency of the product development and the production preparation processes. Design automation is a powerful tool for increasing the efficiency of these two processes. The benefits of automating manufacturability analyses, a part of the production preparation process, are shortened lead time, improved product performance, and ultimately decreased cost. Further, the automation is beneficial as it increases the ability to adapt products to new specifications since production preparations are done in few or in a single step. Extruded sections of aluminum (aluminum profiles) have many advantages, especially for light weight structural members, and are used in many products. Many times a secondary forming process, such as bending, is required when these materials are used. The intention of the work presented in this article has been to investigate how to automate the process of finding manufacturing limits of the rotary draw bending of aluminum profiles with focus on the system architecture needed to make such systems flexible. Finding the forming limits of an aluminum profile is not a trivial task. This is because the limits depend not only on the profile shape but also on the layout of the tool. Hence, simulations have to be done to evaluate different designs. A prototype system was developed to explore what was needed to automate simulation of the rotary draw bending of aluminum profiles, and subsequently, analyze the simulated production outcome with respect to wrinkling and developed length.

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