The Mechanical Workshop develops and manufactures mechanical and electromechanically devices for scientific research and education. Products are made not only for researchers of the faculty of Social Sciences and other faculties but also for other third parties in the field of pedagogical, medical and pharmaceutical research.
The Mechanical workshop uses modern means of production like CAD/CAM software, CNC milling and CNC turning.
Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacture or CAD/CAM, the process by which computers are employed to enhance the manufacture and development of products. Products may be produced more quickly, more accurately, or with reduced cost, by the appropriate application of computer technology.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems may be used to model many, if not all, of the features of a particular product. Typically, these would be the size, shape, and form of each component part, stored as two-dimensional and three-dimensional drawings. Once this dimensional data has been entered and stored in the computer system, the designer is able to manipulate or modify design ideas with great ease as the product development is pursued. Moreover, the combined ideas of many designers are shared and integrated as data is moved rapidly across computer networks, enabling designers and engineers located in different global locations to work together as a team. CAD systems are also able to simulate the performance of a product. They can test whether a proposed electronic circuit will work as intended, whether a bridge will carry predicted loads safely, and even whether tomato ketchup will pour correctly from a newly designed container.
When CAD systems are linked to manufacturing equipment which is also controlled by computer, they form an integrated CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacture) system. CAM offers significant advantages over more traditional approaches by controlling manufacturing equipment with computers instead of human operators. CAM equipment is usually associated with the elimination of operator error and the reduction of labour costs. However, the consistent accuracy and predicted optimum use of the equipment lead to even more significant advantages. For example, cutting blades and tools will wear more slowly and break less frequently, reducing manufacturing costs still further. Against these savings should be set the higher costs of capital equipment or the possible social implications of maintaining productivity with a reduced workforce. CAM equipment relies on a series of numeric codes, stored in computer files, to control manufacturing operations. This Computer Numeric Control (CNC) is provided by describing machine operations in terms of the special codes and component shape geometry, and building specialized computer files or “part programs”. The development of these part programs is a skilled task, now largely superseded by specialized computer software which forms the link between CAD and CAM systems.
The features of CAD/CAM systems are exploited by designers, engineers, and manufacturers to suit the particular needs of their own situation. For example, a designer may use the system to produce an early prototype quickly and test the feasibility of a product, whilst a manufacturer may choose to use the system because it is the only way an intricate component can be accurately produced. The range of features available to CAD/CAM users is continually expanding. Clothing manufacturers may design a garment pattern on a CAD system which is automatically positioned on the cloth so that waste material is minimized when a CNC saw or laser cuts it out. In addition to CAD information which describes the shape of an engineering component, the most appropriate material for its manufacture may be selected from the computer database and a range of CNC machines used in combination to produce it. Computer Integrated Manufacture (CIM) exploits the full potential of this technology by combining a wide range of computer-aided activities, possibly including stock control, component costing, and the full control of every production process. This provides greater manufacturing flexibility, allowing a company to respond more quickly to the demands of the market place and new product development.
Future developments will include the further integration of “virtual reality” systems which enable designers to interact with their virtual prototype products by computer, instead of building expensive mock-ups to test feasibility. The area of “rapid prototyping” is also a further development of CAD/CAM techniques, where three-dimensional computer images may be converted into real models by specialized manufacturing equipment, such as a stereo lithography system.
The following safety regulations apply for work in the mechanical workshop.
Instructions on work are given by the workshop supervisor. Please work only when the workshop personnel are present, if that is possible.
A consultation with the shift technician is required, if you choose to work alone outside of these hours. He also may grant access to the workshop.
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM