Tooling Machine tools constitute a major indicator of the health of the manufacturing sector. In 2015, the tooling industry saw slight growth despite a decline in capital investment in manufacturing due to reduced oil and other commodity prices, as well as the slowdown in China and Brazil. The Surface Solutions Segment serves the tooling market, in which it generated 36 % of its 2015 sales.

Over the next four years, the tooling market is estimated to grow by around 6 % worldwide1, driven by demand for new equipment, for the replacement of older machines and the need for higher performance tools. Oerlikon’s targeted market size for tooling is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.9 % from 2015 to 2018. 

Technologically, manufacturers need tools that improve production processes, enhance flexibility, efficiency and quality, and thereby lead to time and cost savings. These are the benefits that Oerlikon’s surface coatings deliver. The Surface Solutions Segment provides wear-protection treatments that significantly improve performance and service life of tools used in cutting, metal forming, plastics processing and die casting that must function in increasingly harsh environments while requiring higher performance. The Segment’s solutions are used for machining aluminum alloys and other non-ferrous metals, e.g. they are used in metal forming processes such as stamping and punching so that the tools will retain their form under heavy use, and also in casting where molds are treated to enhance hardness and thermal and chemical stability. The potential to combine additive manufacturing with more traditional processes presents further opportunities in the tooling market.