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Knowledge Transfer Partnership for advanced tooling concepts


Birmingham City University


Tooling concepts




The Knowledge Transfer Partnership progression press tooling project presented a number of specific technical challenges to the teams at Brandauer and Birmingham City University. In order to support the design of new tooling concepts the project required a sound understanding of current material forming processes.

Advanced computational models are required with the capability of predicting the behaviour of the high speed, close tolerance metal forming and cutting actions commonly used within high volume precision metal component forming.

Building on the in-depth understanding gained through the modelling, the technical teams explored novel material and design concepts with predictable and extended life properties.

The concept designs were prototyped and tested thoroughly within the Brandauer facility and at the University before being offered to the market as part of the Brandauer service offering, as part of its three unique tooling standards.

A key feature of the project, as with all Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects, is that once it was completed, the development continues and ensures advanced designs and concepts are achievable without further dependence on its academic partner.

The project embedded the advanced design and materials knowledge into the Brandauer technical teams understanding, enabling them to advance capability independently.

We were very excited about the potential of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership project with Birmingham City University from the start and it soon became an important part of the company’s future technical development.”

Rowan Crozier
CEO, C. Brandauer & Co Ltd

Project aims

As with all high-volume metal component manufacturing, a significant cost of production is in the press tools used for the stamping processes.

Press tools are subject to wear, and usually need refurbishment or replacement, adding to the overall manufacturing costs. With the support of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership funding, Brandauer created a completely new generation of innovative tool design concepts, through the application of advanced material and design process knowledge acquired from Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

Benefits at a glance

  • New, advanced and proven tooling design concepts
  • Increased competitive advantage and market presence
  • Embedding of advanced design knowledge within the company
  • Implementation of advanced materials knowledge within the company
  • Important development in the businesses capabilities
  • Three unique tooling standards now available

Three unique tooling standards


Standard fixed tooling
  • Die set precision guidance elements only
  • Typically with the use of fixed location punches
  • Material thickness > 0.5mm
  • Full tool protection


Precision tooling
  • Full length Die Set (Top and bottom bolster) with large precision guidance elements
  • Fixed internal elements with individual precision guidance elements
  • Punches and dies cut to +/-0.001mm
  • Material thickness 0.05mm—1.0mm
  • Full tool protection


Modular tooling
  • Full length Die Set (Top and bottom bolster) with large precision guidance elements
  • Internal modules with individual precision guidance elements
  • Punches and dies cut to +/-0.001mm
  • Typical material thickness between 0.05mm—1.0mm
  • Suitable for ‘in press’ change over
  • Reduced change over time ‘SMED’
  • Full tool protection

Keep exploring Brandauer’s expert tooling capabilities

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