Audi shows toolmaking innovations at the “formnext” trade fair

“The paradigms of the smart factory are changing our work in the Toolmaking division. In the future, we will connect equipment, machinery and people even more closely with each other, and will make use of new methods to develop even more flexible and precise tools,” stated Michael Breme, Head of Toolmaking at AUDI AG. Audi is making this future tangible at the “formnext” trade fair, for example with self‑learning tools and 3D metal printers.

On a trade-fair stand with 500 square meters of floor space, Audi is showing which aspects of toolmaking in the smart factory are already being applied today for the development and production of models in large and exclusive series. They include intelligent tools for shaping steel and aluminum plates that recognize process‑related fluctuations and optimize the material flow in the tool accordingly. It is also possible to see which additive production technologies such as 3D printing are already applied in toolmaking today.

Audi is providing an insight into the history of toolmaking with a photo exhibition. It illustrates the technical milestones since the nineteen‑sixties and the changes in the job profile of a toolmaker: from a craftsman to a computer expert on the human-machine interface.

Audi Toolmaking employs more than 2,000 people at five locations in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Barcelona (Spain), Győr (Hungary) and Beijing (China). The division designs, develops constructs and tests tools from the exclusive series to the large series. They include sheet‑metal tools, equipment and apparatus, as well as mold‑making for aluminum die-casting and composite fiber components in exterior and structural applications.