Comparative analysis of technological advantages for seven major mold powerhouses in the world

Time:2019-04-19 09:43:33 / Popularity: / Source:

  • Quality and efficiency of Italian mold
Production technology level of Italian molding factory is first-class in the world. According to Luo Baihui, executive secretary of International Association of Molds&Hardware&Plastics Industry Suppliers, application of high technology to moulding die design and manufacturing has become a powerful guarantee for rapid manufacture of high quality molds in Italy. CAD / CAE / CAM, high-speed cutting technology, rapid prototyping technology and rapid tooling technology have become a common technology in Italian molding factory.
1. Extensive application of CAD/CAE/CAM shows superiority of using information technology to drive and enhance mold industry.
In the application of CAD, it has surpassed initial stage of removing drawing board and two-dimensional drawing. At present, 3D design has reached 70% to 89%. Applications such as PRO/E, UG, and Cimatron are common. Application of these software not only completes 2D design, but also obtains 3D model, which guarantees integration of NC programming and CAD/CAM. With 3D design, it is also possible to check assembly interference during design to ensure rationality of design and process. Universal application of CNC machine tools ensures machining accuracy and quality of plastic moulded parts. Mold manufacturer of 30 to 50 people generally has more than 10 CNC machine tools. Parts machined by CNC machine tools can be assembled directly, reducing number of assembly fitters. CAE technology has matured in Italy. CAE analysis software is applied in injection moulding die design to simulate custom plastic molding process, analyze cooling process, and predict defects that may occur during moulding process. CAE software is applied in moulding die design to simulate metal deformation process, analyze distribution of stress and strain, and predict defects such as cracking, wrinkling and rebound. Role of CAE technology in moulding die design is increasing. After applying CAE technology, Italian COMAU has reduced test time by more than 50%.
2. In order to shorten molding cycle and improve market competitiveness, high-speed cutting technology is widely used.
High-speed cutting is a processing technology characterized by high cutting speed, high feed rate and high processing quality. Its processing efficiency is several times or even ten times higher than traditional cutting process. At present, Italian mold manufacturer widely use CNC high-speed milling in production. There are many three-axis linkages, and some are five-axis linkage. Number of revolutions is generally between 15,000 and 30,000 r/min. High-speed milling technology can greatly reduce molding time. After high-speed milling, mold surface can be used with only a little polishing, saving a lot of grinding and polishing time. Italian mold manufacturer attach great importance to technological advancement and equipment renewal. Equipment depreciation period is generally 4 to 5 years. Addition of CNC high-speed milling machines is one of the key points of equipment investment in mold manufacturer.
3. Rapid prototyping technology and rapid mold technology have been widely used.
Due to increasingly fierce market competition, product upgrading has been accelerating, rapid prototyping and rapid mold technology have emerged, and quickly gained widespread application. At European and American mold fairs in Italy, rapid prototyping technology and rapid mold technology occupy a very prominent position. There are various types of rapid prototyping equipment such as SLA, SLS, FDM and LOM, as well as organizations and companies specializing in prototyping services. .
Many of Italian molding factory combine rapid prototyping technology with rapid prototyping technology for mold making, which is prototype of manufacturing parts using rapid prototyping technology. Mold is quickly manufactured based on prototype. Many plastic mold manufacturer use rapid prototyping silicone rubber molds for small quantities of plastic moulded parts, which is very suitable for trial production.
Italian plastics rubber processing machinery and mold manufacturing industry is one of 10 specialized machinery manufacturing industries of Italian Machinery Manufacturing Alliance, and Italian plastics rubber processing machinery and mold manufacturing industry has more than 500 European patents, with high degree of specialization, leading technology and diverse products, while providing customers with various value-added services. According to Luo Baihui, Italian mold manufacturer have annual sales of more than $100,000 per person. At present, output value of Italian plastics rubber processing machinery and mold manufacturing industry accounts for 16.5% of the total output value of 10 industries of Machinery Manufacturing Alliance. At the same time, export destination of Italian plastic rubber processing machinery and mold products is still dominated by EU, and export value accounts for 47% of the total export share.
Italian molding factory has advanced technology and advanced management, which makes it produce large, precise and complex molds, which plays an extremely important role in promoting development of automobiles, electronics, communication, home appliances and other industries, and also brings good economic benefits to mold manufacturer.
