The IPH who founded the work group  publishes current research results from tool- and mold-making on a regular basis.

Our latest publications:

Process Optimization through Thin Flash Prevention. Due to the good flow properties of aluminum, the material tends to flow into tool gaps during flashless precision forging and produce the so-called thin flash. For the industrial implementation of flashless precision forging processes, an innovative prediction method for thin flash as well as sealing concepts are to be developed in cooperation with an industrial partner. Simulative studies show that local form filling does not correlate with high pressure or an increased potential for thin flash.

thin flash, FEM-simulation, sealing concepts, precision forging, forming technology

Process monitoring strategies allow wear-related conditions of forging dies to be detected and predicted. The prediction of the wear condition allows intelligent maintenance strategies. This allows residual tool life to be fully utilized, scrap to be reduced and downtime to be calculated. The content of this article is an economic analysis for calculating the payback period of a process monitoring system.

forging, process monitoring, economic efficiency

In the automotive and mechanical engineering industries, forged parts are used in many applications. The dies for the forged parts are subject to high wear during forging due to high forming forces and temperatures. In order to enable economical production operation, methods to reduce the wear in warm forging have been investigated. One promising method is the use of Diamondlike-Carbon (DLC) wear-resistant coatings.

Warm Forging, Coating, DLC, Wear

In the forging industry, which is dominated by SMEs, the tool life of forging dies is usually determined on the basis of empirical values and subjective decisions. In order to avoid considerable logistical and economic expenses as a result of unplanned downtimes and die failure, the tool life is often set many times lower and a waste of existing residual tool life is caused. One possibility to determine the remaining tool life of forging tools is a combined measuring method, which is to be developed at the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) gGmbH.

Forming technology, tool life, process monitoring

Warm forged components have better surface properties and higher dimensional accuracy than hot forged components. Diamond-like-carbon (DLC) coatings can be used as wear protection coatings, which are anti-adhesive and extremely hard (up to 3500 HV), to increase tool service life. In the first funding period of the research project at the IPH – Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH and the Institute for Surface Technology (IOT) of the Technical University of Braunschweig in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (IST), the influence of different coating types and process temperatures on tool wear was investigated. The result is, that DLC coatings can reduce tool wear in some cases significantly, but that their service life is strongly dependent on the temperature. Coating-integrated temperature measurement could not be realised at that point, due to adhesion challenges. During the second funding period, the effect of multilayer DLC coatings on tool wear was investigated. Also, an additional method of the temperature measurement on the engraving surface using thin film sensors was developed in order to correlate the local process temperature and local layer wear. In this work, the development of and the results gathered by the thin film temperature sensors are presented, which enable for more accurate temperature measurements than commonly used thermocouples. Their functionality and durability under high loads were investigated and showed to be promising.

DLC2, warm forging, forging, wear, forming

The Hybrid Forging Process satisfies the needs of modern structural and material lightweight engineering by combining forming and mechanical joining operations within one process. This paper presents an analytical approach for the prediction of symmetrical joining bonds of bulk material and sheet metal. Finite element simulations verify that the analytical approach provides a threshold value for the sheet metal thickness at which the bending elongation is reduced significantly. Furthermore, the analytical approach emphasizes that surpassing the threshold value leads to a saturation of the bending elongation reduction and only marginal benefit is achieved by increasing the sheet metal thickness.

hybrid forging, bonding, joining, elastomechanics, lightweight, multi-material manufacturing

Components manufactured by hybrid forging in progressive dies have a high potential for lightweight construction. The example of a suspension arm shows the advantage of hybrid forged parts creating new possibilities for structural and material lightweight construction. Additionally, it is demonstrated that the heat subjected to hybrid forged parts during the subsequent hardening process does not threaten the potential of material lightweight construction.

progressive compound, hybrid, forging

The Institute for Integrated Production Hannover develops process technologies for the simultaneous forming and joining of dissimilar materials. In the future, they should enable, for example, sheet-metal solid parts and steel-aluminum connections. This expands the possibilities for cost-efficient multi-material construction methods in the automobile.

forging, hybrid, progressive compound

Bulk-formed components are used in many applications in automotive and plant engineering. The conditions under which the components are manufactured, often at more than 800°C and thousands of tons of forming force, lead to high die wear. One way to reduce wear is to use suitable protective coatings. Initial basic investigations showed that the use of hard Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) wear-resistant coatings can significantly reduce the tribological effects on the die surface. With new methods such as the use of multilayer layer coatings and temperature measurement on the die surface by use of thin layer sensors, the potential of wear protection for semi-hot massive forming is to be investigated and expanded.

