New trends for automotive molding development

Time:2019-03-27 10:08:39 / Popularity: / Source:

Since 2000, global mould industry has been steadily rising, with an average growth rate of more than 5%. By 2017, global mould industry market has reached 200 billion US dollars. In developed countries such as United States, Germany and Japan, automotive-related mold demand accounts for more than 50% of total mold demand, and global automotive molding market has exceeded $55 billion. In this fierce competition and rapid development, global automotive molding manufacturing industry has seen nine major development trends.
  • Imitation CAE that highlights stamping process
Over years, along with agile development of computer software and hardware, imitation skills (CAE) of stamping process have played an increasingly important role. In United States, Japan, Germany and other developed countries, CAE skills have become a necessary part of mold planning and production process, widely used to guess defects of forming, optimize stamping skills and mold construction, advance reliability of mold planning, and reduce time of test. Many domestic car mould manufacturing companies have made significant progress in use of CAE and have achieved outstanding results. Use of CAE technology can greatly save cost of mold trial and shorten development cycle of stamping dies, which has become primary method to ensure quality of molds. CAE technology is gradually transforming mold planning from experience planning to scientific planning.
  • Further solidified position of mold 3D planning
Three-dimensional planning of mold is primary content of digital injection molding technology, and it is foundation for integration of mold planning, production and inspection. Japan's Toyota, United States’ General Motors and other companies have completed three-dimensional planning of mold, and achieved outstanding application. Some of practices adopted by foreign countries in three-dimensional planning of molds are worth learning. Besides conducive to facilitating integration, another advantage of three-dimensional planning of mold is that it is easy to check and can perform motion analysis, deal with some problem in two-dimensional planning.
  • Digital manufacturing technology will no longer be favored
Summarizing successful experience of domestic and foreign automotive mould manufacturing companies using computer-assisted technology, digital automotive molding technology mainly has following aspects:
◎ Productive planning of DFM. That is thinking and analyzing makeability during planning to ensure success of skills.
◎ Auxiliary skills of mold surface planning, and development of intelligent profile planning technology.
◎ CAE assists in analysis and simulation of technical process of stamping, guessing and processing shortcomings and forming problems that may arise.
◎ Replace traditional two-dimensional planning with a three-dimensional mold construction plan.
◎ Process of making molds uses CAPP, CAM and CAT technologies.
◎ Under guidance of digital technology, problems in process of trial testing and production of stamping are handled.
  • Mould processing initiative is rapidly developing
Leading processing technology and equipment are primary foundation for forward productivity and quality assurance. Among leading automotive mould manufacturing companies, CNC machine tools with dual table, ATC with active tool changer, photoelectric control system for active machining, and online measurement system for workpieces are not uncommon. CNC machining has been carried out from simple profile processing to full machining of profile and construction surfaces. From medium and low speed machining to high speed machining, processing automation technology is very agile.
  • Development direction has turned to high-strength steel stamping
High-strength special steels have excellent characteristics in terms of yield ratio, strain hardening characteristics, strain distribution, and impact energy absorption. At present, high-strength steel used in car stamping parts mainly includes paint-hardened steel BH steel, duplex steel DP, phase change induced plastic steel TRIP steel. 97% of leading concept model ULSAB AVC launched by ULSAB, world's ultralight body project, adopts high-strength steel. Proportion of leading high-strength steel in vehicle materials will exceed 60%, while share of dual-phase steel will account for 74% of entire automotive steel. Today, many of selected mild steel grades based on IF steel will be replaced by high-strength steel grades, and high-strength low-alloy steels will be replaced by duplex steels and ultra-high-strength steel sheets. At present, use of high-strength steel plates for domestic car parts is still limited to structural parts and beam parts. Tensile strength of materials used is more than 500 MPa. Therefore, it is an urgent need to master high-strength steel stamping technology for China automotive mould industry.
  • New molds gradually appear
With development of car stamping production efficiency and initiative, progressive die will be more widely used in production of car stamping parts. Shape of chaotic stamping parts, especially small and medium-sized messy stamping parts which are punched by multiple punches according to traditional skill requirements, are increasingly selected for progressive die forming.
Progressive die is a high-tech mold product with high skill difficulty, high production precision request and long production cycle. Multi-station progressive die will be one of the key commodities in China.
  • Pay more attention to surface treatment of mold materials
Quality and function of mold data is primary factor affecting quality, life and cost of mold. In recent years, in addition to a variety of high-resistance and high wear-resistant cold work die steel, flame hardened cold work die steel, powder metallurgy cold work die steel, use of cast iron materials on large and medium-sized stamping dies abroad is worthwhile. Focus on development trend. Ductile iron has outstanding strength and wear resistance, and its welding function, workability and appearance quenching function are also good, and cost is lower than that of alloy cast iron. Therefore, it is used more in car stamping dies.
  • Mould manufacturing companies will develop to scientific management and highly informatization
Another primary aspect of automotive molding skills development is scientific and informatization of process. Scientific management of company has enabled mould manufacturing companies to continuously manufacture in time and lean production. Company has become more precise, production power has advanced significantly, and ineffective organization, links and personnel have been streamlined.
Following advancement of modern management skills, many leading informatization tools, including company resource management system ERP, customer relationship management CRM, supply chain management SCM, project processing PM, etc., are widely used in mould manufacturing companies.
  • Fine manufacturing of molds is trend of times
The so-called refinement of mold is in terms of development process and production results of mold. Detailed expressions are: rationalization of stamping skills, mold construction planning, high precision of mould processing, high reliability of mold products, and closeness of skill handling. Meticulous production of molds is not a single skill, but an inductive reflection of planning, processing and processing skills. Completion of fine-tuning of mold, in addition to skill of fine-cut, but also rely on close handling to ensure.

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