At Datwyler, our people are already highly experienced, but their continued development is paramount. Therefore, we have a training program that is ongoing to ensure the tasks associated with tool building are always at the cutting-edge. In addition, the elements that comprise the process are also proprietary. To manufacture tooling for complex part geometries we use sink and wire erosion processes. The graphite electrodes for the sink erosion process, that we manufacture internally, ensure the highest accuracy of dimensions and tolerances.
This is key, as ultimately the tools we create for LSR and TPL are part of a process that is carried out without material waste. Manufacturing therefore relies on the process being optimal. It is crucial that we can guarantee that the tooling is correct to ensure a zero waste process and to meet the product tolerances required, which takes multiple steps. Usually you make a tool, manufacture a certain number of parts and then correct the tool, which can be time consuming and thus leads to delays. By having the capabilities entirely in-house, we are able to do the molding internally and also the correction of the tool, which reduces the time for correction loops significantly.
The fewer adjustments required the better, as the process is then faster. That is where experience is vital, especially for new parts, where you run the tool on the machine for the first time. It is key to use the correct settings and to analyze the results in order to make the necessary changes and to achieve the desired end results. For this we use the first-of-tool (FOT) parts process, making the tool slightly smaller in the first instance and then recorrecting the mold by removing material to ensure the optimal size. In addition, we are able to take full advantage of our in-house simulation capabilities, using mold flow technology to simulate the material’s behavior during the injection molding process to help achieve the most accurate first design. It is not possible to make a tool to exact tolerances without a first trial, but we can get close through these simulations in order to further reduce correction loops.