Objectives and content
The objective of this project is to research, develop and refine appropriate low cost press tooling technologies to cover the full range of production volumes produced by the participating members.
At present, automotive press tooling represents a time consuming and significant up-front investment cost for all vehicle manufacturers which has to be recovered over the life of the vehicle. With the growing trend towards reduced product life cycles and increasing number of derivatives, particularly for low volume / niche products these costs can be very significant for each vehicle produced. Current monocoque body structures comprise approximately 300 pressings, each requiring between 2 and 8 press tools for their manufacture, costing up to 70 million ECU. Maintenance costs over the life of the tools will add approximately 20%. It is anticipated that a broad range of study covering the complete spectrum of tooling activities will result in a 30% reduction in total life costs and a commensurate reduction in lead time. This will significantly improve the European automotive press tooling competitiveness and be suitable for application in other branches of industry.
The project will include the following areas of work:
- Research into die materials, die wear and surface treatment technologies - Identify and develop technologies specific to niche tooling - Develop and classify appropriate volume dependent die construction methods
- Development of near net shape casting technologies to minimise machining - Develop generic guidelines using appropriate structural analysis of tools - Rationalisation of the tool design process for low cost manufacture - Identify cost relationship of press tool design to press technology - Identify areas of process integration
- Review applicability of available expert systems
The work will focus on pre-competitive technology that can be developed immediately by the European automotive industry to deliver world class competitiveness.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
293 80 Olofström
S2 3PT Sheffield
WA3 6AT Warrington
CB1 6AL Cambridge