© Braunform GmbH

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and its influence


The topic of sustainability is currently on everyone's lips – and with good reason. Sustainable goals have been firmly anchored in Braunform's corporate policy not only since the introduction of certification of the energy management system according to DIN EN ISO 50001 in 2013 and the environmental management system according to DIN EN ISO 14001. As a forward-looking company, Braunform has been dealing with this topic for several years. "We are aware of our responsibility as a company in the plastics industry. The management and all our employees are working to make the processes and procedures in our company as effective and sustainable as possible and thus to secure the future of future generations in a livable environment," says Pamela Braun, owner and managing partner of Braunform GmbH.

Injection molds are always unique, are manufactured with the highest precision and have to produce millions of "products" in continuous use under high mechanical and thermal loads with the greatest uniformity. Maximum reliability and interchangeability are expected, because this is the only way the processor can work successfully and economically and deliver on time. The quality of the injection molds and the associated production period, which ultimately determines the start of production, play an important role.

Braunform GmbH has set itself the task to advise customers on their products in terms of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and sustainability. These two aspects are indispensably connected. More efficient and thus more resource-saving production processes, plastic materials and article advice with regard to material savings are essential ingredients. "We develop and produce injection molds with which our customers produce their end products and for which in many cases - from today's perspective - plastic as a raw material has no alternative or is more resource-friendly than the possible alternative," says Timo Steinebrunner, Sales Manager at Braunform GmbH. In order to increase production efficiency for the customer and reduce operating costs within a defined period of time, Braunform as a strategic partner identifies all costs in advance. "As a mold maker, it is important to focus on minimizing the development and manufacturing times of the end products," emphasizes Steinebrunner. Special attention is paid to the value of hidden costs. Under certain circumstances, a higher investment can develop into an economic advantage.

One of these services provided by the company, which has an influence both on the production efficiency of the customer and on the sustainability of the end product, is the so-called DFM (design for manufacturing). It describes a concept during product development at the customer, in which attention is already paid during development to a production-oriented design or adaptation of the article design. Provided that the toolmaker is involved in the project at a very early stage by the customer. By a consequent DFM, losses in quality, performance and availability shall be avoided in the subsequent series production. As a supplier of ideas Braunform as a precision tool making company can be involved in a very early stage of the development process with innovative mold making solutions. Together with its customers, the production processes can be screened with the background to optimize the article design, to improve the quality in order to produce more stable and more efficient. Special attention is paid to the mold concept, the filling simulation and possibly resulting molding defects and their prevention. Systematic quality planning and potential for shorter cycle times are in the focus in order to improve robust processes and hence product efficiency.

Braunform cooperates. For more than ten years, Braunform GmbH has been cooperating successfully with the service provider DUFNER.MDT GmbH from Rottweil, Germany, in the field of tool development and consulting. During this time, DUFNER.MDT have jointly developed numerous technically sophisticated tools, virtual molding analyses and DFM analyses for Braunform and its customers.

At the end of 2017, Gernot Dufner decided to expand his company's portfolio to include material analysis and material characterization and to break new ground with his own Plastics Laboratory. Founder and shareholder Erich Braun has offered to lease the Laboratory and Technology Center facilities including a new 2K injection molding machine from Arburg in Bahlingen to be used by DUFNER.MDT. The aim is to further expand the cooperative collaboration and to create an expanded understanding of materials and processes through the interaction of the various disciplines and specialist areas, the analysis and characterisation of the respective plastics, the inclusion of findings from tests in the Technology Center and from existing production processes.

In line with the quality engineering approach of Braunform GmbH, Braunform customers can benefit from a range of services that is unique worldwide in this constellation. In this way, product designs, tools and processes can be analyzed and optimized to an extent and level of detail as it was not possible before. By analyzing the respective plastics in connection with the requirements for design, quality, tool technology and process in the run-up to implementation, customers benefit from the innovation and know-how of the cooperation between Braunform and DUFNER.MDT.

With the expanded understanding of materials through analysis in the Laboratory and in the Technology Center, an integral component is now added that enables all parties involved to identify and eliminate weak points even better, minimize risks and thus move the limits of what is feasible a decisive step to the advantage of the customer and their products.

The production of technologically sophisticated high-performance injection molds in consideration of cost and sustainability aspects is the focus of the company's activities. In addition, the company offers a comprehensive range of services with highly qualified services. Braunform offers its customers flexible and confidential cooperation interfaces that start with the design of plastic products. The earlier experience can be taken into account in the process, the more reliably the customer's goals can be achieved. And not only that - a perfect design of the article, the construction of the tools under consideration of a maximum effective production at the customer results automatically also in a more sustainable production process and thus end product in the sense of our environment.

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