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How to Implement Automation for Mold Making

Published on June 15 2022 by Exzellenc
How to Implement Automation for Mold Making

To stay competitive, toolmakers frequently concentrate on optimizing individual bottleneck resources. Is this still an automation approach with goals?

Mold and tool manufacturing has long faced challenges. There have been and still are numerous approaches to digitization and automation. However, rather than being comprehensive strategies, these are nearly always unique answers created out of necessity.

No comprehensive automation strategy

Utilizing highly automated manufacturing cells is one outcome of this "bottleneck thinking." The other essential process elements, however, such as processing planning, clamping scenarios, organization and provision of necessary cutting tools, clamping devices, NC programmers, and much more, are not taken into account holistically.

the difficulty of implementing automation in production

For instance, a toolmaker employs 15 to 25 people and cranks out 20 items annually. Each tool has 500 parts, each of which is distinct, necessitating 3 to 10 different labor sequences, such as procurement of raw parts, NC programming, cnc machining, wire EDM cutting, surface finish. This refers to the management of 125,000 processes and operations by staff members or outside service providers. Additionally, modifications to the tool during production necessitate modifying the affected components or production controls such machine modifications, capacity limitations, and material constraints.

In daily operations, there is frequently a lack of transparency in the individual planning and control of the individual work steps - for instance, in the accuracy of the data, change management, the location and state of storage for the semi-finished goods, as well as in supplier and procurement management.

The question of how automation can be implemented in a practical way is raised by this example of a "typical" tool manufacturing business.

Additionally, toolmakers are highly depended on the creation of new business strategies for diversification in to be able to continue existing in the face of fierce competition. Due to the complexity and diversity of the process flow, the individual providers continue to refine their core skills and experience an exacerbation of their current issues.

Understanding complexity and processes

The good news is that while each component is initially distinct, there are always parallels between them, such as in technological or geometrical features or in planning and organization.

This provides sound foundational ideas for automating crucial job processes.

1. parametric design

Automation of uniform and comparable CAD-CAM processes can be done on the basis of classification and standardization. This also holds true for other difficult and repetitive operations. Automations can assist the user in daily tasks.

For instance, parametric control bodies are useful when designing tools. Since the correct cavities and punch shapes may be automatically transferred to all impacted components with the right logic, you reduce errors and construction time.

The appropriate logic uses geometric and other attributes, such as features, color coding, or PMI, to represent all the content needed for the succeeding process steps (planning, procurement, NC programming, and quality control) (Product Manufacturing Information).

2. template NC

NC templates provide optimized manufacturing knowledge, such as information on milling tool cutting values and processing sequences. This makes it possible to standardize, automate, and coordinate operations with CAD templates. However, it is frequently claimed that the automated programmers are ineffective since they are not optimized for the chosen production equipment. The NC template technology with the saved automations specifically provides a solution for this.

3. planning models

Planning templates based on the classification established by the design ensure an orderly and structured way of working throughout the manufacturing process: Complex process steps can be collected in digital form in a central location, understandable and visualized in an approachable way, and displayed.

The benefits become especially apparent in the case of article or component modifications thanks to constant coordination of the classifiers and standards across all sub-processes. All locations impacted by the templates and stencils are identified and updated once they have been incorporated into the CAD design. The use of the planning templates guarantees the correct versions and approvals.

Gradual introduction of the automation strategy

Therefore, classification and standardization are the first steps on the road to automation. Additionally, it's critical to lessen inefficiencies like searching for contacts in case of issues or enquiring about the order's status, tool components, and production processes. A knowledge database is implemented with a specific objective in mind. Key users can contribute their experiences as templates and stencils, saving and sharing them digitally in the process.

Think about the procedures as a whole.

A cross-departmental understanding of the full value chain is made possible by transparency. A common understanding of processes is actually a crucial component of an automation approach. Because standalone, highly automated solutions do not, in and of themselves, address the issue. Planning and purchasing, NC programming template technology, or pertinent aspects of quality control and measurement

For instance, the parametric design mentioned above provides opportunity to address design bottlenecks. However, removing this bottleneck alone would not significantly increase total productivity. The NC programming initially becomes the bottleneck.

When individual operations are not coordinated, they frequently result in extra work without adding much value overall to the value chain. Due to increased organizational work from planning to completion/assembly, even partial optimizations might potentially have a negative impact.

Automation strategy: With structure to success

The examination of the current process flows is complicated by the issue of the "bottleneck shift." This analysis is a crucial requirement for effective automation. Such a study relates specifically to the concerned company.

The complete process chain for the full value-added sector is what the analysis is focused on collecting. It's not always necessary to change known procedures in order to digitize them; instead, it's common to combine current best practices and incorporate them into software-based digitization methods.

This indicates that all important information is readily available at the appropriate time, location, and quality. This strategy also provides the opportunity to utilize data on a current manufacturing order retroactively as a control tool or going forwards as a calculation database, thus strengthening the procedure.

This could lead to the digitization of the entire workshop along with online process step visualization (and control). These might be standard operating procedure for toolmaking providers in a few years.


Using the automation strategy could lead to the digitisation of the entire workshop along with online process visualisation. These might be standard operating procedure for toolmaking providers in a few years. In Exzellenc, our workshop is equiped with automatic complete cnc machining equipment, this allows us to build the high performance mold parts and custom cnc machined part in fastest way. For more details about your mold making, please contact us to carry out your mold manufactruing.

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