Nissan has developed “dual-sided dieless forming,” a technique using robots to make car parts out of sheet steel. This could make replacement parts for discontinued models more widely available for customers. Thanks to its flexible production, short lead times and minimal upfront costs, the new technique could make it commercially viable to produce and sell a wide variety of after-service and replacement parts in small volumes for cars that Nissan no longer makes. This was previously not possible due to the high upfront costs and long lead times to develop and make dies for stamped parts.

Robotics has already demonstrated a good potential in high-volume production of replacement parts of automobiles. Automotive manufacturers need only smaller bathes for cars that are not popular. Particularly, it is difficult to get parts from the original manufacturer of models of cars, notably vintage cars, that no long find a market. Subsequently, the use of robots has been constrained by numerous challenges. A multinational automobile manufacturer Nissan has created a new robotic system to circumvent the problems. The company calls the new system nothing short of state-of-the-art technique where robots make replacement parts from flat sheet metals.

New Robotic System to Commercialize High-Precision Dual-Sided Dieless Forming

Most notably, the breakthrough they have achieved is through dual-sided dieless forming. The method was commercially infeasible as it needed two robots to work at the same time. The Japanese automaker has made this possible through software that make two robots work on different sides of the metal using separate dies at the same time. The company revealed that the system works with high precision, and use diamond coated tools to carve parts with high surface finish.

Nissan Venturing into Low-Production Manufacturing Techniques

Nissan has begun making efforts to make the technique cost-effective, faster, and precise, to aid commercialization. It has recently started venturing into low-production manufacturing techniques. Though, it has consolidating its robotic technologies for mass production, a low-set up manufacturing process such as this holds great promise.

However, the way toward commercialization won’t be easy. It has struck success with only sheet metals; several mechanicals are still out of the ambit of the system.