The IC2 concept:
Although tool-less manufacturing such as additive manufacturing technology is increasing, the use of tools, dies and moulds is still a very important part of manufacturing in Europe. Since price-based competition will be increasingly difficult, the European tooling industry needs to offer higher customer values through development of new technologies, and organizational and business models. With technologies and approaches developed in IC2, the industrial partners can now offer intelligent customized machine parts and value adding services enabling;
(i) better process control,
(ii) more advanced products,
(iii) decreased overall manufacturing costs,
(iv) close customer integration, and
(v) flexibility in the supply chain.
To meet the challenges, IC2 has been meeting a need to develop new and smarter tooling concepts, and reorganize tool makers supply chain based on new emerging enabling technologies: hybrid manufacturing, surface-embedded sensors and wear resistant and low-friction/self lubricating coatings.
- combined new enabling technologies, organizational and business models in order to achieve knowledge intensive tooling based on in-depth understanding of the engineering requirements.
- focused on injection molding tools, but the results can be applicable to other tools, dies and molds, although additional applied research will probably be needed.