Fraunhofer Group to Have Stand at EuroMold

“Innovative Tool Making” is the heading under which seven Fraunhofer institutes will be presenting their work at EuroMold 2007 in Frankfurt December 5–8. For the first time, this year’s joint stand is a specialized platform that provides orientation and information for the entire tool and die making industry.

Together with selected industrial and research partners, the institutes will be presenting new technologies and services for the entire value chain. The exhibit will cover topics ranging from strategic alignment, tool materials, and product development to solutions for manufacturing and repairing tools for forming and moulding. The comprehensive approach gives the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and EuroMold visitors the opportunity to exchange experiences with other companies, suppliers, and customers in the tool and die making industry.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) will be presenting the results of its FlexOStruk Innonet project funded by the BMWi at this year’s EuroMold. The institute’s newly developed modular manufacturing cell with integrated laser processes should soon make it possible to flexibly introduce designs into the tool surface. The manufacturing cell is based on a 5-axis high-speed-cutting machine that has been equipped with a laser module, specialized controls, and an integrated CAD/CAM link.

The success of new toolmaking business models, such as the provision of availability guarantees and maintenance contracts or the assumption of greater production responsibilities, depends largely on the transparency of information from a client’s point of view. As part of the Tec-Pro joint project funded by the BMBF, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of the RWTH Aachen has developed, with its industrial and research partners, technical solutions aimed at filling the current information gap.

Planned project deliverables include business models for the plastic injection moulding sector that are backed up by teleservices, an open interface for data exchange with injection moulding equipment, and a new metrology concept for improved tool and equipment monitoring. A working group enables interested companies to discuss the contents of the project.

Also, the Fraunhofer IPT will present results of the HardPrecision project funded by the EU at a joint stand with the Dutch company Hemtech B.V. The project partners have optimized a prototype 5-axis high-precision milling machine with hydrostatic bearings that can process hardened steels up to 68 HRc and achieve surface values of 0.15 µm Ra on high-strength steels.

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