PRODUCT ENGINEERING UNIT
Contact: Luis Portolés
The aim of this unit is to increase the potential of companies' development departments, or areas, by means of developing and putting into action new, made-to-measure prototypes, products and processes, as well as evaluating and analyzing existing ones.
The Product Design Unit develops work in the following fields:
In this section are carried out the R & D & I projects focused on the pre-competitive and competitive product development that satisfies the needs of the company. Research is aimed at the product functioning for its designed goals and includes:
Developments start from the conceptual phase, in which case definition of the important aspects and functionalities of the product is sought, to detailed product development ready for fabrication. All dependent on the needs of the applicant company.
- Conceptual Design
- Creation of 3D CAD models
- Mechanical design
- Electronic design
- Calculation and simulation
Other related services:
- Design and analysis of metal structures, joints and foundations
- Integration into CAD of 3D maps obtained via digitization.
- Calculation of mechanical elements: transmission and movement transformation elements, bearings, guidance and support elements, gearing and cluster gearing, etc.
- Studies of how to solve problems arising from mechanical design errors.
- Design of metallic structures possessing riveted, screwed or welded joints. Foundations.
- Technical and economic feasibility studies of business projects and product industrialization.
AIMME currently has available several process and manufacturing simulation techniques:
SIMULATION OF PRESSURE INJECTION PROCESSES FOR METALS.
Computer simulation of filling and solidification processes in the pressure casting of non-ferrous metals which allows rapid and efficient design that guarantees high quality castings from the first injected pieces.
The simulations are aimed at two distinct lines of action:
This obtains information referring to the fill-flow and the solidification process which allows the following actions:
- Aspects related to mould designs.
- Aspects related to the diagnosis of defective pieces.
SIMULATION OF PLASTIC DEFORMATION OF METALS
- Optimization of casting systems.
- Optimization of filling times.
- Optimization of mould filling.
- Reduction of trapped gases.
- Optimization of the solidification process.
- Increased mould life.
Computer simulation of the shaping of metals such as forging, drawing, folding, die-casting, etc.
In the plastic deformation of metals there are two determining factors for turning out high-quality pieces: mould or die design and material flow control.
Available simulation tools allow the most important factors in the end quality of the product to be optimized while considerably reducing the time spent on die design. They guarantee efficient production from the first pieces with the consequent cost reductions in both design and manufacture owed mainly to the reduction of reworking and modification.
The improvement of the product development cycle in today’s market it considered by many experts to be the one of the competitive strategies with the greatest impact.
Therefore, it is logical to assume that the incorporation of working methods or tools that support it is of the utmost interest.
Seeing, touching and even testing some of the characteristics of a future product before it is manufactured is the dream come true of Rapid Prototyping. Will it be easy to use?, Will it be easy to assemble and disassemble? Will all of its pieces fit together? Will it look right? These and other questions should be addressed before a new product hits the market
To answer them the ideal is to make a “sample” that is as close as possible to the end product but which costs much less than manufacturing the “real thing”. It will not be the same as the final product but it will permit us to put design theory into practice, see it, touch it and even subject it to some tests.
AIMME’s Product Engineering Unit ,has recently put in place a Rapid Prototyping line. The service gives the opportunity to make physical prototypes destined for both aesthetic and functional evaluation.
This new line will mean an important advance in obtaining optimal design quality levels, reduction in development times and new product validation as well as a reduction in mould and experimental product costs. In addition, it allows for the making of test pieces before definitive manufacture of the component.
To this end, AIMME possesses state-of-the-art stereo-lithography technology able to rapidly make both conceptual and functional models. The Viper Si2 from 3D Systems allows us to work with a variety of photopolymer resins in several resolution modes. Dimensional accuracies of 0.06 mm and a good surface finish can be obtained.
In short, what is looked for is the shortest possible lead-time for a prototype whose theoretical design characteristics can be experimentally checked. Given the transparency, flexibility and fine walls of the models, it is also possible on occasion to demonstrate standards compliance of the product in question by visualizing fluids. On the other hand even finished and painted prototypes can be made for market polls or catalogue and advertising purposes. Rapid prototype techniques meet these and other industrial needs.
Rapid prototype applications are many and varied, although the following sectors are those which demand its services most often:
Electronic design and process automation.
- Automotive, aeronautic, aerospace.
- Electricity, electronics y communication.
- Toys and sporting goods.
- Ironwork, Lighting and Furnishings.
Product and Industrial Installation Safety. The CE Mark.
- Tailor-made electronic design.
- Intelligent control using:
- Top of the range microprocessors
- Advanced performance.
- Low-cost microcontrolers.
- Analog and digital solutions.
- Linking industrial equipment via communication systems.
- Power electronics.
- Power sources
- Engine monitoring
- Electropneumatics and electromechanics
- Lighting systems
- Systems integration.
- Automation of industrial processes.
The need of Spanish companies to operate at the level of European Companies in an open market dominated by the philosophy of competition has necessitated their adapting to, amongst other things, the mandatory safety Directives and Regulations
Since 1996 AIMME has been carrying out consultancy, promotion and awareness activities for Product Safety and the New Focus Directives with the aim of getting to the SMEs the knowledge and support necessary to make their machinery safe so allowing the open circulation of their products in the community market.
As a result of these activities, AIMME has put in motion several projects and actions directed at SMEs in several affected industrial sectors in the Valencian Community which help them to assimilate the knowledge and required tools to guarantee their product’s compliance with the new focus community Directives
Moreover, AIMME carries out consultancy and awareness activities in this vein towards companies in the sector developing, amongst others, the following activities:
Production Planning, Management and Control
- Consultancy on the drawing up of technical construction files and instruction manuals.
- Danger and risk analysis
- Consultancy for the solution of machinery problems that lead to safety and health risks.
- Consultancy on the carrying out of tests applicable to the product.
This area is involved with improving productivity and optimizing production in the company by defining production goals and costs to reduce operating costs and increase efficiency.
Our team provides technical knowledge and experience in the following areas:
- Flow studies, bottlenecks, efficiency and productive process rationalization through the application of techniques such as:
- LEAN PRODUCTION.
- Stock management (Reduction in lead-time and stock.
- Project management (use of PERT techniques).
- Work method studies.
- Time and motion.
- SMED change over reduction techniques.
- Layout optimization.
- Methology of the 5S (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain).
- Process improvement.
- Product Standardization.
- Industrial Process Simulation and modeling.
- Study of new productive techniques. Feasibility, design and implementation studies.
- Audits and diagnostics in manufacturing procedures.
- Advice on choosing and implementing production management software.