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Tracking tool-coating payback.

Tracking tool-coating payback

Abrasion, adhesion, and erosion are the primary mechanisms of wear that affect performance and tool life of automotive press tools. Coatings and other surface treatments can alleviate these problems.

High hardness and low coefficient of friction of Ion Bond [R] coatings prolong tool life by resisting wear. (Ion Bond is a proprietary, single-layer, physical vapor deposition, titanium nitride (TiN) coating.)

In many cases, these coatings eliminate or dramatically reduced die maintenance and also improve production-line uptime.

Other benefits include elimination or reduction of drawing compounds, dirt from blanking and trimming operations, burrs, and slivers. Consistently high quality is the end result.

Coatings customers fall into three categories: * Those who are complacent about their current productivity and skeptical as a result of a history of blackmagic promises. They may have had a bad first-hand experience with old coatings and will not consider using surface technologies. * Those who have successfully used coatings to solve production problems without documenting performance results. In some cases, the coatings resolved design problems such as geometry, hardness, and metallurgy. But benefits and payback are not recognized as a means for significantly improving their competitive status in the marketplace. * Those who have recognized the coating revolution and the emergence of new technologies in the tooling industry. This group has initiated a performance-data-tracking (PDT) system to monitor results. Direct comparisons have been made of coated versus uncoated product lines.

For the last group, payback has proved to be substantial. As an illustration, a major automotive-panel manufacturer performed a PDT system summary of a coating program that showed a 47-percent reduction in maintenance costs and elimination of the need for drawing compounds. This allowed the manufacturer to redirect maintenance manpower to fine tune other areas of production for improvement of overall product quality.

PDT system in action

The purpose of the PDT system is to document payback for investments in surface coatings. The system (1) verifies cost effectiveness of coatings, (2) justifies initial or additional investment, and (3) provides economic justification for expansion of an existing coating program or the beginning of a new program.

Here, we outline sample results of PDT system reports for specific applications.

Progressive and transfer dies. Reports by a major automotive company for a one-year period on the use of the Ion Bond coating for various progressive and transfer dies with six and eight stations included a savings of $48,600 on a coating investment of $3700; a $6900 coating saved $243,500; a $3600 treatment saved $98,350; and a $2435 coating saved $14,565. Increased uptime was a major factor in these paybacks, along with reduction of maintenance costs.

Dies for auto-body panels. Ion Bond coating applied to automotive body-panel dies produced an 11 X payback. Maintenance was required on only two occasions to resharpen a trim die for a hood outer panel that ran 2.6 million parts. Inspection of the critical vertical cutting edges revealed no apparent wear. The coating cost $26,250, but it saved $289,245.

Team approach

Ideally, there should be a surface-treatment team coordinator, working with key personnel from accounting, production, scheduling, maintenance, and inspection. The coordinator should organize, motivate, and control the team, summarize program results, and maintain interdepartmental communications with coating centers. He should work with the following types of information:

From Accounting--Cost to coat, overhead, value of workpiece, scrap rates, and salvage rates.

From Scheduling--Rate of production per hour, run time per month, total number of parts, and production run-ahead schedule.

From Production--Rates of efficiency, rates of production, run totals, salvage, and scrap.

From Maintenance--Tool-history card plus repair, tryout, and fine-tune records before coating, and maintenance records after coating.

From Inspection--Verification of panel inspection, tool-inspection data, date and save of last panel before coating, date and save of first panel run, and identification of salvage and scrap rates.

Report cards

The team coordinator should make sure that the maintenance department enters all critical die-maintenance data, using Tool-History Cards. These may be attached mechanically (enclosed in plastic) directly to the die. The date, die condition, panel condition, repair method, parts to date, location of repairs, amount of time to repair, person completing the work, and verification by initials of the supervisor must be entered each time maintenance is performed.

A PDT Summary Report can be derived with data from the Tool-History Cards combined with interdepartmental information for processing and extrapolation.

Proper tracking of surface-treated dies permits realistic association of costs and savings to specific dies. This information enables plant personnel to make good decisions. It's now possible for plants and platform groups to identify the type of treatment that should apply to draw, blank, trim, and flange dies. Proper tracking also has made it possible to consider specific die lines such as a roof or door line, and to specify treatments for individual dies.

The data suggest that dies be coated or surface treated before they go into first full-production runs. The generated savings in maintenance, uptime, and scrap rate will represent a major payback. Car makers will reduce costs while improving panel quality.

PHOTO : Flanging die for an automotive door panel received TiN coating by the PVD process. The D-2

PHOTO : steel die with chrome finish produced 20,000 parts before maintenance. With TiN coating

PHOTO : the same die now produces 221,500 parts before maintenance, reducing die cost from

PHOTO : $0.024/part to $0.014/part. Also, the TiN-coated die is much less likely to scratch door

PHOTO : panels.

PHOTO : Both CVD and PVD processes coated this selection of transfer-die parts, cold-heading

PHOTO : tooling, and injection-molding core-die components. In a 14-station progressive trim and

PHOTO : pierce die, TiN coatings boosted service life from 22,100 hits to 900,000 hits--the same

PHOTO : after resharpening. Maintenance was reduced from between 8 and 10 hours per week to zero.

PHOTO : Estimated savings: $236,000.

PHOTO : A blanker die with TiN coating applied by PVD method. Many such dies retain extended tool

PHOTO : life even after resharpening.

J Kusmierz Chief Engineer Multi-Arc Scientific Coatings Rockaway, NJ
COPYRIGHT 1989 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:performance-data-tracking system
Author:Kusmierz, J.
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Oct 1, 1989
Previous Article:Better tooling, faster.
Next Article:Cold forming competes in new areas.

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