The business unit for “Tool and Die Making“ of the Fraunhofer IPT provides manufacturers, suppliers and customers in the tool and die making industries with integrated solutions, helping them to manage the many different challenges of their industrial environment. Moritz Wollbrink, head of the business unit, explains how tool and die makers can benefit from a networked and adaptive production system.
What opportunities result from strengthened networks in the tool and die making industry?
Tool and die making companies can increase their technological and structural competitiveness: mobile communication, compact sensor arrays and sophisticated production control systems allow them to make their corporate processes transparent and flexible – with real time representation. This is a big opportunity for tool manufacturers. Tool-integrated sensor systems may, for example, serve to predict maintenance intervals, to prevent operating errors and to plan overhaul operations. Data mining is a highly interesting development for tool and die making companies, since it allows them to create a level playing field for comparisons between one-off products: companies can recognize patterns in highly diversified component ranges, optimize the organizational and technological aspects of their processes and improve their product quality. Networks between customers and suppliers also facilitate the planning of delivery dates in scattered manufacturing networks and the exploitation of spare capacities by using transparent resource management methods. This shortens cycle times and allows the enterprises to put their tools to more productive and more efficient forms of use in a mass production environment.