Publications & Communications

Industry 4.0: the Hobbyhorse of Component Makers and OEMs in New Normal/Post COVID-19 Era

Industrie 4.0 : le Cheval de Bataille des Transformateurs et des OEMs pour la Nouvelle Normalité et l'Ère Post COVID-19

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by Anwar Hamasaiid, Lead Founder of 3DmetDie, 24 July 2020

It has been few months since the COVID-19 crisis provoked an historic fall in vehicle sales worldwide. Obviously, life in this pandemic era obliges us to comply with social distancing guidelines which is increasing the preference and desire for people to use private transport options. It is therefore reasonable to expect that the demands for private passenger vehicles will increase In New Normal/post COVID-19 era. 

The remarkable observation of the reduction in the global greenhouse gas emissions and pollution during the shutdowns will also create further personal, industrial, and political responsibilities and efforts to develop and use more environmentally friendly vehicles.  One can expect then that the demand for Electrical Vehicle (EV), Autonomous Electric Vehicles (AEVs) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) will grow. Indeed, even if the sector is currently suffering from the crisis, its future in New Normal/post COVID-19 seems to be promising.

The lessons learned from the brutal disruption in the supply chain by the crisis will also increase the demands of OEMs and the governments for local alternatives that necessarily localise some parts of the supply chain in the geographical zones where the OEMs are located, in particular in the EU and in NAFTA. This situation could transform the current globalisation supply chain structure and convert it into a federation of some geographically limited smaller Tech Ecosystems with semi-independent supply chains. In this case, the OEMs will need new suppliers and new technologies within their geopolitical zones.

In New Normal/post COVID-19 era, exciting new business and innovation opportunities will break through for the component manufacturing industry with an indispensable focus on FLEXIBILITY, AGILITY, VERSATILITY and CAPABILITY, not only in the supply chain but also in the core the manufacturing process technologies. 

Unlike the business model and production chains, DEGITALISATION is not enough for the core manufacturing processes to gain flexibility, agility, and capacity.

Furthermore, the need to strengthen their resilience against this type of crisis, component manufacturers need to:  decrease the production cost, increase their ability to make productively more geometrically complex, lighter, functional and multi-material components, form new required light materials and alloys, along with increasing their competitive edge, among others, for their survival in this new Tech Ecosystem. These needs have already placed new technological, scientific and engineering challenges in front of component manufacturers.

The digitalisation of the production lines will facilitate increased productivity but it cannot address the technical challenges stated above for material forming processes. The studies and trials carried out by the 3DmetDie team demonstrate that much more productivity and flexibility can be gained by introducing the concepts of Industry 4.0 into the manufacturing process itself. Also, operating within an industry 4.0 conceptual framework is an unavoidable requirement for the supply chain partners involved in the manufacture of new component for OEMs in the post COVID-19 world and this process also needs to be environmentally friendly. INDUSTRY 4.0 could effectively be the hobbyhorse for addressing the technical and productivity challenges of this period and shortening the recovering time.

For the manufacturing processes that involve heat transfer, the implementation of the concepts of industry 4.0 differs are broader than simply digitalisation of the processes but the rather a more integrated approach requiring a change to our perception and understanding.  The industry 4.0 approach  should incorporate many complex tools and practices including : Machine Learning, 3Dprinting, smart sensors and instrumentation techniques, capturing the governing data, creating the Big Data, remote communication of that data, Internet of things (IoT), reliable algorithms and analytical models to process the data, real time monitoring of the process and product quality, new tooling design, along with the related technical and scientific requirements for effective Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

3DmetDie was established one and a half years ago, to capitalise on two decades of research and innovations in developing smart sensors, instrumentation techniques, analytical modelling, data acquisition and the related analysis, advanced algorithms, advanced materials and designs for tooling and forming processes, process and production cost optimisation, the formability of new materials and functionally graded components and more. 3DmetDie is very motivated and well equipped to play its role in this technological jump and is in a good position to enable component manufacturers to address the challenges of the New Normal/post COVID-19 manufacturing world and to help manufacturers to make the most of the new related business opportunities.

