Barbara Schulz ♥

Barbara Schulz

Articles of the author

Stefan Zecha is chairman of Germany's VDMA Precision Tools Association. (Zecha)

Positive expectations for Germany's precision tools industry

Germany – The economic impact of the coronavirus has drawn a negative effect on Germany’s precision tools industry in 2020. Nevertheless, manufacturers are confident of being able to achieve a significant increase in sales this year, the German VDMA Precision Tools Association announced at its annual press conference in January.

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Wieland Kniffka, CEO of Messe Erfurt, wants to stay abreast of current trends in additive manufacturing. (Source: Schulz)
Additive Manufacturing

Rapid-Tech to feature additive contract manufacturing forum

Germany – Whether in prototyping or series manufacturing, the rapidly increasing use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3D Printing processes in industry is generating high demand for qualified service providers. The 13th international trade show and conference for additive manufacturing, Rapid-Tech (14–16 June 2016, Erfurt) is staying abreast of this development with its new trade forum “Additive Contract Manufacturing”, organiser Messe Erfurt said.

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The Flat Die Unit (FDU) passes melt through a long slit instead of a circular hole like a conventional nozzle. The result is said to be faster injection of more melt through a thinner gate opening, with lower shear and injection pressure, lower melt temperature and up to 25% faster cycle time in several projects. (Landesmesse Stuttgart GmbH)

How sustainable moulds help keeping shops competitive

Austria – After reviewing its entire mould production process, Austrian-based Haidlmair Group found many CO2-saving opportunities, including optimised, compact mould designs, mould-optimised cycle times and the use of technologies such as digital mould monitoring which enables significant energy savings in production.

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Renishaw and its customers are ready for the post-Brexit era: EU customers will benefit from simplified transactions and on-time delivery of goods from the EU. (Schulz)

Renishaw expands presence in the EU

UK – To mitigate against the possible impacts of Brexit, UK-based 3D printing and measurement expert Renishaw has been focused on ensuring that its customers within the EU are able to receive optimal support from local offices.

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30 Years on and the company founders get together again. (ITC)
Cutting Tools

ITC celebrates 30 years of UK manufacturing

UK – All businesses will be glad to draw a line under 2020 and move into 2021, but for Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC), 2021 will be a landmark year as the UK cutting tool manufacturer celebrates 30 years of business. Here, we take a look back at 30 years of ITC and how this prestigious UK manufacturer has grown over the last three decades – a brand that will be celebrating its anniversary with several 2021 special offers for manufacturers to look out for.

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Advances in servo technology are opening up opportunities to design new mouds, or retrofit existing moulds, to improve manufacturing efficiency and speed. (Schulz)
Free Webinar

Advantages of servo-actuated moulds

Converting mould systems previously driven by hydraulic or pneumatic means to electrically-driven mould motions, specifically via servo-motors and actuators, offers many advantages. ETMM will present the basics of servo-driven mould functions, various control solutions, the key benefits of mould electrification and the application testing process in a free webinar on 25 February 10:00 CET (09:00 BST, 16:00 ICT).

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Milacron President & CEO Tom Goeke: "2015 will be a super year for Milacron in terms of rolling out new products." (Source: Milacron)

Growing stronger together using synergies

United States - US-based Milacron, specialist in plastics processing equipment, technologies and services, is set to unveil a huge range of innovative products at their biggest stand in NPE history. We asked the Milacron team what to expect and what their plans are for the future.

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Rui Tocha, general manager of the Technological Centre for the Moulds Industry, Special Tools and Plastics, Centimfe and Pool-Net: “The last six years have been marked by the strong development of the national moulds industry, which grew by more than 80%, betting on differentiated investments and modernity.” (Pool-Net)
Special Report

Mould Mecca

Portugal - With a centuries-old glass-making tradition that crossed naturally over into creating moulds for plastics parts in the 1940s, Portugal is today a hotbed of mould making and exporting, and moulds from Portugal can be found in almost every major end market for plastics.

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OPS Ingersoll’s Sales/Marketing Manager Matthias Schmidt (left), together with Vitor Cardoso and his machine operator at Marinha Grande-based VL Moldes. (Source: Schulz)

Portuguese mould makers pushing the limits

Like most European manufacturers, Portuguese mould makers are unable to compete on price alone. Those who take advantage of the latest technology, such as a combination of EDM technology and high-speed machining, will have an edge up on the competition.

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At EMO 2015 Renishaw will show its new Intuo gauging software which is now offered with the unique Equator system to simplify and automate the gauging of a wide variety of parts, removing dependence on the skill of manual gauge users. With minimal training the Intuo software allows the programmer to create gauging routines using just a part with an engineering drawing. (Source: Schulz)

Where innovation meets excellence

UK - Renishaw's Head of Communications Chris Pockett puts it in a nutshell: "We are always restless, always investing in the future." The precision engineering company has been experiencing serious growth over the last few years and on 21 July revealed some of its innovative products which will make their European trade show debut at EMO 2015 in Milan.

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Germany is the largest market for automotive moulding in Europe. (Source: AMI)

Injection moulding sector strong

Germany – Within Europe the largest injection moulding market is Germany, thanks to the size and scale of its manufacturing industries. Germany saw an increase of 2% for polymers used in injection moulding in 2015 and its automotive production was up 3%, despite the industry's emissions scandal.

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QPM high-pressure nozzle (up to 100 bar) in action. (richterfoto)

CNC coolant nozzles

Germany –Skantek is the main supplier for coolant nozzles for CNC machines to large tooling distribution groups and CNC machines manufacturers in Germany.

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Ewikon's highly efficient multi-nozzle system for side gating that is used in medical technology. (Ewikon)
Ewikon/ Hasco/ Roko/ Xintech

Hot runnings

Germany/ Switzerland - Process safety and energy efficiency are hot topics in hot runner technology. Precision parts and parts with special surface quality for example are particularly demanding. Modular, low-maintenance systems are required for productive, multi-cavity tools.

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Toolmakers must face the digital transformation and re-align their business accordingly. (© ake1150 /

Tooling 4.0

Germany - Increasing cost pressures and fiercer competition are driving toolmakers to embrace new concepts such as Tooling 4.0 and to industrialise their operations to reduce idle and lead times by limiting the number of variations in tool components and processes.

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