DLC, hot forging, wear

Lot sizing is an important task of production planning and control: basis of lot sizes are order change costs and costs for storage. Models for lot sizing do not consider lot size dependent maintenance costs. However, for a forging company the tool wear is very important, because the tooling costs represent a major part in the production cost. In this article, the deter-ministic lot size model of Andler is extended with lot size dependent maintenance costs. For this purpose, the correlation between lot size and the tool wear is ?rst derived in order to develop a lot size dependent wear function. The linking of a lot size dependent wear function with maintenance costs results in a lot size dependent maintenance cost function, which can be integrated into existing lot size models with a customized total cost function. The validation of the extended lot size model consists of two parts. In the ?rst part, the functionality of the extended lot size model is validated. In the second part, a sensitivity analysis of the lot size is carried out with regard to lot size dependent costs and unit costs.

lot sizing, tool wear, forging industry, sensitivity analysis

High temperatures up to 1280 °C and high pressures during the forming opperation lead to strong tool wear in forging processes. Increasing tool wear can lead to very high costs. By experiments conducted at the Institut für Integrierte Produktion in Hanover the correlation between tool wear and lot size in hot forging processes was verfied. The findings will help companies to optimise maintenance procedures and therefore reduce cost in the future.

forging, steel, tool wear, lot size

Considering production planning and control, lot sizing is a very important task. Lot sizes are usually resorted to lot size dependent order and storage costs. However, models for lot sizes ignore the aspect of lot size dependent maintenance costs. For forging companies the tool wear has a great economic importance, because the tooling costs represents a major factor in production costs.

production planning and control, lot sizing, process stability

The lecture presents a method for the automated design and calculation of progressive dies. The basis is an automated CAD modeling of progressive dies. From the created CAD models characteristics are derived, which are used as input parameters for prediction models to predict the tool costs.

tool making, quotation costing, data mining, prediction

Many companies can or must reduce energy consumption in their production. The Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) has developed procedures and a formula with which companies can improve the energy balance. At the same time the quality of products can be increased by this approach.

process management software, quality costs, reliability engineering

The companies in the tool making industry are exposed to a high intensity of competition. To get customer orders, they have to prepare reliable quotes in a short time. The available rudimental and partially incomplete information about the tool is of limited suitability for a reliable estimation of manufacturing costs. This thesis aims to support the tool making companies with tender preparation through a method of feature-based estimation of manufacturing costs. Essential basis forms a digital representation of the tool, which is generated by an automated CAD model building using technical guidelines. The method is implemented in the form of an expert system. The cost estimation is done, firstly, by determining the costs for machining by an analytical method based on the CAD model. Second, the costs for manufacturing processes are determined by means of a data mining based method by features derived from the CAD model and serve as inputs for prediction models. Using practical examples, the application of the expert system is described in practice and the method is evaluated. Thereby the practical applicability and limitations of the method are shown.

tool making, tool shop, quotation costing, data mining, expert system

The method of injection molding is one of the most important processes in the processing of plastics. Thus moldings can be produced economically in large quantities and with a high reproducibility. Besides quality the energy consumption in the production is an important part because of the energy transition and the rising energy prices. In particular, small and medium enterprises from the plastics processing industry in Germany with about 3,000 companies are, therefore, forced to optimize their processes and production equipment energetically.

injection molding, plastics processing, energy optimization, parameter optimization, energy model

Compliance with punctual delivery under the high pressure of costs can be implemented in the forge industry through the optimization of the in-house tool supply. Within the Transfer Project 13 of the Special Research Department 489, a mathematical model was developed which determines the minimum inventory of forging tools required for the production, considering the tool appropriation delay.

