(Hong Kong, 15 July 2021) The Electrically-Assisted Free Forming (EAFF) Technology for Digital Competitive Customisation of Sheet Metal Parts, developed by the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), was crowned the Champion in the “Best Project Award” (Digital Advancement) at the prestigious “IMechE Project Award”, an internationally acclaimed award that recognises projects with significant contributions to the advancement of the mechanical practice organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Hong Kong Branch.
Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC, said, “I would like to offer a big congratulations to our R&D team for winning this Award. This is indeed a noteworthy international recognition by fellow professional peers of their dedication and efforts in coming up with creative applied solutions for the industry. This international accolade perfectly aligns with the National 14th Five Year Plan which has outlined its support for Hong Kong to become an international innovation and technology centre. We will continue to leverage our applied R&D knowledge for the development of smart manufacturing and keep up the momentum to let Hong Kong invention shine on world stage.”
Developed with funding support from the Innovation and Technology Fund of the HKSAR Government, EAFF technology employs a virtualisation technology to perform dieless forming using two co-operating 6-axis robot arms, by analysing the 3D model provided. The simulation of the dieless forming process imitates the robot movement and performs the finite element analysis of the stress distribution, heat transfer and electrical effect of deformed material which is invaluable for process optimisation and product realisation.
Unlike conventional metal stamping process, EAFF technology does not require any additional process before production, such as making mould. The cost of production, maintenance and storage of stamping moulds, can hence be eliminated which significantly reduces the initial cost, facilitating the production of customised sheet metal parts. Moreover, EAFF can produce parts with complex geometry, including undercut features, with dual robot arms. It can be applied in the production of conceptual models, architectural parts, automotive parts, and medical parts.
This patentable EAFF Technology developed by HKPC was a partnership research project sponsored by Tung Hing Automation Investment Limited, and has already been awarded the Gold Medal with Congratulations of Jury in the “2021 Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions” in March.
IMechE is one of the world’s fastest growing professional engineering institutions with over 120,000 members headquartered in London with operations in over 140 countries. The Institution has a substantial membership base in Hong Kong, supported by the Institution's Hong Kong Branch.
For more details about IMechE Hong Kong Branch, please go to: https://nearyou.imeche.org/near-you/north-east-asia/hong-kong/
For more information about the Award, please refer to: https://nearyou.imeche.org/near-you/north-east-asia/hong-kong/awards
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