Tooling manufacturing – a vital industrial sector

A wide range of industries rely on tooling production. For industrial molds, 41% of production is sold to the motor vehicle industry, 16% to electronics manufacturers, and 14% to appliance makers.

Toolmakers face key issues from complexity of new products, globalization, increasing quality requirements…
(Source: Congressional Research Service, The Tool and Die Industry)

87 acres of rough roads and engineering prowess are now open in Central Oregon. Daimler Trucks has developed a new testing ground in Madras after two years and nearly $19 million in investment.

The High Desert Proving Grounds will test the durability and fuel efficiency of Daimler Truck brands, including Freightliner. By locating the track near its Portland headquarters, it shows the truck maker's commitment to its Oregon engineering team.

Daimler is one of the largest users of NX, and for both simulation and mechanical engineers, the testing grounds should be an exciting proving center. As Applied CAx’s CAE expert always says, “validation is gold.” Seeing your designs and analyses get the shake-and-bake equivalent of 1.2 million road miles in just 6 months should help confirm usage of many engineering environments.

Evolving market opportunities for electronics companies.

In the coming years trends in automotive electronics, smart homes and the Internet of Things will transform the electronics industry. Engineers will be required to develop new products and solutions to meet evolving consumer needs.

Check out this infographic that highlights design opportunities and challenges for electronics companies. We end by providing PDFs detailing real world engineering teams improving efficiencies by up to 50%.

Modern jet engines are getting bigger and also lighter. For example, years ago it was common to use titanium or stainless steel as blade-out containment materials. These large diameter and thick rings can now be replaced by modern carbon fiber composites; however, manufacturing large diameter composites with tight tolerances is difficult.

One of the key challenges is maintaining tight tolerance during heating (curing) and cooling (mandrel removal) process. In a recent CFD project for a Tier 1 aerospace manufacturer, we used STAR CCM+ to simulate the thermal-flow process of cooling the composite mandrel down to room temperature. STAR was particularly suited for this project given its advanced polyhedral meshing technology coupled with a fast MPP thermal-flow solver (High Performance Computing (HPC)). Results in this CFD consulting project were verified against prior experience and hand calculations.

Available for our customers, we've created a new batch of FEMAP APIs. The new tools cover a range of uses from a variety of thermal load conversions, to a rigid body element independent node selector, to a measuring tool displaying distance graphically. We hope our customers find this useful. Not a customer yet? Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. via email or at (503) 962-0287.

And in exciting news for those who missed our API training course, we have created a new on-demand video course, "Learn the FEMAP API (Application Programming Interface) for Automation and Customization." Created by our FEMAP guru Adrian Jensen, the course is available for purchase on Amazon. Students receive access to 9 hours of video lessons, our spiral bound class notes, 13 workshops, and supplemental model files & resources.

Congratulations is due to our customer Consolidated Metco on their newest venture. The company has partnered with Protean Electric on an electric in-wheel drive system that provides hybrid-electric solutions for the medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicle markets.

The ConMet/Protean in-wheel electric drive system will deliver a robust and efficient hybrid propulsion system designed for commercial trucks, tractors, and trailers. This will enable ConMet's OEM and fleet customers to address the continued tightening of safety and emissions regulations, increasing demands for improved fuel efficiency, weight and drivetrain packaging optimization. It also addresses trends with vehicle demands for long-haul and urban delivery. 

The jointly developed electric wheel end system is compatible with existing vehicles. Other goals for the product include vehicle packaging advantages, reduced complexity, and minimized drivetrain losses for truck, tractor, and trailer applications.

ConMet featured the new electrified hub in its booth at the MidAmerica Trucking Show March 23-25, 2017 in Louisville, KY.