production planning and -steering, production management, tool inventory reduction, servicelevel, fo

Forging companies are often suppliers of the automotive industry, which has, by the implemented principles of Just-In-Time production, particularly high demands on the logistics performance of their suppliers. Moreover, the cost pressure in this industry is very high, so forging companies are striving to minimize their logistics costs. One of the factors influencing these logistics costs is the amount tools in a company’s tool inventory. Since the tooling costs have a high percentage of the product costs, strategic positioning between logistics performance and costs in the forging industry holds great potential. However, while a too low number of tools may cause delays in production and more frequent setting-ups caused by division of production lots and a concomitant increase of setting-up times of up to 30%, a possible consequence of too high tool inventories is the increase of process uncertainty by a prolonged and more stray tool circuit pass-through time. A structured approach to the positioning of the tool supply between logistics performance and costs is presented.

production planning and -steering, production management, tool inventory reduction, servicelevel, fo

There is a high potential for optimization in positioning a forging company’s tool supply between logistic costs and performance. Based on a model, which was developed for the improvement of the internal tool supply in the transfer project T13 of the CRC 489, a controlling instrument has been deduced to relate the weighted service level and the stock of the tool supply cycle.

production planning and -steering, production management, tool inventory reduction, servicelevel, fo

Through the use of cooling systems in injection molding, the reduction of cycle time and increasing the quality of molded parts is desired. New manufacturing processes such as selective laser melting enable the layered structure of cooling systems and allow the free design of cooling systems which is close to the part geometry. With these form-fitting cooling systems, for example, the tempering cycle times can be reduced further. However, the degree of freedom in the design of cooling circuits increases with the new production method, which makes the manual design difficult and extends the simulation times. Automated design methods of conformal cooling systems based on geometric and process parameters are currently not available. An innovative software helps by constructing close-contoured channels and reducing the cycle time with minimized engineering effort.

injection molding, conformal cooling systems, design, nature-inspired algorithms

The overall objective of the project was to develop a method for the automated CAD modeling and costing of progressive dies. The method should firstly enable the automated creation of a CAD model of the tool based on a strip layout. The tools should be modularized and the interactions of the modules to the tool design are described in rules. The rules should then enable the automated CAD modeling. Secondly, a link of CAD models with automated costing and monitoring should be done. Basis of the costing and monitoring were the CAD models of the tool and the established standard processes in the tool production.

artificial intelligence, tool and die industry, determination of manufacturing costs, CAD-automation

This paper presents the development of methods and rules for an automated CAD model building and cost calculation of tools. Starting with the strip layout of the product to be manufactured, tool models are configured and their components linked to production processes and cost data. By using artificial intelligence algorithms, the experience of the employees is taken into account for tender preparation.

tool making, tool shop, quotation costing, data mining, expert system

The aim is the development of a function-based method to support the planning of offerings in injection molding. It is assumed that tools and shapes are unique items, but the tools’ functions are recurrent. Possible post-calculations are captured and can be used better for the calculation of offerings via the function-based calculation. Methods of similarity search assist in prediction and precise determination of manufacturing expense of a tool. In order of the validation of the concept by real data the software-demonstrator is linked to existent post-calculation tools and transferred conceptually to further unique products.

function-based method, tender preparation, injection molding

Still profitability and quality are decisive competitive factors in production business. Therefore injection molding faces the challenge to produce valuable parts with constant quality at a lower cost. An innovative software for automatic and close-contoured construction of cooling channels supports that by use of artificial intelligence developed by the IPH – Institute for integrated Production Hannover gGmbH together with several companies.

profitability and quality, injection molding, close-contoured construction of cooling channels

Still profitability and quality are decisive competitive factors in production business. Therefore injection molding faces the challenge to produce valuable parts with constant quality at a lower cost. An innovative software helps by constructing close-contoured channels and reducing the cycle time with minimized engineering effort.

profitability and quality, injection molding, close-contoured construction of cooling channels

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IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH