Production engineering

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Pro­duc­tion en­gi­neer­ing is the clas­si­cal sci­ence of man­u­fac­tur­ing work­pieces and oth­er geo­met­ri­cal­ly de­fined ob­jects. It is based on de­signs that spec­i­fy ma­te­r­i­al, work­piece shape, di­men­sion­al and form ac­cu­ra­cies (al­so re­ferred to as tol­er­ances), sur­face qual­i­ty. Mea­sur­ing and test­ing equip­ment is used for qual­i­ty as­sur­ance. A va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent tools, process­es and ma­chines are used in pro­duc­tion en­gi­neer­ing to process blanks and se­mi-fin­ished prod­ucts in­to com­po­nents and fin­ished prod­ucts. The tech­niques and meth­ods of pro­duc­tion en­gi­neer­ing are sum­ma­rized in DIN 8580.

The main groups of manufacturing technology in DIN 8580

Ac­cord­ing to DIN 8580, the six fol­low­ing tech­niques and meth­ods be­long to the ba­sis of man­u­fac­tur­ing technology:

  • Orig­i­nal forms: All man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es in which a work­piece is pro­duced from a shape­less ma­te­r­i­al. Ex­am­ple: Sintering
  • Form­ing: All man­u­fac­tur­ing steps in which the work­piece is cre­at­ed by de­for­ma­tion. Ex­am­ple: Rolling
  • Cut­ting: All pro­duc­tion steps in which ma­te­r­i­al is sep­a­rat­ed from the work­piece, ground, etc. Ex­am­ple: Cutting
  • Join­ing: All man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es that bring sev­er­al work­pieces to­geth­er per­ma­nent­ly. Ex­am­ple: Welding
  • Coat­ing: Any ap­pli­ca­tion of an ad­di­tion­al lay­er to the work­piece Ex­am­ple: Painting
  • Chang­ing ma­te­r­i­al prop­er­ties: Any ac­tion that changes the work­piece in the atom­ic range. This pro­ce­dure is usu­al­ly done by ap­ply­ing tem­per­a­ture. Ex­am­ple: Hardening

Oth­er im­por­tant ba­sic terms in pro­duc­tion engineering

  • Work­piece: Ob­ject to be processed by the own hand or by machine
  • Ac­tive medi­um: A pro­duc­tion aid in var­i­ous ag­gre­gate states that caus­es changes in the workpiece
  • Ac­tive pair: A struc­ture con­sist­ing of two com­po­nents. On the one hand, work­pieces and, on the oth­er hand, tools/knitting media.

The development of manufacturing technology

The in­di­vid­ual tech­niques and meth­ods of the man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es emerged with a time lag. In the be­gin­ning, light tech­niques were used, such as saw­ing or grind­ing, but this was al­ready the case from the Stone Age on­wards. Up to the in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion very many pro­ce­dures came in ad­di­tion. The pos­si­bil­i­ties and the ef­fec­tive­ness have in­creased dras­ti­cal­ly thanks to the de­vel­op­ment of small de­vices and ma­chines. Now we are look­ing at en­tire pro­duc­tion lines that per­form sev­er­al man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly in a ful­ly au­to­mat­ed manner.

Trends in manufacturing technology

3D print­ing, as a gen­er­a­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing process, en­joys great pres­tige in the pro­duc­tion of in­di­vid­ual bod­ies. It is now pos­si­ble to pro­duce quite com­pli­cat­ed shapes us­ing both plas­tics and metals. 

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