Design and development of a reconfigurable die for thermoforming process
Reyna Yáñez, Felipe Osvaldo
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According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the nascent technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and advanced robotics represent between 70%-80% of the product market, manufacturing and services in North America and Europe. In this context, the designing and implementation of reconfigurable tools can generate more flexible processes, oriented to improve the productivity in manufacturing industry, especially in molding and thermoforming packaging. Consequently, a reconfigurable die based on shape-memory alloy actuators, is a solution for attending the industry challenges, due to its inclusion of a microstructural-based, temperature-based, and time-based constitutive model theory for its implementation. Within these challenges exists the need of fabrication of millions of pieces due to its limitation with a low-volume production, and high investment and maintenance tool costs. The objective of this thesis work is the development of a technology that allows manufacturing variable-shape packages through a reconfigurable die with a thermoforming process. The functionality and performance of the technology lie within the application of a shape-memory alloy theory for a reconfigurable system; the development of a functional prototype with both NiTi-based and stepper-based motion mechanisms; and the development of a technology roadmap that allows having a vision of the potential customer segment of the product and/or technology, according to their needs and opportunities.
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