  • Superb German mold technology 
Germany has always been known for its exquisite processing skills and production of precision machinery and tools. Its mold industry also fully reflects this feature. For complex industrial field of mold, after years of practical exploration, German mold manufacturer have formed a consensus: whole industry must be coordinated, work together, tap development potential, jointly develop spirit of innovation, common technological progress, learn from each other, make good use of overall strengths to achieve industry success. In addition, in order to meet needs of rapid development of new products today, not only large companies have established new development centers in Germany, but also many small and medium-sized enterprises have done so, and actively carry out research and development work for customers. Germany has always been very active in research and has become an important foundation for its unbeaten success in the international market. In the fierce competition, German mold industry has maintained a strong position in the international market for many years, and export rate has been stable at around 33%. According to statistics of German machinery and mold industry organization- German Machinery Manufacturers Association (VDMA) Tool and Die Association, there are about 5,000 mold manufacturing companies in Germany. In 2003, value of German molds reached 4.8 billion euros. Among them, there are 90 (VDMA) member mold manufacturer, and the output value of these 90 backbone mold manufacturing companies accounts for 90% of German mold production value.
  • American molds facing change
There are about 7,000 mold manufacturing companies in US, and more than 90% are small businesses with less than 50 people. Due to high development of industrialization, US mold industry has long been a mature high-tech industry and is in the forefront of world. US mold steel has achieved standardized production and supply. CAD/CAE/CAM technology is widely used in moulding die design and manufacturing. Processing technology, inspection and testing are equipped with advanced equipment, and development of large, complex, precise, long-life and high-performance molds has reached leading level. However, since 1990s, US economy has faced major adjustments and major changes in post-industrial era, as well as strong international competition – from cost pressures, time pressures, and competitive pressures.
  • Japanese mold mastering masters core technology
Japan's mold industry has always maintained status of world's first mold country and mold power. At the peak of 1998, its domestic mold output reached 1,855.4 billion yen. However, in the next 10 years, although the annual output value has risen or fallen, the overall situation is stagnant, and it has not recovered or exceeded the level in 1998. Number of mold manufacturing companies has also decreased year by year. According to Luo Baihui, secretary-general of International Association of Mold and Hardware and Plastics Industry Suppliers, in addition to controlling core technologies in many fields, Japan also holds the most lucrative links in industry chain, leaving only joint ventures in most other global markets with profit of assembly process. This "industry-based" economic model is also worth learning for mold manufacturers in China. What needs to be vigilant is that international hedge funds and capitalists will make a big impact on development of global economy by creating public opinion, exaggerating losses and taking opportunity to withdraw funds. If Japanese capital is taken away, global industrial associations will be greatly affected.
Due to global financial crisis and devastating earthquake, use of Japanese molds in automotive industry and semiconductor industry will be declining. At present, orders of many companies are only 20-40% of their best years. Many factories are underemployed, and only 3 to 4 days per week are started. Some have started to close down, and number of enterprises has decreased month by month. Faced with this situation, Japanese mold industry people are very worried about brain drain, especially worrying that some older and experienced talents are going abroad. Brain drain will bring disadvantages to future development of Japanese industry. How to actively respond to current difficulties has become a major issue in Japanese mold industry. Japanese mold industry and even relevant government departments have already considered future development direction of mold industry.
From perspective of people, Japan has proposed six major development directions. 1 Use as many high-tech as possible to improve level of digitization and informationization. 2. Develop new areas of mold use, such as various new energy sources, new materials and medical, aerospace and other fields; 3 extending mold industry chain; 4 carrying out diversified operations; 5 updating knowledge; 6 doing a good job in development and integration of production, education and research.
At government level, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan has organized “Study on Technology Strategy of Prime Form Technology” and issued “Technology Strategy for Prime Form”. Goal of implementing this technology strategy is clear: "grasp lifeline of world's manufacturing industry by mastering important technologies of prime shape."
