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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

COPRA® RollForm 2009

New Software Releases: COPRA® RollForm 2009 – COPRA® FEA RF 2009

data M – Software Solutions for the Sheet Metal Industry

The COPRA® RF software technology provides a powerful software package for every roll form designer. Design in a professional way for simple as well as highly complex profiles, tubes, drawn tubes und trapezoidal sections. COPRA® RF guides you through the whole process chain - from flower design (bending steps), flower simulation, roll tool design to finite element analysis (with COPRA® FEA RF), generation of NC-codes up to technical documentation. COPRA® RF is state-of-the-art technology for cold rollformed sections - worldwide. It is the standard tool for designers in more than 50 countries and is available in 7 languages.

In this new version COPRA® RF 2009 the data M Sheet Metal Solutions GmbH has been concentrating on 4 major issues, that will make the design of sections with pre-punched material, or the handling of trapezoidal and corrugated sections, much easier; and also the design process for complex open sections will be more effective.

The focus has been put on the following features:
• A 3D punch hole editor for use with pre-punched material
• The possibility to automatically mesh pre-punched material
• The possibility to clone rolls
• The possibility to re-use / recycle existing roll tools

In recent years it has become apparent that the use of Finite Element Simulations will be more and more important in the roll forming industry. Due to growing popularity of light weight construction, the sheet thickness is constantly being reduced, to compensate the loss in stability; more and higher strength materials are being used. More and more profiles are also being rolled with pre-punched material, where the quality of the holes in the final section in terms of correct position and shape are also an important issue.

For all cases, only little experience and trial and error method are available within the roll forming industry. Therefore, the only way to avoid expensive and time wasting experiments is to virtually simulate the process with FEA. This is the reason why data M Sheet Metal Solutions GmbH has on the one hand focused upon making the roll design faster, and on the other to take away the time wasting modification of the FEA mesh when using pre-punched material, with COPRA® FEA RF. The target being to significantly reduce the time required for preparing an FEA simulation.

1. COPRA® RF "3D Punch-Hole Editor"


Before the meshing of pre-punched material can be done automatically, it is necessary to define punched hole shape and punched hole position in the COPRA® RF design software. With the previous versions this was simply not possible, as this was based upon 2D only. Our target has been to allow any punched hole shape in any combination. For this reason we have decided to combine the COPRA® RF software with our COPRA® MetalBender 3D solution. In MetalBender 3D it is very easy to define 3D sheet metal parts with any punched hole shape. Therefore we have taken this facility and integrated it into the COPRA® RF software.
Another target was to make the handling as easy as possible; the punched holes can be defined either in the flat strip, or in the final section. Beneath the integrated library of standard holes, the user can also define punch tool shapes and add them, creating a personal punch tool library. The program also allows the possibility to make the individual stations visible including the punch holes.

2. COPRA® FEA RF "Punch-Hole Meshing"

punch-hole meshing

With all the information about shape and position of punched holes created, with the punch hole editor, the mesh can now be created automatically. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to transfer the information about the punch holes, into the MSC.Mentat program, delete the elements in the position of the holes, and drag the nodes into the correct position.
To make life even easier, a mesh preview is now available, illustrating the automatically calculated mesh with or without holes, and any change in the meshing parameters will update the mesh preview automatically. The preview also shows the number of elements, thus making it easier to find the optimum constellation. This new feature saves hours of time, which were previously necessary for the preparation of the FEA mesh. 

3. COPRA® RF "Roll Design – Cloning Rolls"

Rollen klonen
cloning rolls

To be able and make a fast and reliable FEA calculation, it is necessary to have the roll tools designed in COPRA® RF. In the previous version of COPRA® RF we have introduced the possibility to design rolls only with AutoCAD functions to make the design process easier for those whom are not working with COPRA® RF on a daily basis. Although functions like placing a fillet, were not yet available for these “free designed” rolls.
Therefore in COPRA® RF 2009 all roll design functions are now working for “free designed” rolls. This allows the most effective combination of using COPRA® RF and AutoCAD based features.

But this is not all!

COPRA® RF 2009 again provides a very powerful new tool to make the design effort easier – the possibility to clone rolls. Rolls that are identical can be cloned automatically. This can be done for individual rolls, for a station or for the complete project. Then if one roll is modified, all respective cloned rolls are updated automatically. This makes changes in projects with more identical rolls much faster, especially for the rolls used in corrugated or trapezoidal sections.
The added bonus also being, cloned rolls only need to be dimensioned once – identical rolls will not show up again during automatic dimensioning. Also in the cutting or material list, the quantity of individual cloned rolls is also shown, so there is no need for this to be updated manually.
Concluding we can determine that the new roll design features help to further reduce the design time, allow for an easy link to COPRA® FEA RF, and avoid unnecessary work for the preparation of the manufacturing data.

4. COPRA® RF "Roll Recycling Database"

roll recycling database

Many COPRA® RF customers have a few thousand or even ten thousand rolls that cannot be used any more because the respective section is now obsolete or the roll was removed because of signs of wear.
If the mean value of a roll is assumed to be 150€ and the number of rolls that cannot be used any more is 10.000 pieces, then the customer has a value of 1.5m€ in stock that cannot be used any more. This is the reason why we have designed a Roll Recycling Database.
In combination with the COPRA® RollScanner the customer can now make use of these rolls again. 

The following workflow is required:
• The respective roll will be scanned
• The scanned contour is directly transferred to the Roll Recycling Database
• A rough sketch of the required roll contour needs to be made during roll design
• The designer can automatically search for a fitting recycling roll. (The search criteria can be user defined.)
• For the roll retrieval an oversize in width and diameter can be defined
• If a fitting recycling roll was found, it is placed on a layer of its own that can be switched on and off. The respective rolls can be marked with a different line width and / or line colour.
• The recycling roll found is linked to the designed roll. This information is attached to the engineering data making sure that the roll is already existing and it only needs to be reworked.

The particular of this solution, is the seamless integration of the individual work step.

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If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact: Mr. Albert Sedlmaier
Phone: +49 8024 640-0
Fax: +49 8024 640-300

Reprint free of charge; Author’s copy kindly requested.