The i-Tool project aims to conceive and develop new intelligent, efficient and optimized mold solutions, promoting the integration of advanced analysis and development tools, as well as the adoption of advanced manufacturing methods and technologies, using computational sciences and algorithms and, at a later stage following this project, artificial intelligence, as means for technological development enhancement, in order to lead the change and evolution of the injection mold design and development paradigm.
The i-Tool project, promoted by the consortium between Simoldes Aços, the leading promoter, and Simoldes Plásticos and INEGI, copromotors, will, in fact, seek to respond effectively to the current challenge of integrating tools, software and stages of mold development (expertise, design and development, 3D development, definition of manufacturing strategy, production) using techniques and algorithms based on computational sciences, with the aim of:
– Create a collaborative tool integrated in the mold development process, in order to reduce the dependence on human expertise and the need for successive iterative optimization processes;
– Automate the interdependence of tools and softwares and the creation of experimental frameworks between them, reducing the time spent on the iterative optimization process;
– Develop new, more efficient, mold solutions, integrating alternative and/or complementary productive technologies, such as additive manufacturing.
The i-Tool project, bringing about an important, worldwide/global and radical, product innovation and taking advantage of the latest developments associated with computational sciences and algorithms, namely big data analysis, will have positive impacts in mold design, development and manufacturing stages, culminating in an “optimized mold”, lighter, more qualified and with a reduced time-to-market, associated (i) with lower rejection rates and environmental costs, (ii) with shorter mold injection cycle times, (iii) with increases in productive capacity in the injection side, (iv) with the use of lower tonnage injection machines and, therefore, lower energy costs and (v) with a more favorable time-to-market for plastic parts, specifically meeting the needs and requirements of the automotive industry and OEM, key market, insofar as they can potentially access larger volumes of injected parts, at a more competitive price, with higher levels of quality, in shorter times and with enhanced and sustained profitability, in addition to competitive advantages resulting from energy efficiency and from waste and CO2 emissions reductions.
With an overall investment of 3.149.544,48€, this project is co-financed under Portugal 2020 Program in 3.075.258,49€ from European Regional Development Fund.
i-Tool project is a 34,61 months project, from 13rd of May 2020 to 31st of March 2023, with Simoldes Aços as promoter, Simoldes Plásticos and INEGI as copromotors.
– i-Tool – Efficient, Smart and Optimized Moulds for the Industry (POCI-01-0247-FEDER-049141)
– Programa Operacional: Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização
– Objetivo Temático: OT1 – Reforçar a investigação, o desenvolvimento tecnológico e a inovação
– Região de Intervenção: Norte
– Custo Total Aprovado (€): 3.149.544,48
– Custo Elegível Aprovado (€): 3.075.258,49
– Apoio Total (€): 1.918.403,34