  • Up-and-coming Chinese auto molding
In recent years, China's mold industry structure, whether it is organizational structure, product structure, technical structure, import and export structure, is developing in a rational direction. In order to update and improve equipment level, mold manufacturing companies need to import billions of equipment every year. Investment in innovation and development is still insufficient. Improvement of comprehensive R&D capability in mold industry has lagged behind improvement of production capacity. Main problems are reflected in weak innovation capability; low overall efficiency; low degree of specialization, standardization, commodification, poor cooperation; backward technology of mold materials and molds; organizational structure, product structure, technical structure, import and export structure are not reasonable enough; compared with international advanced level, management of mold manufacturer is lagging behind backwardness of technology. According to Luo Baihui, secretary general of International Association of Mould & Hardware Plastics Industry Suppliers, development trend of China's mold industry in next decade is: mold products are developing in a large, precise, complex, economic and fast direction; technical content of molds is continuously improving, mold manufacturing cycle is shortening; mold production is developing in direction of informationization, non-image, refinement and automation; mold manufacturer are developing towards technology integration, equipment precision, product branding, management informationization and operation internationalization. .
At present, mold manufacturing companies with a mold output value of over 100 million yuan are mainly concentrated in the field of automotive panel parts. For example: FAW Mould Manufacturing Co., Ltd. for automotive panel moulds, Wuxi Guosheng Precision Mold Co., Ltd. for precision stamping dies, Haier Mould Co., Ltd. for large custom plastic molding, Tongling Sanjia Technology Co., Ltd. for plastic profile moulds, Guangdong Giant Wheel Mould Co., Ltd. and Jieyang Haotian Mould Co., Ltd. for rubber tire molds, Hong Kong Longji Group and Panqi Industrial Co., Ltd for mold standard parts. In the mold manufacturer of over 100 million yuan, foreign capital accounts for a considerable proportion.
Mold is "mother of machine". Auto molding are “first movers” in manufacture of automobiles. Auto molding are classified into five categories according to their functions such as stamping dies and injection molds. As a cold die, large auto body molding of car body is the most iconic craft equipment in auto molding. Due to complicated manufacturing technology of large auto body molding, high dimensional and surface precision requirements, and high-precision CNC equipment such as five-axis high-speed machining centers, manufacturing technology has long been controlled by multinational professional companies. Most of large-scale auto body molding of domestic car companies rely on imports.
  • Singapore focuses on developing IT molds
Singapore is a small country with a population of only 3 million. In 1980s and 1990s, government attached importance to and supported development of precision mold, and introduced many policies to promote rapid growth of mold industry and promote rapid development of Singapore's economy. Singapore has more than 1,000 types of molds and precision processing related companies, with an annual output value of more than 4.5 billion yuan, which has a considerable influence and role in Asian mold industry. There are more than 10 listed companies in mold industry. More than 65% of molds produced in Singapore are for IT-related industries. Molds produced are not large, but they are all high-precision, high-level precision mold. Singapore mold manufacturer are mainly concentrated in semiconductor frames / packaging molds, metal stamping molds, custom plastic molding, silicone rubber molds and other fields.
  • Australian automotive stamping dies have space
Australia has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years and will continue to grow in the coming years. However, as basic industry of mold manufacturing, especially manufacturing capacity of stamping dies can not keep up with needs of economic development, it is urgent to import stamping die manufacturing technology and capabilities from abroad, and China's mold industry has a big advantage in this respect, and market prospect is promising. Specific analysis is as follows: Technical equipment level of mold manufacturers in China is higher than that of Australia. At present, four major automobile mold manufacturers in China have 56 CNC milling machines, including 35 large-scale machines and 5 high-speed milling machines (including spindle rotations of 20,000 rpm/two). It has 143 computer workstations, 200 sets of various software, and 8 sets of forming analysis software and reverse engineering software, 5 large-scale coordinate measuring machines, 30 sets of debugging presses (1600 tons, 1400 tons, 1300 tons, 800 tons, 600 tons), 16 presses, and most of cranes are 30 tons and 15 tons, which far exceeds level of Australian equipment.
China has complete die design and manufacturing technicians and programmers, skilled CNC machine operators, fitter assembly and mold commissioners. China's labor wages are lower than Australia's. At present, it has ability to manufacture car stamping dies. Company's production capacity is 200 to 400 sets of large and medium-sized stamping dies per year, and enterprise equipment load is not high, and it is fully capable of manufacturing molds for Australia.
Software used in design and manufacture of auto molding in Australia is mostly ug, pro-e, CATIA and euclid. It is basically same as software used by mold manufacturers in China. It can be shared. CAE analysis software and simulation molding analysis software have similarities. This provides good conditions for our cooperation in China and foreign countries.
Australian Mold Association, Adelaide Model Office, and Melbourne Mold Association all have great hopes for Chinese mold market and manufacturing companies. This will create favorable conditions for China to export molds to Australia.

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