BRUSSELS (Dec. 1, 1 p.m. ET) — The European Commission has praised the results of a European Union (EU)-funded initiative aimed at boosting the competitiveness of European mold manufacturing for plastics-based products including household goods and automotive and aerospace components.
Technologies previously available for machining heat-resistant metal molds have been cost and time-intensive. So the Hymould project – funded under the EU's sixth framework program – aimed to create a fast and high-quality precision mold production system.
In a statement released this week, the Commission said the project for “development of a hybrid machine tool concept for manufacturing of free-form surface moulds” had been successful, and “innovations resulting from the project should significantly decrease time-to-market of consumer goods.”
The end result of Hymould combined manufacturing technologies of high-speed cutting, laser ablation and dry-ice blasting to create free-form surface molds.
A detailed Commission final report from April, highlighted by the communiqué, concludes: “Industrial end-users are interested in a flexible all-in-one machine tool and a significant decrease of the time-to-market in the rapidly changing consumer goods market.”
Germany's Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Brandenburgische Technische Universitat partnered up with six other European research institutes for the project. The Commission added the project's technology should strengthen small and medium-sized European enterprises that “support global players in the injection molding arena.”