Artificial intelligence in single- and small-batch production

Arntz, K.; Brandstätter, T. C.; Dorißen, J.; Frye, M.; Krauß, J.; Krebs, L.; Holst, C.; Horstkotte, R.; Mende, H.; Schiller, S.; Stepien, G.; Wollbrink, M.; Zhen, Z. (2021)

Single- and small-batch production requires demand-driven production solutions, since learning and economies of scale do not exist. Due to increased computing power, systems with artificial intelligence are now able to make decisions and implement measures independently. Companies in single- and small-batch production are thus enabled to establish more efficient and powerful processes with the help of artificial intelligence.

Resilience as a competitive factor – fields of action for crisis-proof toolmaking

Boos, W.; Trauth, D.; Arntz, K.; Prümmer, M.; Niemietz, P.; Wilms, M.; Lürken, C.; Mayer, J. (2021)

The impact and consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic demonstrated worldwide the importance of resilience from both a societal and an economic perspective. The concept of resilience is not new. In general, resilience describes the ability to deal with crises and recover from their effects as quickly as possible.

Successful Sink-EDM in Toolmaking

Boos, W.; Herrig, T.; Klink, A.; Arntz, K., Prümmer, M.; Horstkotte, R.; Schneider, S. (2021)

As an established key technology in tool and die making, Sink-EDM is in constant competition with HSC milling. However, continuous developments and the current state of application in practice show significant opportunities to profitably exploit the technology-specific advantages. The study "Successful Sink-EDM in Toolmaking" addresses the latest trends in the field of Sink-EDM and also discusses current challenges. Starting with a description of the status quo, the results of an industry-specific survey on Sink-EDM are presented and discussed. In addition, the data collected on the basis of a demonstrator component manufactured by various companies provide the basis for a realistic assessment of the potential of Sink-EDM.

Tooling in Austria

Boos, W.; Kelzenberg, C.; Boshof, J.; Prümmer, M.; Ebbecke, C.; Frey, C.; Lürken, C. (2020)

The Austrian toolmaking industry is internationally renowned above all for its high level of competence in the field of injection molds. This is due to the high innovative strength and performance of Austrian toolmaking companies. In addition, Austrian toolmaking companies can rely on efficient and modern manufacturing resources as well as highly qualified employees. This study provides an insight into the characteristics of the Austrian economy in general and the Austrian toolmaking industry in particular.

Tooling in Germany

Boos, W.; Kelzenberg, C.; Prümmer, M.; Goertz, D.; Boshof, J.; Horstkotte, R.; Ochel, T.; Lürken, C. (2020)

The study "Tooling in Germany" gives an impression of the status quo and the development of the toolmaking nation Germany regarding its performance. Furthermore, the study shows trends within the German tooling industry. These trends offer insights into potential solutions so that German toolmaking companies can successfully position themselves in the competition in the future.

Successful Digital Milling Process Chains Implementing in Toolmaking (German)

Boos, W.; Arntz, K.; Degen, F.; Wollbrink, M.; Gerretz, V.; Lee, T. H.; Pothen, M.; Venek, T.; Landwehr, M.; Maurer, F. K.; Henrichs, O.; Lowis, S. (2019)

It is essential for modern toolmaking companies to further reduce their throughput times. In order to achieve this goal, numerous efforts have already been made in the past, such as refining planning and control in production, purchasing ever more powerful machine equipment and improving the coordintion of process sequences in tool production. However, these measures alone are not enough.

How can manufacturing processes and throughput times be further optimized? What are the right measures to set the course for the future?

Digitalization, especially digital process chain elements, offers answers to these questions. Reading out machine data is the basis for even more detailed and precise planning. Component definitions in the CAD model make it superfluous to create drawings and shorten the time between component development, design, CAM programming and production.

These and other elements are described in this study "Successful Digital Milling Process Chain Implementation in Toolmaking".

Successful CAx Process Chain Design in Toolmaking (German)

Boos, W.; Arntz, K.; Degen, F.; Prümmer, M.; Wollbrink, M.; Horstkotte, R.; Pothen, M.; Gerretz, V.; Landwehr, M.; Maurer, F. K. (2018)

The study "Successful CAx Process Chain Design in Toolmaking" provides an insight into the status quo of the CAx system landscape in German-speaking toolmaking companies. Various stations of the CAx process chain are examined in detail. In addition, best-practice examples are given and individual NC simulation systems are presented. Finally, current challenges are described and completed by an outlook.

Successful Milling in Toolmaking (German)

Boos, W.; Arntz, K.; Johannsen, L.; Prümmer, M.; Horstkotte, R.; Ganser, P.; Venek, T.; Gerretz, V. (2018)

The study "Successful Milling in Toolmaking" shows the current status quo of milling technology in the tool and mold making industry in Germany. In addition, current trends and technological developments are described. Finally, a procedure for designing the optimum machining strategy for milling is presented.

The tool and mold making industry faces a multitude of challenges. Technological trends, globalization and increasing quality demands increasingly require flexible tool design and efficient processes from tool and die manufacturers. The optimal use of existing manufacturing technologies and the integration of innovative manufacturing technologies into existing process chains are therefore of decisive importance.

