Research and Development



Innovation Through Research

The goal of the WBA is to advance current research topics with high practical relevance together with its members in a targeted manner. The aim is to comprehensively answer all questions of producing companies. For this purpose a research roadmap was created in the context of the business area of research. Here all current research projects can be arranged along the lifecycle of a tool according to topic areas in the industry.


Both technological and organizational topics are researched in the form of contract research and consortial research projects. The included companies guarantee a high practical relevance, while the associated research institutes secure the theoretical part.

Our research activities enable us to develop optimal solutions from our knowledge of the newest developments and technologies and implement them on site. Use this opportunity to inquire about the possibilities of shaping future research projects directly with us.

Public Research Projects

The WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie is actively engaged in tooling related research and participates in publically as well as privately funded research projects. The core focus of currently approved and applied research projects is digital transformation.







This project is funded by means of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.







This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Research Areas

In the following areas the WBA performs projects within the scope of research activities:

1. Research Area Balancing of Accounts

  • WBA Project: Correctly calculating cost in a learning organization
  • WBA Project: New business models with smart services
  • WBA Project: Development of a method for economic evaluation of generative manufacturing technologies in tool making
  • WBA Project: Key performance indicators and target systems
  • WBA Project: Best of Benchmark purchasing
  • WBA Project: Lifecycle optimization

2. Research Area Configuration of Value Creation

  • WBA Project: Lean figures for the tool and die industry
  • WBA Project: Augmented reality in the tool and die industry
  • WBA Project: Smart manufacturing – focus assignment data analysis
  • WBA Project: Smart manufacturing – focus manufacturing optimization
  • WBA Project: Applied Industry 4.0 in the tool and die industry
  • WBA Project: Cycle rate – flexible and reliable manufacturing control
  • WBA Project: Successfully auditing and qualifying suppliers
  • WBA Project: Quality management in the tool and die industry
  • WBA Project: The appropriate planning in the tool and die industry – development of a planning model for the tool and die industry
  • WBA Project: Systematical rating and qualification of suppliers
  • WBA Project: Mapping for an optimized order processing

3. Research Area Organization

  • WBA Project: Assembly 4.0
  • WBA Project: Industrialization and process organization
  • WBA Project: Agile tool making in highly iterative development processes
  • WBA Project: Milling tool management
  • WBA Project: Training and further education in times of new occupational profiles
  • WBA Project: employee motivation
  • WBA Project: Shop-floor management in the tool and die industry
  • WBA Project: Marketing in tool making: Development of new marketing measures for the tool and die industry
  • WBA Project: Knowledge management
  • WBA Project: Knowledge transfer and systematical analysis of errors

4. Research Area Tool Technology

  • WBA Project: Intelligent tools – Sheet metal forming
  • WBA Project: Intelligent tools – injection molding
  • WBA Project: Tool standardization: Establishment and maintenance of standards
  • WBA Project: Ventilation concepts for injection molds
  • WBA Project: Finish-machining of generatively manufactured components
  • WBA Project: Simulation and use of simulation data
  • WBA Project: Requirement appropriate tools
  • WBA Project: Extended lifetime of repaired mold inserts
  • WBA Project: ConTOOL (Controlling of Resource Efficiency throughout the Life-cycle of Tools)
  • WBA Project: E-Profit (energy efficient production of functionally integrated thermoplastic fiber composite components)
  • WBA Project: Smart Tools (intelligent molds for extended product-service-systems)

5. Research Area Automation

  • WBA Project: Automation concepts in the tool and die industry
  • WBA Project: Automation of individual part manufacturing
  • WBA Project: Consistent CAX process chains
  • WBA Project: Integrated fine machining

6. Research Area Manufacturing Technologies

  • WBA project: Development of a method for the economic evaluation of generative production manufacturing technologies in tool making
  • WBA project: Enhancing the performance of milling tools
  • WBA Project: Conventional vs. additive manufacturing process chains
  • WBA Project: Best of benchmark milling strategies in the tool and die industry
  • WBA project: Optimization of the process chain of milling/ fine machining
  • WBA Project: Benchmark wire cutting strategies: Technological and economical process evaluatio

Collaborative Research

The WBA is included on the map of “Test Environments Industry 4.0” by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). It is therefore able to carry out specially funded research projects within the area of Industry 4.0 together with research partners.


Do you have research ideas and would like to finance them with public funds? Contact us! Together with our team of research partners we work closely with all relevant research sponsors.



The WBA continuously publishes studies on topics concerning the industrial value creation of tool manufacturing as well as international tooling market studies.


Numerous publications open up specific knowledge for companies of the tool and die making industry.

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Dr.-Ing. Kristian Arntz
Head of Research & Development

Phone +49 241 99016302