Other publications and communications of the author 

  • The influence of in-cavity pressure on heat transfer and porosity formation during high pressure die casting, JOM, in press.
  •  The impact of the casting thickness on the interfacial heat transfer and solidification of the casting during permanent mold casting of an A356 alloy, J. Manuf. Process., Vol.47, November 2019, pp. 229-237.
  •  New approaches to thermal tool performance, cooling and machining strategy: the strongly correlated triple that determines the cost effectiveness of the process, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, Volume 418 (2018).
  •  High Thermal Conductivity and High Wear Resistance Tool Steels for cost-effective Hot Stamping Tools, J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 896012046 (2017).
  • New approaches to thermal tool performance, cooling and machining strategy: the strongly correlated triple that determines the cost effectiveness of the process, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, Volume 418 (2018), conference 1
  • Tribological behavior of high thermal conductivity steels for hot stamping tools: Tribology International, Vol. 97, May 2016, pp. 412-422.
  • Making the right mold material for thermal management of molds and inserts: Mold Making Technology, 2013.
  • A predictive model for the thermal contact resistance at liquid–solid interfaces: Analytical developments and validation. Int J Therm Sci Vol. 50(8), August 2011, pp. 1445-1459.
  •  A predictive model for the evolution of the thermal conductance at the casting–die interfaces in high pressure die casting, Int J Therm Sci, Vol. 49(2), February 2010, pp. 365-372.
  • Measurement of heat losset during solidification of light metals¸ Int. J. Mod. Phys. B, Vol. 23, No. 06n07, pp. 802-807 (2009)
  • Energy Valorization of Industrial Biomass: Using a Batch Frying Process for Sewage Sludge, Bioresour Technol. Vol. 100 (15), August 2009, PP. 3740-3744.
  • Interfacial Heat Transfer during Die Casting of an Al-Si-Cu Alloy, Metall. Mater. Trans. A, Vol. 40(13), 2009, pp. 3056-3058.
  • An inverse model to determine the heat transfer coefficient and its evolution with time during solidification of light alloys, Int. J. Nonlin. Sci Num., Vol. 9(3), 2008, pp. 275-282.
  • Heat Transfer Coefficient and In-Cavity Pressure at the Casting-Die Interface during High Pressure Die Casting of magnesium alloy AZ91D, Metall. Mater. Trans. A, Vol. 39 (4), April 2008, pp. 853-864.
  • Effect of Mold Coating Materials and Thickness on Heat Transfer in Permanent Mold Casting of Aluminum Alloys, Metall. Mater. Trans. A, Vol. 38(6), Jun 2007, pp. 1303-1316.
  •  The accurate determination of heat transfer coefficient and its evolution with time during High Pressure Die Casting of Al-9Si-3Cu and Mg-9Al-1Zn Alloys, Adv. Eng. Mater., Vol.9 (11), Novembre 2007, pp. 995-999.
  • New approaches to thermal tool performance, cooling and machining strategy: the strongly correlated triple that determines the cost effectiveness of the process, IDDRG, une  Waterloo , Canada, June 2018.
  • An overview on the development, applications, and the benefits of different grades of high thermal conductivity hot work tool steels for dies of different die casting processes, Euroguss, Nuriberg, Germany, January 2018.
  • High Thermal Conductivity and High Wear Resistance Tool Steels for cost-effective Hot Stamping Tools, Munich, Germany, Monday 3, 2017.
  • Increasing Cost Effectiveness of Die Casting Process by Using High Thermal Conductivity HTCS Tool Steels for the Dies, Alucast 2016, Bangalor, India
  • High Thermal Conductivity HTCS® Tool Steels for Die Casting Dies: Cutting Production Costs and times through Advanced Tool Materials”. High Tech Die Casting 2016 Venice (Italy) 06/2016.
  • Tailored tool materials for molds and tools to make high quality plastic and metallic components in preheated and melted state. BIT’S 2nd World Congress on Smart Materials. Singapore 03/2016.
