Productivity Maximization through intelligent data analysis in sheet metal processing 4.0 – Secured Second-Order Learning of maximum productivity

The “Productivity Maximization” project is dedicated to the challenge of systematically increasing the number of strokes of progressive dies and, subsequently, increasing productivity. Within the scope of this project, an industry-oriented, modular progressive die is being developed and equipped with multiple sensors. The primary objective is to identify dynamic effects that lead to process limits and the associated process parameters in the areas of machine and periphery, tool, semi-finished product and process. From these effects, action strategies for improvements, such as optimization or replacement of tool components, are then derived and validated in an industrial environment.


Multi-stage forming processes often represent the most economically significant part of the value chain. Progressive dies combine a large number of forming processes with almost simultaneous engagement of the tools in a single press stroke. The range of parts produced by this process covers a wide range in machine, electronics and automotive manufacturing.

In the industrial environment, progressive dies are operated on presses at 20-100 strokes/min. High performance stamping presses, by contrast, perform with up to 2.000 strokes/min. The reason for the discrepancy between actual and theoretical speed is a large number of manipulated and disruptive variables for the progressive die, whose complexity increases with the number of stages. The determination of the maximum permissible speed is currently based on employee-defined know-how and is usually chosen conservatively in order to ensure part quality and to protect the tool and machine.

The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of dynamic effects in progressive dies in order to derive suitable countermeasures for the increase in the speed thus to extend the currently existing process limits.


Within the scope of the project, a multisensory and modular progressive die with industrial standard will be developed and put into operation. In order to make dynamic effects in the operation of the progressive die visible, the recording of relevant process variables by means of suitable sensor technology is necessary. Sensor selection, positioning and integration as well as data analysis plays a key role.

In test series, critical machine, tool and process components are identified by introducing artificial detuning into the system. The process data obtained in this way are used for the targeted differentiation of faulty process states, their cause and the derivation of suitable countermeasures.

The results are used to derive action guidelines for sensor selection and integration as well as a catalog for tool components to extend the process limits.


The project “Productivity Maximum” is supported by the European Research Association for Sheet Metal Processing e.V. (EFB). In addition, thanks go to the project partners Cantec GmbH & Co. KG, evopro systems engineering AG, FILZEK TRIBOtech, Graepel Löningen GmbH & Co. KG, Hans Berg GmbH & CO. KG, Hilma-Römheld GmbH, Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH, Hubert Stüken GmbH, Kistler Instrumente GmbH, Nidec SYS GmbH, RAZIOL Zibulla & Sohn GmbH, Scheuermann + Heilig GmbH, Schuler Pressen GmbH, STRACK NORMA GmbH & Co. KG and thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH.