November 20, 2019

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Industry Week: Reviving Tool and Die Making in the IIoT Age

Friday, September 14, 2018

Tool and die making is one of those professions that prompts a layperson to ask, open-mouthed, “does that job still exist?” In 2016, nearly 75% of tool and die makers were over age 45, according to study from by  Center for Automotive Research. Only 2% were younger than 35. Two of five are either already eligible to retire, or will be in the next 5 to 7 years.

Although the job numbers are dwindling, tool and die making is still a necessary skill in the U.S., where automakers and aerospace companies need precision machinists and moldmakers to do the fine work onsite or near their operations.  

With high schools no longer offering specialized vocational training and apprenticeship programs a shadow of what they were 30 or 40 years ago, the National Tooling and Machining Association, which represents precision custom manufacturers, has ramped up its training in recent years.  A newish online curriculum called NTMA-U offers coursework in metallurgy, moldmaking, dimensional metrology, advanced diemaking.

Read more here