Precision milling technology accelerates mold manufacturing development

Mold is an important process equipment. It plays an important role in industrial fields such as consumer goods, electrical appliances, automobiles, and aircraft manufacturing. 75% of rough machining, 50% finishing, and 90% of plastic parts of industrial products are finished with molds. At present, my country’s mold market demand has reached 50 billion yuan. The annual growth rate of automobile molds, especially panel molds, exceeds 20%. Building materials molds are also developing rapidly, and molds for various profiles, walls, and floors are new growth points for molds. In the next few years, plastic doors and windows, plastic drainage pipes will increase by more than 30%. The annual growth rate of home appliance molds exceeds 10%. The average annual growth rate of the IT industry exceeds 20%, and the demand for molds accounts for 20% of the mold market.

In 2015, the output value of my country’s machine tool industry will continue to grow. China’s mold manufacturing market has huge potential. According to statistics, the total annual output of molds in my country has reached 30 billion US dollars in recent years. This increase has increased from 25% in 2005 to 50% in 2015. Foreign experts predict that Asia’s share of global mold manufacturing will rise from 25% in 2005 to 50% in 2015.

China’s mold industry has developed rapidly, forming two bases in East China and South China, and gradually expanding to other provinces. (Shandong Province, Andong Province, Sichuan Province) From 2006 to 2016, the average annual output value of the mold manufacturing industry increased by 14%, and in 2013 it increased by 25%. In 2013, my country’s mold output value was 45 billion yuan. The total output ranks third in the world, and the export of molds is 336.8 million US dollars, an increase of 33.5% over the previous year. However, there is an oversupply of low-tech molds in my country, and high-precision and complex high-end molds rely heavily on imports. Importing more than 10 billion U.S. dollars of molds every year. The export value exceeds 2 billion U.S. dollars.

The precision of the high-density mold should be between 2μm and 3μm, and the large-scale mold should meet the requirements of the 8000kN clamping injection machine.

The small mold must meet the requirements of a plastic pipe with a diameter of 1 mm.

At present, the use of high-precision milling to manufacture molds is the main trend in mold manufacturing. In some foreign mold manufacturers, high-speed machine tools have replaced large-area EDM machine tools, and high-speed cutting has significantly improved mold production efficiency.

Machine tool companies mainly target mold manufacturers, and some machining center manufacturers sell more than 60% of their machine tools to mold processing companies.

High-speed precision milling has gradually replaced the EDM finishing mold widely used by foreign mold manufacturers. High-speed precision milling of molds has become a major trend in step-by-step mold production, which greatly improves the efficiency and quality of mold production.

Using high-speed precision milling instead of EDM to produce molds can significantly improve efficiency, mold accuracy and long life.

Advantages of high-speed precision milling

  • ◆ The metal removal rate is greatly improved by increasing the tool speed, large feed of the machine tool, and high-speed machining.
  • ◆ High-speed precision milling, reducing cutting resistance.
  • ◆ High-speed precision milling Most of the heat is taken away by the chips, and the workpiece generates less heat.
  • ◆ High-speed precision milling reduces vibration and improves processing quality.
  • ◆ Advantages of high-speed machining applied to mold processing
  • ◆ Fast roughing and semi-finishing to improve processing efficiency; fast and high-precision finishing instead of finishing hard cutting, high quality, improved shape accuracy, efficiency 50% higher than EDM, manual reduction of work grinding.
  • ◆ Processing the final shape of the hard surface, improving the surface quality, shape accuracy, (low surface roughness, high brightness, not only the surface) processing complex surface advantages.
  • ◆ Avoid surface damage caused by EDM, and extend the life of the mold by 20%.
  • ◆ Combine CAD/CAM technology to quickly process electrodes, especially thin-walled electrodes with complex shapes.

Problems to be solved in high-speed precision milling molds

In China, due to financial and technical reasons, the application of high-speed precision milling in mold manufacturing is still in its infancy. Problems such as machine tools, cutting tools, and craftsmanship also need to be resolved in stages.
The disadvantage is that the processing cost is high, and the requirements are higher due to the use of tools. You cannot use tools that are too large. It must be supplemented by complex computer programming technology, which increases the operating cost of the equipment.

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Author: ANDY Minghe