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Basic Types and Functions of Jigs and Fixtures

Purpose of Tool Design

OBJECTIVES After completing this unit, the student should be able to: • List the objectives of tool design. • Identify the source of specified design data.

TOOL DESIGN Tool design is the process of designing and developing the tools, methods, and techniques necessary to improve manufacturing efficiency and productivity. It gives industry the machines and special tooling needed for today’s high-speed, high-volume production. It does this at a level of quality and economy that will ensure that the cost of the product is competitive. Since no single tool or process can serve all forms of manufacturing, tool design is an ever-changing, growing process of creative problem solving. TOOL DESIGN OBJECTIVES The main objective of tool design is to lower manufacturing costs while maintaining quality and increased production. To accomplish this, the tool designer must satisfy the following objectives:

• Provide simple, easy-to-operate tools for maximum efficiency. • Reduce manufacturing expenses by producing parts at the lowest possible cost. • Design tools that consistently produce parts of high quality. • Increase the rate of production with existing machine tools. • Design the tool to make it foolproof and to prevent improper use. • Select materials that will give adequate tool life. • Provide protection in the design of the tools for maximum safety of the operator.

Manufacturing for global competitiveness clearly requires the success of concurrent engineering. Concurrent engineering is a process that allows the design team to be involved in a comprehensive plan for product design and production. Concurrent engineering allows the tool design team member to be involved in product design and production where their knowledge of fixtures and manufacturing processes will result in fewer design errors. Concurrent engineering teams consist of product designers, process planning engineers, tool designers, quality control engineers, production management, and


Team members contribute based on their area of expertise. and they support an integrated approach for tracking time and money allocated for the project and provide immediate information at any point in the concurrent process. it should include a brief description of each machining operation and the machine tool designated for these operations. but are corrected early in the concurrent process. and a quality plan are developed that suits the selected manufacturing facility. Prototypes are manufactured using conventional Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools or some of the newer technologies such as stereolithography or a layered object manufacture. The product.75028_Hoffman_CH01 7/7/03 6:15 AM Page 2 2 SECTION I Basic Types and Functions of Jigs and Fixtures machining technicians. The team meets regularly to provide any necessary updates or changes in the production plan. depending on the needs of each company. Companies may vary job titles and team compositions to suit their internal company structure. This ultimately saves time and money while speeding up the process of getting product to market earlier. Both the stereolithography and LOM develop the part geometry using a system of layering the medium and solidifying or cutting out that layer with a laser. The production plan can take many forms. A prototype goes one more step beyond the solid computer model. Whether analyzing the prototype and the part drawing or just the part drawing. The prototype. is a valuable tool for understanding more complex part geometries. and builders in different locations that may take them halfway around the world. more commonly referred to as a LOM. Product design changes are continuously reviewed to determine tooling changes that might be necessary. The task of tool design begins with a more complete understanding of the part. a method for manufacturing. Last-minute costly changes are eliminated or minimized. a single physical part provided prior to formal production. This is time wisely spent and results in an efficient and costeffective tool design. problems are not discovered on the production floor. Concurrent engineering allows a company to have a distinct economic advantage in a global market. tooling concepts. Communication models between team members include e-mail and electronic transfer of materials and may make use of sophisticated technology such as teleconferencing. the designer must consider the following factors that directly influence the design choices. can be made available. Many part prints are transmitted electronically and may include a solid model. In this way. These factors are: • Overall size and shape of the part • Type and condition of the material used for the part • Type of machining operation to be performed • Degree of accuracy • Number of pieces to be made • Locating and clamping surfaces Production Plan The production plan (Figure 1–2) is an itemized list of the manufacturing operations and the sequence of the operations chosen by the process planning engineer. The tool designer also uses this plan to assist in the design.003 thick. Team members may consist of customers. The design process is not as linear as it used to be. Expert computer systems are now part of the design environment. The solid model allows the designer to view the three-dimensional part geometry. designers. or a single manufactured part used for evaluation purposes. Part Drawings The tool designer receives a duplicate of the part geometry that will be used to make the part (Figure 1–1). PLANNING THE DESIGN The designer is responsible for managing information resources that impact the tool design. At the least. The result is a solid object made one layer at a time where the layers may be no more than . The production plan can include the following: • Type and size of machine tool specified for each operation • Type and size of cutters specified for each operation . A prototype. The tool designer develops a plan for maintaining the concepts developed by the team with respect to economic guidelines.

the tool designer must analyze all important information in order to answer the following questions: • Should special tooling be used or existing equipment modified? • Should multiple-spindle or single-spindle machines be used? • Should the tool be single-purpose or multipurpose? • Will the savings justify the cost of the tool? • What type of gauge. if any. • Sequence of operations • Previous machining operations performed on the part In addition to the part drawing and production plan. The same process is used in tool design to ensure that the best method is chosen. the tool designer develops alternative solutions. the tool designer may be responsible for obtaining materials. should be used to check each operation? Answering these questions and others related to the specific task. and cost-effective design is chosen. the tool designer is informed of the amount of time and money that is available to spend on the design. the most efficient. Alternatives One of the first steps in problem solving is determining the alternative solutions. the tool designer begins to study the design alternatives. toolroom supervision. and tool inspection.75028_Hoffman_CH01 7/7/03 6:15 AM Page 3 UNIT I Pupose of Tool Design 3 Figure 1–1 Part drawing. dependable. From these alternative solutions. Using this information and a little creativity and experience. CHALLENGES TO THE TOOL DESIGNER The tool designer has many manufacturing responsibilities. During this phase of the design. . In addition to technical design duties. The tool designer should understand the extent of these additional duties.

