A survey of flexible forming processes in Japan

J. M. Allwood, H. Utsunomiya

In the past two decades there has been a significant growth of interest in flexible forming processes in Japan, but many new developments are little known elsewhere, particularly when the processes have been reported only within the Japanese literature. This paper presents a thorough survey of recent and current work on flexible forming processes in Japan. The survey was achieved through a series of visits to Japanese laboratories, followed by a literature search, and circulation of a draft of the paper to the key groups active in this area for review and feedback. The processes are described and illustrated, and where possible, brief descriptions of the process capability and limits are given. A classification scheme is developed to organise the flexible processes into a single table and illustrate the possibilities for future innovations in this area.