AutoForm

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AutoForm Engineering GmbH
GmbH
Industry Software development
Founded 1995
Headquarters Wilen bei Wollerau, Switzerland
Key people
Waldemar Kubli
(Founder and CEO)
Products Software
Number of employees
>300 (2016)
Website www.autoform.com

AutoForm Engineering GmbH located in Wilen bei Wollerau is a Swiss software developer. The company develops and markets software products for the die making and sheet metal forming industry. This covers product manufacturability, tool and material cost calculation, die face design and virtual process optimization. In this field the company had in 2009 a market share of 50 to 60 percent,[1] and in 2008 of the largest 20 automotive OEMs and most of their suppliers were using AutoForm.[2]

1995 the company emerged as a Spin-off from the Eidgenössischen Technische Hochschule Zürich. There, the development of the simulation software started 1990 - the dissertation of founder Waldemar Kubli. Subsequently, the company created subsidiaries in Europe, North and South America and Asia.

Products[edit]

The main product is AutoForm with various modules running either stand-alone or integrated into CATIA and/or NX.[3]

The AutoForm products are divided into various solutions targeted at areas of application along the Sheet Metal Engineering Process Chain. These solutions address Product Design, Planning and Bidding, Tooling, and Production.[4] At the core of the AutoForm solutions is Finite Element Analysis solver technology applied to sheet metal forming simulation. AutoForm utilizes an Incremental Solver for its solutions for Tooling and Production, while using Inverse One-step solver for Planning and Bidding, and Product Design. The application of the different solvers is to address the differences in available input information for the different phases of the process chain. During product design and planning limited information is available for design analysis; part geometry, material thickness, and mechanical properties. Therefore, the use of an inverse one-step is appropriate and timely method to evaluate the feasibility of the part design. During tooling development and production support tooling geometry is available and therefore incremental simulation should be applied as a manufacturability check.[5]

In addition to the use of incremental solver technology, the Solution for Production also applies stochastic methods to model the potential for variations in the inputs commonly associated with Sheet Metal Forming Simulation in doing so users can predict the potential for robustness of the sheet metal forming process during the design evaluation and validation. By modeling the effect of production noise Cp and Cpk (process capability index) in production can be predicted. Another use of the stochastic model is to vary design variables. Applying their proprietary method the application allows the user to perform "systematic process improvement" during tooling engineering or production troubleshooting to identify which design variable should be adjusted to affect a beneficial result of the metal forming process being modeled.[6]

Industry and research partnerships[edit]

AutoForm is involved in joint development projects for sheet metal forming with automobile manufacturers, automotive suppliers and universities:

AutoForm also has cooperative agreements with the CAD suppliers (Dassault Systèmes, Siemens PLM Software), and links its technology to the CAD environments (CATIA V5 and NX (Unigraphics).

In addition, the company is involved in cooperation projects with the CAD/CAM suppliers Missler Software and Tebis for integrating AutoForm software technology in their CAD/CAM tool and die software.

References[edit]

  1. ^ SVC Swiss Venture Club, 11. März 2009 Archived May 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Handelszeitung, 21. Oktober 2008
  3. ^ AutoForm System Requirements
  4. ^ AutoForm Solutions Overview
  5. ^ D. Banabic et al "Sheet Metal Forming Processes, Constitutive Modelling and Numerical Simulation", 2010, pages 218-230.
  6. ^ D. Ling, D. Williams, B. Carleer, M. Stippak, "Systematic Process Improvement of Stamping Processes", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 549, pp. 13-20, Apr. 2013