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The importance of product design in die casting engineering
Product design is an important part in die casting engineering which can be optimized adding a co-design process.
Co-design activity is composed of three different phases:
- Process design
- Cost analysis
- Product design
How a co-design service can improve die casting engineering
When the die casting supplier is able to collaborate in the product design phase, shapes and features that would make the manufacture of the mould difficult and expensive can be avoided. That would mean saving time and extra costs thanks to the direct co-design work with the customer.
Let’s discuss the three different phases of co-design.
Process design means to define the different steps in the production cycle and the integration of the die casting process into them.
To create a strong production process you need the synergy of different competences in technical field: starting from the material choice and its purchase (in this specific case, the type of Zinc alloy), then it is important to focus on the product die casting, from the automation for ejection to the handling of the casting, from the customization to the treatments following the production. The attention of the last phase of process design concerns the products packaging and transport.
After a first estimate of the production cycle, it is important to analyze how much the entire process will cost in order to understand together the offer that the die casting manufacturer can make to the customer and whether it is possible to save in economic terms.
Any mistake during this phase can compromise the economic efficiency of the product both for the supplier and for the customer. For a successful collaboration it is vital to be focused on saving in terms of time and money without compromising the product quality.
Product design is a fundamental step of the co-design activity, because it allows to obtain the best results reaching the customers’ expectations and needs. It is the technical analysis of the component and it regards the study of the product’s feasibility with the application of die casting technologies.
Based on the customer’s needs and requests, the steps in co-design can be reorganized, but in general the product design common has elements in each phase:
- The customer asks for a design of the product starting from a drawing
- The client already has the drawing and knows the characteristics of the product: he asks the supplier to provide with its engineering
- The client knows the product he needs and asks the die caster advices to design the mould and the process
The most important thing in product design is understanding the inner characteristics and functions of the product to choose a specific production process which is perfectly suitable for it.
A good die casting supplier is able to recommend the right material and technology to the customer and which are the optimal further processing such as sandblasting, vibration, galvanization, painting and machining operations.
The process of product design
The analysis of geometry and function of the product are related to mechanical characteristics, resistance to static and fatigue stress, aesthetic quality and functional features.
In this phase it is important to consider:
- Sizing: dimensions and shapes are analyzed in order to evaluate the time cycle and machine dimensions of the die casting process
- Geometry: technicians consider if the tolerances and shape can be realized through die casting and define the following steps
- Simulation: the designer need to study the engineering of the mould for feeding and thermal condition
This analysis is important to understand which are the critical points of the process cycle. In this way is possible to find solutions that avoid weaknesses and allow the creation of a better product, even modifying it, if needed, but with no differences in its functions and performance.
When the customer is available to collaborate with the supplier in order to find a perfect solution, it’s easier to obtain a product that meets the clients’ expectation and can be realized among a stable production cycle.
Here below the different steps of the product design phase.
A customer-centric approach to product design
When die casting suppliers has a team with a wide range of competences, experience in realizing different products, and a high level of technology and quality, they can manufacture both semi-finished and finished products.
It is fundamental to have competences not only in the die casting process but also in the further steps of the production cycle. Furthermore it is necessary to choose innovative and punctual suppliers with internal technologies, such as machining operations and assembling that widen their services to customers helping them reaching their goals.
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