  • Intelligent tool design taking die material as a variable. European Congress and Exhibition on Advanced Materials and Processes, EUROMAT. Warsaw (Poland) 09/2015. 
  • Role of tool material in the interfacial problematics of tool/blank in the press hardening process, 5th International Conference on hot sheet metal forming of high performing steels CHS2 Toronto, Canada, 06/2015.
  • Recent developments in high thermal conductivity HTCS® tool steels for hot stamping. Conference proceedings of IDDRG2014, 2014. Paris, France, 06/2014.
  • New development in High Thermal Conductivity Tool Steels for Die Casting of Light Alloys, 14th International Die Casting Conference. Euroguss Nuremberg (Germany) 01/2014.
  • Estudio de la resistencia a fatiga térmica en moldes de inyección de aluminio utilizando aceros de alta conductividad térmica. A: Congreso Nacional de Tratamientos Térmicos y de Superficie. “Congreso Nacional de Tratamientos Térmicos y de Superficie”. Barcelona: 2013, p. 309-320.
  • High Thermal Conductivity Tool Steels for Hot Forming Applications: An Overview, Forming in Car Body Engineering 2013 25 – 26 September 2013, Bad Nauheim, Germany.
  • Tooling solutions through the application of high Thermal Conductivity HTCS® hot work tool steel for plastic injection moulding, Euromold 2013, Frankfort, Germany.
  • A Comparative Experimental Study on the Use of Tow Hot Work Tool Steels for High Pressure Die Casting of Aluminum alloys: High Thermal Conductivity HTCS® and Conventional 1.2343 (AISI 11). Proceedings of the 9th International Tooling Conference, 2012. Leoben (Austria). 09/2012.
  • High thermal conductivity tool steels for die casting applications.  Proceedings of High Tech Die Casting, article nº 004, 2012. Vicenza (Italy). 02/2012.
  • High Thermal Conductivity Tool Steels for Die Casting Dies: An Overview and Recent Developments, North American Die Casting Association Congress, NADCA, Louisville, USA (2011).
  • High Thermal Conductive Tool Steels for Part Quality Improvement in Permanent Mold and Die Castings of Light Alloys, in 21st Advanced Aerospace Materials and Processes (AeroMat), USA (2010).
  • Thermal-drying inactivation of pathogenics populations found in sewage sludge, Association Française de Séchage pour l’Industrie et l’Agriculture – AFSIA, Lyon, May 2009
  • Transferts Thermiques dans les Procédés de Fonderie en Moule Permanent – Qualité des Pièces, Productivité, Intégrité des Outillages, MECAMAT 2008 “Procèdes de Transformation des Matériaux de Structure, 2008, pp. II-72 – II-81.
  • Towards High Level Process Control through Process Monitoring utilizing In-Cavity Heat Transfer Measurements during Casting Operations, Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Liquid Metal Processing and Casting, 2007, pp. 327-332.
  • A Model to Predict the Heat Transfer Coefficient at the Casting-Die Interface for the High Pressure Die Casting Process, AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 907, 2007, pp. 1211-1216.
  • Heat Transfer at the Cast/Die Interface in High Pressure Die Casting-Experimental Results and Contribution to Modelling, Modelling of Casting, Welding and Advanced Solidification XI, 2006, pp. 1205-1212.
  • Effect of Coating Nature and Thickness and Alloy Composition on the Heat Transfer in Aluminum Gravity Die Casting, European Congress on Advanced Materials and Processes, Prague, 2005.
  • Specification of Heat Transfer Coefficient at the Casting Die Interface in Aluminum High Pressure Die Casting& the Effect of the Ram High Velocity and Accumulated Pressure Light Metals Technology 2005 Conference, Wolfgang, Austria, 2005.
  • La fonderie sous pression d’aluminium, grande vitesse de remplissage, forts gradients thermiques et fatigue thermique, SF2M Ouest. Journée d’étude, Nantes, France, 2004, pp. 12