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Latest Trends in Die Design by Exploiting Design and Simulation

Author: Jayesh M Rathod, Sr. General Manager & Head - Diecasting Engg.
Godrej Tooling Division, Vikhroli, Mumbai - 79. Contact:
Business environment is riding high on Technological developments wherein Technological
changes are fast paced. The agility of an organisation decides its future sustainability.
Approach shall be to develop competency by keeping abreast with trends and technology.
Designers are Growth Engine of any Organisation and driving factors of the Growth Engine are
Innovation, Technology, Knowledge & Skills.
All the above driving factors of Designers are interlinked.

Technology and Knowledge helps Die designers to innovate and Develop New
products and processes.
Designers should strive to reduce carbon footprint by optimizing designs and lowering
the machine tonnage requirement.
Exploitation of Design modelling and simulation softwares will help to validate new
concepts in Die designs.

The challenge is to overcome the temptation of believing Juggad as innovation, Lack of drive,
Ad hoc and quick fix solutions, lack of effort to invest in education, analysis and innovation.Let
us motivate the doers and find solutions as below.

Have you ever been to any Die makers

place? If yes, then what was the distinctive
characteristic that caught your eyes? I am
sure your answer will be PASSION.
Converting someone elses wild imagination
into reality is a daunting task. A rare
approach, innovation, perseverance and
eye for detail defines a Die making
investment coupled with high risk and low
margin defines the Die making business.
Normally Die making businesses are started
by passionate owner whose primary aim is
to satisfy his own creative instinct.

the Guru mantra of

INNOVATION in sailing through adversities.
Technology has transformed the way
Designs are built. Designers are constantly
The agility of Die designers defines the
readiness of organisation to adapt to
changes. The core competency of Die
maker sums up with knowledge level of
Progressive organisations invest in
upgrading the infrastructure and enabling
Designers to work with high end gadgets.
Designers are entrusted with bringing in
newness to the product. Designers minds
are engaged with many stimuli to excel
and innovate.

This phenomenon is prevalent worldwide

and many a times due to fluctuation in
economy Die makers are first one to bear
the brunt as they rarely opt to diversify in
troubled times. Those who survive know

Fig. 1 - Transformation of Design Process


Fig. 2 Challenges to Die Designers

It is expected of Designers to drive an
Innovation Engine in the organisation with
their knowledge, skills and technology. All
these dependent factors need an
organisation wide initiative and concerted
effort in nurturing and developing the same.

can be defined as ability to think of various

options/solutions to a given problem, is
being Creative. The options/ solutions
need not be perfect here. Converting a
creative idea into a product or service, is
being Innovative here, one should strive
for perfection.

As we understand being Creative and

Innovative are two sequential phases and

Fig. 3 Brain mapping of Die Designers

Let us look how technology, knowledge and
skills are linked to Innovation in Die making
business and how it can be applied to gain

technology leadership and making the

business sustainable.

Fig. 4 Applying Innovation in Die making business

1. New Product / Process Development :

Mapping of the product and processes on a
time scale will give trend of progressiveness
of the organisation. It should be mapped
with the business performance to realise the
importance of the same for future growth.
Small and incremental improvements will
give marginal benefits whereas for
innovation in either product or processes is
For an example, single cavity Crank Case
die is a standard norm since past 15 years
and is being made by many but developing
twin cavity Crank case die involves lot of
development efforts. If done successfully it

will give a new product line to the Die

One such example of multi-cavity dies is
given below. It is successfully developed to
extract the maximum from available
resources with the efficient feeding, cooling
and venting system to lower the tonnage of
machine and has reduced carbon footprint
of the foundry.
These type of development activity needs
careful study of Diecasting process and lots
of perserverance in validating various
design ideas through simulation softwares
and finally developing solution and
implementing it.

Fig. 5 New Product Development

Technological changes to be identified and be
implemented to realise its full potential in
solving existing pain areas. For example
Sprue bush cooling pattern is not well
understood and traditionally cooling is
provided at the machine end whereas cooling

is needed at Die parting end. New cooling

method has been developed to take eliminate
this anomaly. The improvement in cooling
pattern can be seen through simulation.

Fig. 6 Improvement in cooling pattern in Sprue Bush

A die caster would know the pain of
frequent Core Pin breakages. It is a big
interruption to casting production causing
productivity losses to foundry. The solution
has come through invent of ALFA CORE
PINS. The phenomenon of core pin
breakage was analysed and understood

Normal Core Pin Design

as illustrated below. New shape of core pin

devised that takes casting and ejection
load without failing. Its unique flexibility
feature near the stress concentration area
prevent from breakage giving much
needed relief to foundries.

