Rapid Prototype Fabrication of a Hydraulic Model
Rapid Prototype (RP) fabrication technology was applied to manufacture the model pumps. As for the fabrication of impellers, a Selective Laser Sintering system (SLS) apparatus was used to formulate a high strength glass nylon resin model. A Laser Stereotype Lithography (LSL) apparatus was used for the casing or diffuser model, as it permits to produce a large size epoxy resin model. The completed hydraulic models are set on a three dimensional Coordinate Measurement Machine, and its coordinates are automatically measured.
Hydraulic Model Test System
The fabricated hydraulic model is placed in an exclusive use performance testing apparatus, which can conduct the general performance test and reverse flow characteristic tests in full automated mode.
Fabrication of Hydraulic Parts for Production Pumps
The investment precision casting process using RP technology was also adopted for the fabrication of hydraulic parts for the production pumps. The RP system directly fabricates a lost form pattern for casting or indirectly a wax model via a master model, which is then applied to the investment precision casting process to produce the metallic hydraulic parts.
Unmanned Machining by Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS)
The hydraulic parts are machined by a flexible manufacturing system comprised of a 5-axis machining centre, a turning machining centre, an optical alignment unit, an automated transfer machine, an automated warehouse and a CNC machine.