Knowledge Transfer by Industrial Consulting

For the WBA , industry consulting means a transparent thematic focus, well-proven standards in the implementation of solutions as well as a professional handling of projects. Concrete improvements of companies rest on the approaches tested in numerous projects within the various consulting topics. Due to the unique focus of research activities in the field of tool making, the close cooperation with experts at RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer institutes, new findings continuously flow into the further development of tried solution approaches. On this basis, the WBA supports companies in successfully realizing their improvement potentials with regard to the state of technology.

The starting point of an industry project is the determination of the organizational and technological capabilities of the tool room. The evaluation is carried out in cooperation with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT), which have an extensive benchmarking database with datasets for tool rooms worldwide. This worldwide unique database allows for well-grounded statements to be made about the status quo of the company. A concrete result of the evaluation is the comparison of the own company with those of similar tool rooms or the industry average by using characteristic figures. In this manner, the relevant areas of improvement can be identified and the approach within the project can be individually adapted for each company’s needs.

The modular service portfolio offered by the WBA for the industry forms its basis. The relevant topics are summarized in consulting areas and are oriented towards the formation process of a tool, combined with similar areas. Together with other competence areas with regard to organizational and technological topics, company and application-specific solutions are worked out in projects and finalized with a successful implementation of improvement measures.
International Consulting Services


In the consulting field of strategy, topics are handled that deal with the strategic positioning of the tool room. Among others, this includes the implementation of benchmarking in order to determine the company’s competitiveness as well as the definition of strategic success positions needed to reach sustainable success.

Price Formation

The consulting field of price formation deals with the offer phase of the tool making process. This includes the evaluation of current cost calculation as well as its optimization by developing new documents, working out a cost calculation system or choosing suitable software. The requirement for a appropriately-detailed cost calculation is the cost transparency along the entire process chain. The goal is to identify the cost drivers and eliminate them.


In the consulting field of engineering the entire engineering process is analyzed, evaluated and optimized. One of the goals of this field is the standardization of individual tool components, which is a prerequisite for process standardization. Further, topics, such as the interfaces between CAD and CAM systems and the integration of generative manufacturing processes, are broached.

Process Management

The consulting field of process management is broad and is involved in all processes necessary for a successful order fulfillment. In the focus of this field is the recording of current processes with its weak points as well as the definition of milestones and the development of a target process. In this context, necessary documents for order fulfillment are also defined and shaped. Due to the diversity of orders in the tool and die industry, caused by partially planned or unplanned order types, segmentation is a possible solution for this dilemma and hence another focus of process management.

Planning and Steering

The consulting field of planning and steering has the aim of making all the different order types, and thus their complexity, controllable for order fulfillment. The starting point is the standardization of manufacturing process sequences in mechanical manufacturing. This standardization makes a high-resolution plan and control possible as per the 3-level model (rough planning, detailed planning and control). The most fully developed form of planning is the cycle rate of assembly components. Determining the cycle rate potential as well as the introduction of cycle rate lines thus also falls into this consulting field.

Operative Excellence

At the center of the consulting field operative excellence are classical lean topics. This includes areas such as cleanliness and order (6S), visualization, transparency and shop floor management based on characteristic figures. A higher-level goal is the transfer from a classical workshop, typically present in older tool rooms that grew over time, to an industrialized process management.

Production Technologies

The consulting field of production technologies deals with all manufacturing technologies necessary to produce a tool. This includes, among others, milling, turning, grinding, die-sinking EDM and wire-cut EDM. For these technologies, current or potential machines are evaluated based on recorded criteria and then compared, so that an optimal choice can be made for a company. Also, the implementation of new machines in an existing process landscape and the introduction of automation solution at existing machines are part of this consulting field.


In the consulting field of layout has a focus on the redesign of the shop floor as a place for value creation. In this area it is important to identify the main material flows, despite a multitude of different processes, and laying out the tool room according to material and information flow. The support of the WBA in this consulting field reaches from conception, over planning, to implementation.

Market Intelligence

With respect to the consulting field of market intelligence, the goal is to have transparency in selected markets for competitors, customers and suppliers. This is done via an intensive examination of the market, for example in the standardized manner of the WBA. Hereby, suppliers can be identified and then evaluated according to company-specific criteria, allowing the tool rooms to make well-founded choices. This market intelligence makes the conceptual design and introduction of sustainable sourcing strategies possible, guaranteeing supplies for tools at all production facilities.

WBA References



Dr.-Ing. Michael Salmen
Head of Consulting

Phone +49 241 99016361