Flexible ALPHA Core Pin Design

Fig. 7 Improvement in Core Pin Designs [1]

2. Become Leader in QCD Parameters:
Most of the Die designs for automobile
components have been influenced by
OEMs as per their original imported Dies.
It was expected that domestic die
makers should pioneer in duplicating and
provide benefit of lower cost structure to

OEMs. But India being land of

unconventional innovations strive for
optimization at every stage. Such basic
DNA of the country should be applied in

Fig. 8 Apply Knowledge & Skills to become QCD Leader

a. Die Optimization :
Construction of the Die plays a significant
role in deciding the cost of producing the
Die. The Die designer should apply basic
engineering to derive the sizes of Core,
Cavity and Holding Blocks and should

also challenge & optimise each reference

Design. These involve validating your
Design ideas through simulations before

Fig. 9 Optimize Die Layout

b. Casting Optimization:
Die designers should bear in mind that
Product designers are concerned more
with the functional aspects of the Parts,
Hence, many a time, product changes
become necessary to make it suitable

A mandatory process of Product
Validation, at the initial study phase of
Die design, will eliminate the need for
changes/modifications at the final stage.

Fig. 10 Casting Optimization


Explore software functionality :

An earnest audit of usage of existing

resources including software will reveal that
there is a great amount of under utilisation.
Common example is mobile phones we all
buy with fully loaded features and 90% time
use it for making call and text only.
Software features to be Well understood as
each new version enhances the speed and
The most useful application of any software

is to automize the repeat work be it

complete Die design or a simple editing
operation.Most of the 3-D Modelling
software are developed to meet the needs
of Product Designer that forms the majority
of user base. Customization of software is a
costly affair and time consuming too. It
should be attempted as a last resort.
Existing features of the software to be
explored and utilized to the fullest extent.

Fig. 11 Exploring functionality of Software to enhance productivity


Fig. 12 Utilizing Design by Edit functionality of Software

Exploitation of Design modelling and
simulation software will not only justify its
investment but also will help to validate

new concepts in Die designs.

success of such efforts will
organisation to a new height.


3. Green Initiatives:
Die casting process by itself is polluting
and energy guzzling process. All the
development activity should be directed
towards conserving energy and enhancing

efficiency. The avenues where green

improvements can be done are listed as

Fig. 13 Apply Technology and Knowledge to develop Green Dies

a. Reduce number of Trials :
Dies need trials to qualify for production.
The qualifying criteria and engineering
efforts put to predict and eliminate nonconformity decides number of trials each die
would need. Simulation software comes to a
great support in achieving this cause. If

applied correctly it will save time and effort

in productionizing the die. A simulation
analyst need to posses shop floor
experience along with software knowledge
The role of simulation expert begins with the
receipt of product data. Analysing the
product features for predicting problem
areas will help to take corrective actions

during development phase itself. A quick

solidification analysis throws light on this.
Thermal analysis gives directions to cooling
positions and predicting soldering areas

whereas air pressure analysis would give

porosity prone areas with indication of surface

Fig. 14 Green Initiative: Reduce number of trials using simulation analysis

b. Yield Improvement :
Another area where Designers can
influence significantly is Yield percentage.
Flow Simulation comes-in handy while

validating Yield improvement ideas, and

provides lot of opportunities for Innovation
as can be seen in the example below:

Fig. 15 Green Initiative: Yield Improvement


Recycle, Reuse & Refurbish :

Craftsmanship to High Technology area.
Die makers respectfully called as Artisans
have created more value than their
counter parts sculpting stones and woods
for ornamental usages. The skill of Die
makers in carving out steel has been
exploited by industry for its commercial

Recycle, Reuse and Refurbish should

be the mantra for making our contribution
in the endeavour for environmental
protection. More than 90% of elements
used in Dies are made of Steel and
except for melt contact elements, all other
elements can be reused with some care.
Images shown below display major
elements that can be Refurbished and
used, without compromising on their
performance i.e., the performance of the
Refurbished elements are the same as the
original ones. Dies and moulds making

The above case studies on Latest

Trends in Die Design by Exploiting
Design and Simulation software can be
summarised as follows:

Fig. 17 Summary
Dies and mould making Industry forms the face of technological development of the economy.
All the good Die makers originated from Developed economy and vice versa. It is imperative of
Die makers to give back to society in the form of innovative & green products.

All Case studies Courtesy Godrej Tooling, Mumbai.

[1] Image courtesy Product Catalogue/ Ahresty Techno Service Corporation