Nissan Motor Co has developed and put into practical use ‘face-to-face die-less moulding’ that forms body panels without using moulds. The Japanese automaker says that in future, it “will use this technology to consider the commercialisation of after-service parts and repair parts for older cars.”
The opposite or dual-sided die-less moulding methodology involves a robot equipped with a rod-shaped tool using the incremental moulding technology in which the panel is gradually deformed to form the moulding tool on the opposite side. It is a construction method that can form more complicated shapes. The method of forming while linking opposing tools is difficult because it involves controlling two tools, and thus far has been considered difficult to put into practical use.
Nissan says it succeeded in putting it to practical use by combining accumulated knowledge in the field of production technology possessed by the company's production technology R&D Centre with the research results of tool materials from the Research Laboratory.
Advantages of dual-sided die-less moulding
- Realising high-precision machining of complex uneven shapes by technology that optimally controls the position of two opposing tools
- By reducing the friction and non-lubricating (dry processing) of the tool surface with a mirror-finished diamond coating, the environmental load is reduced and introduced, and the running cost is reduced while ensuring the surface quality.
- Realising high quality at an early stage by using the press forming prediction technology possessed by the company's production technology and the optimal trajectory generation logic for tools applying know-how
Reduced investment and development time
Practical use of the opposed die-less moulding technology makes it possible to reduce the enormous investment and development time required to produce the moulds required in conventional press moulding, thereby enabling high-mix low-volume production. This technology is expected to be one of the techniques to meet the needs of customers who are becoming more diverse in the future.