The Impact of Globalization and New Materials on the Transition to a Fully Digital Tool and Die 2009-01-0979
Until recently, tool & die making was a very traditional industry, relying on extensive know-how accumulated over decades of practice. Essentially, it remained a two stage-process: engineering/manufacture, followed by tryout/productionization. Improvements focused on engineering and production methods, but tryout remained the exclusive domain of the die maker. At last, advances in computer modeling methods and the adoption of aggressive lean management principles have brought transformational changes to the tryout phase. At the same time, new safety and weight imperatives have increased the penetration of advanced materials, whose formability characteristics are quite different from mild steels. This paper will explore how these advanced materials affect this transformation.