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Chris Fox's Engineering Section


When a product has been designed and its constituent material(s) selected, it can be manufactured.

There are four types of manufacturing process. Casting involves the solidification of a liquid material in a mould; examples are sand casting, die casting and injection moulding. Bulk deformation processes, which include forging, rolling and extrusion, use an external force to change the shape of a body in its solid state. Material removal processes, as the name suggests, change the shape of a body in its solid state by removing material; such processes may be mechanical, electro-chemical or electrical discharge. Joining involves connecting material to form finished parts or sub-assemblies. Joining may be done mechanically, using such fixings as nuts, bolts and rivets; thermally, using such processes as welding and brazing; or chemically, using an adhesive bond.

Traditionally, manufacturing aimed to produce large numbers of particular parts and to avoid changes to the set-up. Set-up changes were slow, and therefore expensive, but the cost could be spread over a large number of items. However, batch manufacturing is very inefficient: useful work may be done on a batch for as little as 5% of the time it spends in the factory. Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) aim to minimise set-up times and costs and therefore to be more versatile.

[Casting] [Bulk Deformation] [Welding] [Material Removal] [Specialised Machining Processes] [Chip Formation] [Cutting Tool Materials] [Surface Texture] [Engineering Plastics] [Introduction to Flexible Automation] [System Classification] [System Hardware] [Robots in Manufacturing] [Component Measuring Systems] [Transport Tasks in FMS] [Control of FMS] [Component Quality Level in Mechanised Assembly] [Performance Specification] [Selection of Assembly Systems]

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