The industrial 4.0 for the mold manufacturing industry

As some of us may know, industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It’s widely used in many industries. So does for mold manufacturing. Here let’s talk about something about it as below:

I have worked for a very well known company in the mold and manufacturing sector for 16 years. At first, the main design, and later to 2002, we received a large order. At that time asked us to set each mold is 7 days, the accuracy of the mm level, to the global exchange. In 2002, this task is a big challenge, and a large number of 200 months a month with the number of molds, each set of mold requirements, that year is also a challenge, lack of staff experience. At that time I thought, if in accordance with conventional practice, can not reach the boss’s ideas, since then, we began the digital factory planning to better reduce manpower and improve efficiency.
From 2003 to 2006, we became the company’s top global die supplier. Regardless of speed, quality, delivery, we have achieved a significant lead, and become the standard of its global suppliers. This is a very easy thing, but we did it.

2, mold factory faced by the challenge
First of all, let us analyze the challenges faced by the mold factory:
Mold factory requirements with each passing day, and the difficulty of mold is getting higher and higher. 20 years ago, the mold is very simple, not now so complicated. Now the mold, in many cases there will be two-color, to enhance the precision and so on requirements.
Is the delivery. 20 years ago, a set of mold delivery may be 30 days, then shortened to 20 days, and then my boss took over, the delivery will be shortened to 7 days, the efficiency of a substantial increase in delivery significantly compressed.
There is talk about why the software is only done in China, other countries are not. Here is a great feature, all of China’s mold factory size is greater than Japan and Europe, I managed a factory, there are 2200 employees, 24 hours to start. In addition to China, this is not seen in other countries. The scale is so great that you need to consider how to effectively manage and control the performance of the entire plant, which is a very important issue.
A new generation of young people are often reluctant to work in the factory, how can we produce such a beautiful product like today’s iphone, I want to use the software, no other better way.

3, mold development process and technical difficulty
Mold factory is a highly technical place, from CAD, CAM to a variety of processing technology, CNC, EDM, wire cutting also includes measurement technology, but also contains all the molding technology. How to set up the formation of the conditions? How to quote? The whole process of project management? How to carry out quality control? This is a complex industry, contains a lot of technology and content.
How to manage the process, how to achieve a combination of software automation, how to combine with the professional knowledge, as well as the integration of all the IO and monitoring part of the management of all the machines, so as to form a smart manufacturing.

4, intelligent mold manufacturing system
Intelligent manufacturing, from the beginning of the project, to the molding test model, contains a lot of things, a very important part is the combination of the actual situation, industrialization and information integration. The point is that if we do not start from the model control, there is no way to do the whole plant management, can not be automated into reality.
From the CAD model to the paperless: CAD modeling, give each CAD model with different processing accuracy requirements, surface roughness requirements, in the CAPP process design, but also all the process information added to the CAD Model, a link to pass down, you can reduce the need for repeated work, while the need to link part of the system through the automatic reach, which is the reason for the idea of this software platform.

5, digital mold manufacturing system and intelligent software technology applications
Through this system, we will mold the manufacturing time from 16 days to 7 days. This is due to our system, the change in processing equipment technology, from the Hexagon measurement equipment and Makino machine equipment to help us reduce the mold delivery by 45%, staff training time is also significantly shortened, which is intelligent manufacturing We bring the benefits.

6, how to measure how to incorporate mold automation
In addition to the mold manufacturing we have talked about, we have to consider the integration of mold intelligent manufacturing data, the manufacturing industry, what kind of change can be generated?
We can not simply understand the measurement is the measurement accuracy. Measurements enable measurement automation. From the CAD model’s accuracy requirements and process requirements, the system can understand where to measure, resulting in a real measurement procedure.

7, automatic measurement solution
Our complete solution, in addition to the program, also includes integration with the site. Through the RFID read, you can download the program, automatically generate test reports.

8, mold development process and technology blind spot
The extended application of the measurement also includes monitoring a lot of things, such as:
The stability of the machine
Understand the quality of the machine distribution, whether it needs to be maintained, whether the need for laser correction
Found that the machine is abnormal adjustment, tooling is stable, the knife is no problem, this is the measurement can bring us
As we talk about the discharge conditions, discharge conditions of each section need to choose. Through the collection of data, found the law, the system can replace the artificial selection. Through a variety of data, such as electrode processing, we have to understand the contact area of ​​the electrode and the required VDI specifications and depth, all the data together, the association and integration, we can automatically select the entire discharge conditions, Each machine, and can be continuously optimized. In this way, can bring changes to the entire industry.
In addition, the EDM process, for example, do an electrode, the electrode to do bad for many reasons, such as the Z axis anomaly, X / Y deviation, gap anomalies, C axis problems and so on … … all of these problems together, you May need an old master, one of the inspection. Through our system analysis, you can put all the data out, the precise positioning of the problem. This is the application of the data for us.

9,3D Measurement Equipment
Many people here may not have applied PMI-3D annotations, this 3D markings in many CAD models are present, on behalf of the product module information. With this information, you can bring the tolerance information in the automated markup section. In this way, is it possible to carry out automatic measurement without the need for human programming. This is where I think the future measuring machine needs to be improved.
In addition, we carried out the automatic measurement, many of which are measured on the point cloud, the deviation of each point vector position, whether the future measurement of geometric tolerance can be measured, the measurement report three-dimensional display. Now the factory has a variety of measuring equipment, they come from different manufacturers, whether we can have a standard language platform. The other is about the measurement of optical images, but also need more automatic. There are three coordinates and the measurement center on the processing center, how to achieve the exchange of measurement procedures and results. This is the part of the space where I think there is room for improvement in the future.

10, cloud technology applications
It is important that the future will focus on cloud applications. We know that the mold factory has large, medium and small variety of scale, their performance are different, large mold factory has a good equipment and personnel, but not necessarily better than the small factory performance. Through the cloud platform, to save the skills of small and medium enterprises to help us to improve.

11, automatic measurement solution
Our goal is to make all the technology into a platform to take advantage of, including CNC, EDM, CMM … the future, this is our bottom information, everyone can connect together, all the processing technology and knowledge together to help Each user quickly applied, while the CAD model information to join.
Our system includes wire cutting, CNC electrode program, measurement program, EDM program, all realized automation. Do not need man-made intervention, the use of automated methods, the use of geometric recognition, coupled with the logic of the library to achieve these functions, and human operation results are similar. If the future process of processing an electrode is very cheap, you do not need to spend manpower, so that the industry has changed. Five-axis machining simulation, previously also through the operation of people, and now can use the cloud platform in the background to operate, so that changed the entire industrial environment model.
Facing the future, we will have more innovative models that generate more SOHO families, and they will change the entire mold industry. In the surrounding, we can also education, training, customer support and even the establishment of trading platform, which is the mold manufacturing industry caused by changes in the cloud. This change is not only in China, but it will change the future of the whole world mold