Advanced technologies for machining and surface treatment of dies and moulds
The manufacturing of dies and moulds is one of the most demanding tasks in tool making. Not only the high strength and hardness of the work materials, but also the free formed and filigree shapes of the workpieces cause problems during machining. At the same time the quality requirements are high and will continue grow in the future because of increasing consciousness of quality and keen competition. High quality is not the only challenge tool makers have to face. Decreasing lot sizes and shorter development periods for new products require much more flexibility and a quick reaction to customers order. And, of course, efficiency has to be increased. The CAD/CAM-supported NC-milling can be one solution to these problems. Additional problems arise from the use of these types of tool in production. Forging die and mould tools are subjected, in operation, to extreme mechanical and thermal loads to which conventional heat treatment cannot sufficiently react. In these cases, surface treatmen t of such tools becomes particularly important. Laser beam surface treatment represents a flexible process for the production of load-oriented functional areas which have a high level of mechanical and thermal resistance. Future prospects for tool manufacture, dressing and surface treatment arise from the combination of the above-mentioned operations in one integrated manufacturing concept.