Page 25 - Supply Chain Solutions
P. 25

Tooling has been identified as one of the key areas for the development of the UK composites supply chain, initially through the CLF (Composites Leadership Forum) Automotive Groups’ work with the Automotive Council on light-weighting and, more recently, through the CLF Aerospace Group’s work with the Aerospace Technology Institute.
As the need to adopt composite materials increases, suppliers face mounting pressure to deliver at higher volumes with increased speed and quality, reduced failure rates and at an increasingly lower cost.
Materials cost is a key factor for compo- nents and the tooling process can make a significant impact. This could be down to shortening tooling design and development processes, the life of the tool, production cycle times, integrated assurance, new tool- ing materials, reduced rejection rates and increased automation to name but a few.
Going forward the CLF will work with the NCC (National Composite Centre) and the GTMA to pull together companies and experts in the relevant fields to develop each of these themes. For more information, or to register your interest, please contact
Picture courtesy of Formaplex
In August the CLF, supported by the GTMA, Composites UK and the National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol, hosted a one day workshop exploring the opportu- nities in next generation tooling for the com- posites industry.
The event attracted over 100 attendees including composite component manufactur- ers representing both automotive and aero- space applications, along with government, academia and a significant presence from the tooling industry. The workshop certainly attracted a number of new attendees, partic- ularly in the tooling industry, which was a welcome addition.
The day saw industry represent both current technologies and future applications as well as providing an environment for networking. However, the main focus was to identify areas of opportunity for the composite tool-
ing industry in future growth markets and consider potential consortia and funding routes to secure these positions to develop the UK supply chain.
The aim is to secure a unique position in the global market to attract inward investment and grow UK exports.
Following an initial fact finding workshop three key areas of interest were identified and discussed in more detail:
• Additive manufacturing in tool develop- ment and production – including Large scale tooling, New / alternative materials, Robustness, Managing coefficient of ther- mal expansion
• Smart tooling – including Integrated heat / cool abilities, Quality assurance / sensor integration, Reduced cycle times
• Tooling for Composites cluster - Guidance and best practice, Support pro- gramme, UK capabilities resource, Collaborations and development pro- grammes, Building the supply chain.
The CLF, NCC and the GTMA will now pull together both companies and experts in the rel- evant fields to develop each of these themes.
The International Special Tooling & Machining Association, of which GTMA is a member, is developing the tooling Technology Roadmap 2020-2030.
ISTMA represents over 30 special tooling associations throughout the world and col- lectively its member associations represent over 8000 companies and over $40 billion dollars.
The tooling Technology Roadmap will sup- port the tooling industry in identifying the critical development for the next five to 10 years.
Innovation is the key point in tooling to sup- port global markets and customers; and
continuous training is a must to maintain leverage of knowledge within the most advanced fields (eg materials and technolo- gies applications).
Another crucial area is the investment that is needed to maintain a competitive edge: Tooling is the infrastructure that supports product development.
Some of the challenges identified include: • Micro Manufacturing/Moulding/Assembly • Coatings and Surface Technologies
• Production of structural composite parts • Additive Manufacture
• Advanced Automation/Robots/Cobots.
ISTMA EUROPE helps national industry
associations such as GTMA and its member companies achieve business success in the global economy through advocacy, net- working, information, programmes and services.
Its objectives include to:
• Act as the spokesman for the industry in
the EU
• Improve industry competitiveness through
research and innovation
• Promote information exchange and collab-
• Organise conferences at European level
• Obtain the most updated statistics on the
mould and die industry.

   23   24   25   26   27