Milling is a key technology in tool and mold making and can be easily integrated into process chains due to its high flexibility. With regard to an efficient and stable process design, however, various influencing factors such as the milling tool, component material and machining strategy must be taken into account.

Tooling in Germany (German)

Boos, W.; Salmen, M.; Kelzenberg, C.; Johannsen, L.; Helbig, J.; Ebbecke, C. (2018)

The study "Tooling in Germany" provides an overview of German toolmaking as well as current challenges and trends in the industry. It shows the development and status quo of German toolmaking companies in terms of product, process and resources.

Germany is one of the most important producers of tools and molds worldwide. Globalization is opening up new sales markets for German toolmaking in order to generate further sales. In the last 10 years, however, more and more international toolmaking companies have joined the ranks, shaking up the predominance of German toolmaking companies. The German toolmaking industry is responding to these developments with measures to increase efficiency while maintaining high quality standards at the same time.

Successful Automation in Toolmaking (German)

Boos, W.; Arntz, K.; Johannsen, L.; Prümmer, M.; Wollbrink, M.; Wilms, M.; Horstkotte, R. (2017)

The study "Successful Automation in Toolmaking" shows the current status quo of automation in toolmaking companies in Germany. In addition, recommendations for successful automation are given.

The toolmaking industry in Germany faces numerous challenges. In the context of globalization, new competitors are entering the market, so that growing cost pressure is evident. In order to meet customer requirements, flexible tool design and quality improvements are becoming increasingly important. The use of the latest technologies is therefore essential in order to optimally exploit production potential. For example, the automation of toolmaking can lead to a change from handcrafted production to industrial toolmaking. Increased productivity and shorter cycle times have a positive influence on the competitiveness of toolmaking operations.

Download "Erfolgreich Automatisieren im Werkzeugbau" (German only)

Successful Application of Manufacturing Technologies in Toolmaking (German)

Boos, W.; Arntz, K.; Johannsen, L.; Dröscher, T.; Wollbrink, M.; Prümmer, M. (2017)

The study "Successful Application of Manufacturing Technologies in Toolmaking" provides an overview of the status quo of mechanical manufacturing in German toolmaking companies and highlights future manufacturing challenges and technological trends in the industry.

Toolmaking in Germany is not only confronted with growing global competition and customer-oriented product diversity, but also with increasing digital networking in the entire production environment in connection with the advancing implementation of Industry 4.0. In addition to the resulting changes in corporate organization, manufacturing companies must continuously question and optimize the technologies and resources used in order to remain competitive in the long term. In particular, the current further developments in software technology and in information and data processing result in a new dimension of production optimization. In combination with the basic technological knowledge of German tool manufacturing companies, this represents a decisive competitive advantage. Highly demanding tool manufacturing therefore requires the systematic use and networking of high-performance manufacturing technologies and resources along the entire value chain.

Tooling in China. Injection Mold Making (German)

Boos, W.; Salmen, M.; Johannsen, L.; Hensen, T.; Begovic, A.; Wollbrink, M. (2016)

In recent years, China has become the largest consumer of plastics and at the same time the largest producer of injection molds. Due to the large number of injection mold manufacturers, there is great potential for the procurement of these molds on the Chinese market. However, the Chinese moldmaking market is still very non-transparent and the performance and structure of the companies is very heterogeneous. Accordingly, the successful procurement of tools in China requires a thorough study of the Chinese toolmaking market and the establishment of long-term partnerships based on this. The present study provides an overview of the industrial environment in China, the tools offered, the process design as well as the resource equipment and organizational structure of Chinese injection molding tool companies.

Tooling in China. Sheet Metal Forming (German)

Boos, W.; Pitsch, M.; Hensen, T.; Heeschen, D.; Johannsen, L. (2015)

The Chinese market for large sheet and forging dies is of particular importance for automotive manufacturers and suppliers. Due to the high sales figures of German automobiles in China, detailed market knowledge about the performance of potential suppliers to the German manufacturing industry offers a decisive competitive advantage. Chinese toolmaking differs particularly from the German market in terms of the industrial environment, product quality, process control and resource quantity. Chinese top tool manufacturers, in particular, are barely inferior to Germans in terms of performance.

Tooling in South Africa (German)

Boos, W.; Pitsch, M.; Komorek, N.; Kuhlmann, T.; Stark, M.; Rittstieg, F. (2014)

The South African tooling industry faces international market pressure induced by increasingly competitive tooling markets in emerging countries in Asia and Eastern Europe. In past decades the South African tooling industry as a whole was not able to progress as fast as its direct competitors in those emerging countries. The slow progression rate was largely caused by a difficult industrial environment and an education system that could not provide highly skilled technical employees needed for international competitiveness. A turnaround is required to ensure the country ́s manufacturing prospect. The aspired positive development of the South African tooling industry will not be enforced by comparison to other developing tooling countries. Only the comparison with leading international tooling industries, such as Germany, allows for the comprehension of best practice solutions and accelerates the progression.