.75028_Hoffman_CH01 7/7/03 6:15 AM Page 4 4 SECTION I Basic Types and Functions of Jigs and Fixtures Figure 1–2 Production plan.

When selecting a vendor. The toolroom is the area in a shop where the machine tools and the skilled workforce are found. and dependable manner. efficient. and verifying their accuracy. Not only does working together make the task at hand easier. Supervision for a single section. Services such as design assistance and problem solving. the specialty vendors can furnish special items for much less than those items cost to make in-house. the tool designer often makes the tooling decisions. may become the tool designer’s responsibility. a cooperative relationship between the designer and the toolmakers is essential. In tool design. One resource a tool designer may often use to help resolve design problems is the group of skilled people in the toolroom. Another point to consider is whether the vendor can supply special parts or components when necessary. or for the entire tooling department. In these situations. these skilled toolmakers can often see solutions that may not be obvious to the designer. the ability to lead others is helpful. However. . A B Figure 1–3 The tool design departments in most manufacturing organizations use a combination of drawing boards (A) and computer-aided design (CAD) workstations (B) to create the necessary tool design drawings (Photo courtesy of Advanced Technologies Center). a good practice is to choose the company that offers the most service to its customers. These skilled trades employees are capable of taking the prints for the individual components of a tool and manufacturing them. Design drawings are usually subject to approval by a chief designer. it is always a good idea to build a good working relationship with your toolmakers. the tool designer normally relies on vendors or salespeople to supply materials and parts that meet the design specifications. A variety of machine tools including manual mills. Procurement Often a tool designer is responsible for obtaining the materials to make the tool. the decision should be made on a basis of which vendor can meet the designer’s needs in the most timely.75028_Hoffman_CH01 7/7/03 6:15 AM Page 5 UNIT I Pupose of Tool Design 5 Design In this phase. lathes. jig mills. In either case. are important factors to consider before making a final selection. Since most specialty vendors offer these services. Supervision The extent of a tool designer’s supervision is normally determined by the size of the company (Figure 1–3). the tool designer is responsible for developing the drawings and sketches of the tool design ideas. where their product is involved. For this reason. machining centers and in some cases their CNC counterparts might be found in a typical toolroom. such as design or toolmaking. but also using the available expertise makes more sense than trying to do the job alone. Generally. assembling the parts. grinders. Regardless of the level of skill a designer possesses. in smaller companies.

This inspection. 2 for the production plan. • To become a tool designer. in addition to designing tooling. Time allocation b. 2. and have a working knowledge of shop mathematics through practical trigonometry. Required accuracy d. First. REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A TOOL DESIGNER To perform the functions of a tool designer. several test parts are produced with the tool and are carefully checked to ensure that they conform to the specifications shown on the part print. and 3 for additional instructions.75028_Hoffman_CH01 7/7/03 6:15 AM Page 6 6 SECTION I Basic Types and Functions of Jigs and Fixtures Inspection Many times the tool designer is required to inspect the finished tool to ensure that it meets specifications. Second. methods. the tool itself is inspected for compliance with the tool drawing. dependable. a. and procedures to aid in improving overall manufacturing efficiency and productivity. • Tool designers use part drawings and production plans in developing alternative design solutions for efficient. • The tool design function is a well-integrated position within the concurrent engineering team. requiring skills in computer technology and multiple communication mediums. List the seven objectives of tool design. or functional tryout. an individual must have the following skills: • The ability to make mechanical drawings and sketches • An understanding of modern manufacturing methods. and techniques • A creative mechanical ability • An understanding of basic toolmaking methods • A knowledge of technical mathematics through practical trigonometry • CAD drafting skills • File management . is normally conducted in two phases. and cost-effective tool designs. After the tool has been turned over to the production department. • Tool designers. the tool designer should make periodic checks during production to ensure that the specified tolerances are maintained (Figure 1–4). tools. procurement. understand manufacturing techniques and toolmaking methods and equipment. • The primary objective of tool design is lowering manufacturing costs while maintaining consistent quality and increased production. may also be responsible for toolroom supervision. • Electronic communication skills • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing SUMMARY The following important concepts were presented in this unit: • Tool design is the process of designing and developing tooling devices. Overall size and shape of the part c. Sequence of operations e. REVIEW 1. Money available Figure 1–4 The tool designer consults the machinist to determine how well the jig or fixture performs. Type and size of machines used f. Determine the source of the following data by indicating 1 for the part drawing. have a creative mechanical ability. an individual must be able to make mechanical drawings and sketches. and tool inspection.

Describe a toolroom. k. 5. Number of pieces Previous machining Locating surfaces Material specifications Type of cutters needed Type of machining required 3. h.75028_Hoffman_CH01 7/7/03 6:15 AM Page 7 UNIT I Pupose of Tool Design 7 g. i. l. j. What does the term concurrent mean and how is it applied to the design of tooling? 4. . List the skills of a tool designer.