data M at the EuroBlech 2012 in Hanover / Germany

For 25 years data M has been resolving problems for roll formers

data M Sheet Metal Solutions GmbH (data M) is the developer of the world leading Roll Form engineering software COPRA® and also a well-known partner for providing engineering and R&D services in this specific industrial area.

At the exhibition EuroBlech 2012 in Hanover / Germany data M will share information about how their software technology is being used in the various industries world wide and how it helps companies in improving the know-how not only as a software vendor, but as a reliable engineering and consulting company.

data M has been engaged in roll forming and the problems that can arise for the sheet metal processing industry for 25 years. Having been a software and engineering service provider since the beginning the company also emerged as a development service provider offering analysis programs. With it the company founders Dipl.-Ing. Albert Sedlmaier and Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Freitag made themselves a name at an early stage.

Today data M is far beyond this and the services offered from Valley / Bavaria are in great demand worldwide. data M is now developing 3D profiles within a newly founded division, according to customer's requirements from conception right the way through to production, with product feasibility being provided by way of a prototype rolling mill. To reach this stage of development, the company has had to invest significant time and resources into research and development.

As developers of the market leading software solution for roll formers (COPRA® RF) and for producers of sheet bending parts (COPRA® MetalBender) the specialists at data M develop and distribute roll inspection machines for quality control, reworking and reverse engineering (COPRA® RollScanner). data M software is also being written by engineers from the scientific sectors mechanical engineering / production technology using the latest developing tools and having the necessary practical know-how. data M employees have over 150 man years of experience in developing software programs for the sheet processing and in performing engineering services.

Development proceeds further and further

"This summer data M celebrated its 25th anniversary. Behind us there are 25 eventful years in which we have subsequently emerged. In this course of time we have expanded our business from being a mere developer of market leading software solutions for sheet processing, to today offering beside CAD/CAM and CAE software solutions, in particular technical advice and services such as software development for sheet metal bending and the roll forming industry, consultingand design services, roll form tool design and manufacture, system integration and heterogeneous networks, image processing systems for quality control and production processes and our latest
development is COPRA® RF 2013", outlines company founder Albert Sedlmaier the company
development with a few words.

Service plays a big role at data M. The company aims at servicing its customers extremely well. For this reason data M has already opened branch offices all over the world: In the US, India, Brazil, Poland, Sweden and in the UK. Thus data M engineers have their eyes and ears with their customers and additionally get first hand information about demand and market developments.

These data M services shall also be extended in the near future.

Some of the new features in COPRA® RF 2013

MODULE: COPRA® RF & Inventor® Parametrics

FUNCTIONALITY: Model & Manufacturing Drawings

From a COPRA® project, the complete design can be created at the push of a button. All rolls will be built as parametric parts and are positioned at the correct place in the final assembly.

With COPRA® RF 2013 the 2D manufacturing drawings are automatically generated. The time
consuming process of creating those manually is not necessary anymore. The drawing templates for the rolls can be adjusted to the company standards and necessary dimensions can be set.

Each roll type must only once be dimensioned. Up to now, in each project every single roll of a type had to be dimensioned individually. In all projects, using this roll type, the time and effort gets reduced to control the automatically created manufacturing drawings.

The assembly, each single roll and each drawing is completely parametric. Necessary changes in the COPRA® design (change roll data, distance between stations, ...) will be updated automatically without the need to recreate the manufacturing drawings. The adaptions in the drawing already made are not lost, they are conserved.

"Automatic Manufacturing Drawing" "Roll Tooling in Inventor®"

For an efficient design there are additional tools available:

· Automatically created assembly

· Parametric rolls as 3D parts

· Automatically dimensioned 2D manufacturing drawing

· Configurable templates

· COPRA® bore attributes as parametric features

· Display of profile, bearings and retaining rings

· On-/Off switch for profile, bearings and retaining rings

· Change the alignment of the design in the CAD system

· Turn stations, change direction of profiling

· Visibility of profile, bearings and retaining rings

· Collision detection with multiple possibilities

Database-MODULE: COPRA® RLM Roll Lifecycle Management

FUNCTIONALITY: Database controlled Roll Management

As well as in other industries, roll forming companies have to find ways to reduce expenses in order to ensure competitive pricing on their products. Therefore data M offers a toolkit for its roll form design software COPRA® enabling roll forming companies to save tooling cost by flexible reuse of existing roll tools. The COPRA® RLM database enables roll forming designers to store complete toolsets to a database in order to easily find and re-use rolls for other projects as well.

