Mold-based Production Systems

Vision Design, extension, application and integration of highly flexible mold-based
manufacturing systems into one-piece-flow production systems in order to produce
individualized products at mass production costs
phase 2
(1) Development of a reference architecture for mold-based production
systems applied on die casting and profile extrusion molds
(2) Realization of one-piece-flow production with high product diversity

  Powerwall Copyright: Image: Thilo Vogel

Extensive experiments with the new high-pressure die casting die have been performed. The aim of these experiments was to achieve a better understanding of the interdependencies between process parameters and cast part quality for the experimental die. In addition to that, the thermal behavior of the die has been monitored in order to achieve a sufficient amount of data as a basis for the ongoing numerical optimization. The experiments will also be used as a baseline which will be compared to optimized die inserts in the future.

Progress in the field of numerical optimization for high-pressure die casting has been made with two alternate solvers, XNS and STAR-Cast. Parallel to the implementation of the slow-approach phase, the first phase of the process, for XNS the process optimization for this phase has been developed using both solvers. In addition to that, the geometry handling via NURBS and Splines has been improved further and an automated geometry handling has been enabled. This is an important step towards the optimization of the second and third process phase which are highly dependent on the geometry of the gating and the temperature control system.


The main focus of the experimental work regarding plastics profile extrusion dies was a die that has been manufactured with Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF). Different methods of post processing have been evaluated in order to ensure a high surface quality of the produced profiles. By polishing the die land, a surface quality comparable to industrial profiles has been achieved. The design of a second die has been started based on these results. The new die will include a fluid-based temperature control system and an additional topology optimization will be performed in order to use the full potential of the additive manufacturing process that will be used.

Three objective functions have been developed in order to evaluate the swelling behavior of a profile. These have been used throughout several simulations and tested regarding their applicability. The most suitable objective function was chosen by the means of its robustness, its numerical applicability, and smoothness. This objective function will be used for the numerical optimization of plastics profile extrusion dies in the future.

The methodology for an integrated tool and product development has been completed with a third partial model. The second partial model has enabled the identification of critical characteristics of a product. With the third model it is now possible to determine the degrees of freedom from the product side. The central framework of the methodology has been completed with the finalization of the third partial model.

  Copyright: Martin Riedel / Cluster of Excellence Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries

Each year, the results of every application case within the research project “Mold-Based Production Systems” have been presented on several international conferences. For example at the Materials Science & Technology (MS&T), the Meeting of the International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM), the Young Investigators Conference (YIC) and the conference of the German Academic Society for Production Engineering (WGP). The contribution “Integrated Product and Tool Development” earned the Best Paper Award for the area “Organization” at WGP in 2015. In addition to that the results have been presented at trade fairs, with the world’s biggest Foundry Trade Fare in Düsseldorf (GIFA) being one of the highlights. The numerical part of the plastics profile extrusion was published in the IACM Expressions (issue 36) and the GAMM Rundbrief (issue 01/2016) as editorial articles.

In 2016, the design of a new mold or new mold components for each application case were the main challenge. These incorporated new design features that are based on the results of numerical optimization and the new components used to validate the success of the design improvements. For the simulation of the plastics profile extrusion process, the automated mold optimization with regards to the viscoelastic swelling was implemented. In order to complete the organizational framework, the numerical optimization will be more strongly integrated as a key tool for mold design.

Find out more:

Technical Demonstrator "Automated Optimization for High-pressure Die Casting Dies"

Technical Demonstrator "Automated Optimization of Profile Extrusion Dies"