SF Tooling sets a new standard
From Antonio Cives, Managing Partner
SF Tooling Group has made a name for itself as a pioneering and technologically leading manufacturer of die-casting molds for light metal parts. With the support of CGS, the group has launched its internationalization strategy and set in motion the paradigm shift away from the combustion engine towards hybrid and electric mobility. SF Tooling is once again demonstrating its first-mover mentality by co-developing large molds. The new production process will fundamentally change the market and set standards. It is already bearing fruit: major orders and substantial interest from established automotive manufacturers.
In its 60-year history, SF Tooling has gained a great deal of experience in developing and optimizing high-tech die-casting molds and tools for its demanding clientele in the automotive and aviation industries.
Pioneer in die-casting molds for structural parts
In 1993, SF Tooling was awarded a manufacturing contract for molds for structural parts by a well-known German original equipment manufacturer. This cemented SF Tooling's status as a technologically leading moldmaker. Accompanied by CGS, the company expanded into North America and Asia and built up its presence in key markets, strengthening customer loyalty through service and proximity.
Upheaval in the automotive industry
With the emergence of disruptive technologies such as autonomous driving and e-mobility with many hybrid and fully electric models, the automotive industry is under- going fundamental change. This shake-up is hitting the established original equipment manufacturers in particular, whose situation has been further impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting decline in sales.
SF Tooling recognized this trend early on and prepared for it technologically. The company's pioneering spirit and first-mover strategy are paying off: around 80% of current orders concern structural parts and e-mobility. This is well above the sector's average and the number of hybrid and electric models produced and sold.
New standard using large molds
Another technological breakthrough is taking form: the use of large molds weighing up to 140 tons. These allow very large and complex structural parts to be cast. For example, a single light metal part can replace up to 70 mostly small sheet metal parts. This technology offers immense advantages. In addition to reducing weight by 30–40%, it simplifies the production process enormously, freeing up assembly areas and eliminating many production steps such as gluing tiny parts together.
SF Tooling has developed and optimized these large molds together with a renowned electric vehicle manufacturer and has been able to land major orders in North America and Europe in recent months. Other original equipment manufacturers are interested in this disruptive production process and will make forward-looking investment decisions in this area in the coming months. n
See www.sftooling.com for more information.
One of two parts, each around 7.5 tons, that help shape a die-casting mold for large structural parts of electric cars. The entire mold weighs a good 130 tons.
The SF Tooling Group is a global market leader in the manufacturing of die-casting molds and tools for technologically sophisticated light metal structural parts. These molds, weighing over 100 tons, are manufactured for the processing and finishing of light metal parts made of aluminum, magnesium, and carbon. With approximately 200 employees, SF Tooling has a turnover of around EUR 60 million. The business serves its high-profile customers in the automotive and aviation industries from its locations in Germany, the US, and China.