The making of fasteners or buttons is
an ancient industry characterised today by the use of almost as
ancient technologies, machines and procedures. New competitors,
mainly from far east countries, are now making this situation untenable
for the European fastener industry.
This project focused on the development
of simulation software based on non-linear finite element analysis
(FEM) for designing tools for use in the fasteners industry. Specific
aims included the reduction of development time and costs for new
tools and simulation capabilities for orienting production towards
more complex added-value fasteners. A specific pre-processing module
automatically transforms a simple tool-drawing into an FEM model
while a post-processing module allows critical analysis of design
Benefits for end-users include a 25-fold
increase in tool life and a 50% reduction in tool development costs.
Moreover, the project's 2D-software can be upgraded to 3D with a
friendly interface. Partners say their new system will help European
producers keep up with low-priced imports from countries with lower
labour protection standards.