IT IS SAID TO BE THE BEGINNING OF manufacturing. The final product that a company ships out begins with a die and mould. Across industries that manufacture ‘solid’ products, it must have a die and mould. These vary based on the product, the component or sometimes even a minute part. The type of material that is used for making the mould depends upon the product that is going to be made with the mould.
More often than not, the die and mould making industry supply tools to companies from cross vertical domains such as automotive, aerospace, industrial machinery and heavy engineering, defence to consumer goods and electronics. In all the above, it is the automotive industry that is the largest source for die and moulds. Newer industries like aerospace and medical equipment are growing, but that is niche and little is spoken about that.
Ramakant Reddy, MD, LMT Tools India, says, “The major change in vehicle systems will be in the way it runs in the future. The diesel and petrol engines will be replaced in part by electric vehicles. This will reduce the need for hot forging dies for components like crankshaft, connecting rods, etc. To reduce body weight there would be more use of plastics & composites which again will have an effect on punching & pressing dies. With increased use of aluminium, plastics, and composites there will be more opportunities for injection moulding, die casting dies, etc. The die and mould manufacturers should adapt themselves to this change of requirement so that the bottom line is not affected.”
There are people in the industry who believe that since manufacturing is an ongoing process and that goods will be continued to be made, die and mould will never go out of fashion. “There will, of course, be some course correction needed with the advent of vehicular ecosystem. IC engines will soon make way for electric power trains and this will impact the die and mould sector. They should look at additive manufacturing and other components of Industry 4.0 to stay competitive,” says Dr Guruprasad Rao, director and Mentor, Imaginarium India.
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