The functionality of the RLM database has been fully integrated into the COPRA® workflow and could therefore be used with a minimum of additional effort. The COPRA® RLM database provides tools to search for existing rolls based on easily defined search criteria and to use the rolls found in future designs. Further functions were implemented to create a bill of material of rolls to order (or rolls to produce), based on the current stock of rolls. This ensures that only the rolls needed additional to the rolls already on stock will be ordered or produced. Beyond that, there are features to manage the company's stock of rolls, e.g. to check out defective rolls, release rolls for reworking, etc.

By integrating measuring data from the COPRA® RollScanner, it is possible to monitor the wear of rolls over a particular period of time, or to assess the general deployability of particular roll tools.

One more application in this context is the "Recycling" module inside the COPRA® RLM database:

Rolls can be marked as rejected and are therefore available for re-working them for future projects, but not for profile production any more. Instead of manufacturing rolls out of blanks as usual, those rejected rolls can be used to produce the new roll out of them. The system will search for suitable recycling rolls for entire new projects at the press of a button.

The new feature in COPRA® FEA RF 2013: "Automatic Remesh"

"Without Remesh" "With Remesh"

Automatic Remesh - Coil material adapted during simulation

The existing results are interpreted and mapped on the new mesh. If necessary the elements will be subdivided in transverse direction only, e.g. when the forming of a new bend starts. The more fine mesh is therefore only created when it is necessary for the description of additional bends. This saves a lot of entities in the beginning of the calculation. There is no longer the need to drag along these elements through all stations.

Automatic Remesh - Quality of Results and Calculation time

Besides a gain in computation time (30-40% for typical roll form applications) the remesh also provides an increase in quality: The position of the new element-refinements for the description of the bends is adapted to the actual occurring deformation of the sheet. Consequently it is guaranteed that the bends can be precisely described through all forming stations with a minimum number of elements, without intervention or trial-and-error by the user.

Automatic Remesh - Multi-Processor Ability

A final task in the development of the remesh solution was to make the remesh compatible with the multi-processor simulation technology. Calculation time can be reduced by up to another 65% in case of 4 cores and up to 80% if 8 cores are used. A total time gain of up to 79% can be achieved if 4 cores are used and up to 89% if 8 cores are used. These are realistic numbers and could be proofed by respective tests.

Exact material properties with the COPRA® FEA BendTester

Finite Element Simulation requires the knowledge of detailed material parameters. The Standard Tensile Test is no longer sufficient to determine the properties of high sophisticated materials. Due to the uniaxial load of the specimen the gradients of material properties in thickness direction are neglected. These variation over the sheet thickness are arising e.g. during special thermal treatments or skin pass rolling.

To take into account that the outer parts of the sheet behave in a different way compared to the core of the material the COPRA® FEA BendTester is suitable. Due to the bending of the specimen the load varies in thickness direction of the sheet, which allows the determination of the gradient of the material properties. This Test Setup is especially advantageous to determine the material parameters as base for a FEA simulation of the roll forming because also here the main load is bending.

For the investigation of the material parameters the results of a test with the COPRA® FEA BendTester are imported into an optimization software which does the calculation of the suitable input parameters for COPRA® FEA RF. Thus the bend test allows an improvement of the simulation results due to adapted material data. The test can be performed for metals with low strength as well as with UHS Steels. The geometry of the specimen is a simple rectangle and all usual sheet thicknesses can be used.

Benefits of the COPRA® FEA BendTester:

· Improved material modelling

· Software for easy and quick determination of the material parameters

· Fully integrated in COPRA® FEA RF

· Best simulation results for e.g. high sophisticated materials

· Useable for nearly all materials

· Easy specimen preparation and test procedure

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