How to Optimize Your Production Tooling

Optimize Your Production Tooling with These Tips

Production tooling is the core of your business. Without it, you couldn’t create the tight-tolerance parts your organization needs. But, when’s the last time you looked at your production tooling? Could it be optimized? By making small changes to your tooling, you could see increased longevity and better precision, which positively impacts your bottom line. So, how do you get started with tooling optimization? These simple tips can help you reinvigorate your operations.

What is Production Tooling?

Before we get into the steps of how to improve your production tooling, we must first define the term. Production tooling can refer to dies, molds, tooling, casting patterns, gauges, jigs, racks, and stands for a range of products. Many industries utilize this kind of tooling to create tight-tolerance parts for their products. Almost every sector — from automotive to medical devices — relies on this tooling to keep their business running.

Steps to Optimize Production Tooling

The lifespan of production tooling can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of tooling, materials being processed, production volume, the quality of maintenance, and the level of wear and tear. Luckily, there are a few tips you can use to ensure you get the most out of your tooling.

Material Selection

The right material can enhance tool life, reduce maintenance costs, and improve the quality of manufactured products. These are some key considerations for optimizing production tooling through material selection:

Mechanical properties — It’s important to choose a material with the right mechanical properties for your application. Consider factors like hardness, toughness, strength, and wear resistance.

Thermal properties — Some manufacturing processes generate a significant amount of heat. Opting for materials with good thermal conductivity and high-temperature stability ensure that the tool remains effective without excessive heat-related wear.

Corrosion resistance — Will your tooling be subjected to corrosive materials or environments? If so, it’s important to choose materials with corrosion resistance to prevent degradation and maintain tool integrity.

Manufacturability — Consider the ease of machining, forming, and finishing the material into the desired tooling shape. Some materials might be challenging to work with, leading to increased manufacturing costs.

Design for Manufacturability

In addition to choosing easy-to-manufacture materials, you should also design for manufacturing. This means designing products and components in a way that optimizes ease of manufacturing and assembly. These are some ways designing for manufacturability can optimize production tooling:

Simplified tooling design — Complex tooling designs can lead to increased manufacturing complexity, longer lead times, and higher costs. When designing your tooling, you should focus on simplicity, reducing the number of intricate features, minimizing tight tolerances, and facilitating easier fabrication.

Ease of assembly — Designing tooling components that are easy to assemble and disassemble promotes faster tool setup and maintenance. Without easy assembly, you could increase downtime during production changeovers and repairs, which will negatively impact your bottom line.

Optimize tolerances — Tight tolerances are necessary in various industries, but they can be costly. If possible, consider lowering your tolerances as it could result in big cost savings for your business.

Consider Strengthening Processes

There are many processes you can explore to help strengthen your tooling, which extends their total usable life.

Heat treating — this process involves heating metal until its microstructure changes. While in that state, it’s rapidly cooled, which hardens the metal. Heat treatment may be done throughout the manufacturing process, resulting in more durable tooling.

Cryogenic hardening — this process uses cryogenic temperatures to strengthen and enhance the grain structure of metal tooling. While cryogenic hardening isn’t necessary, it can dramatically decrease strains and fatigue put on your tooling during use. This results in more durable, longer-lasting tooling.

Simulation and Testing

Optimizing your tooling can be a cost-effective process, thanks to computer simulation and testing. Virtual testing can identify potential issues before physical production, which can save you time and money.

Work with an Experience Tooling Manufacturer to Optimize Your Products

The best thing you can do to optimize your tooling is to work with an experienced tooling manufacturer. They can look at your tooling and suggest areas of improvement. But, where do you begin? How do you find a reputable tooling manufacturer? Start by contacting Pivot Precision.

Founded in 1961, Pivot Precision is a trusted tooling supplier for customers across the world. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality products and customer service to our partners, no matter the industry. With over 60 years of experience, an ISO 9001:2015 certification, dedicated workforce, and extensive manufacturing capabilities, we can take on even the most challenging projects.

As a leading tooling manufacturer, we have a history of high-volume tooling production. We specialize in tooling for the automotive, medical, ammunition, and firearm sectors. With this experience and extensive internal production capabilities, we have the capacity to deliver short lead times on complex, tight-tolerance, highly specified tooling.

When you work with us, you know you’ll get the best customer service possible. Being in business for over 60 years, we’ve honed our customer service protocols, and are here to help you with any need you may have. We are a privately owned company, which means we can operate with the most flexibility, ensuring you get what you need.

Our location also positions us for quick turnaround on our tooling projects. We are located near Niagara Falls, New York, putting us near airports and interstates for quick delivery on both international and domestic shipments.

Let’s Get Started

Are you ready to work with an experienced tooling manufacturer? At Pivot Precision, we’re dedicated to turning around high-quality products, fast. Contact us for an initial, no-strings-attached consultation.