State of the tool, mould and die-making industry: What's ahead for 2017?

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As a result, businesses do not have a choice, just like their predecessors could not stand against past industrial revolutions. The path is predetermined and businesses must adapt to the new conditions – preferably sooner than later, Seul emphasises. This is a profound business transformation, and consequently it is crucial to address the issue and to clearly understand both the opportunities and the risks associated with this fourth industrial revolution.

The goal of Industry 4.0 is to support staff in their increasingly complex work by making the required automation technology "smarter" through self-configuration, self-diagnosis and self-optimisation, thus giving highly qualified employees the freedom to focus again on processes that require real creativity or a lot of work experience.

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For tool and mould makers this means, that "smart" production equipment will for example send information coming from the tool, like viscosity, smelting temperature or injection pressure, to the injection moulding machine for process control, explains Seul. Such systems with embedded monitoring of process parameters may also act as the tool’s "brain" and record information such as initial mould validation and last modification, but also shot numbers or air humidity in the tool’s storage environment. ETMM