New Saab cuts combined dash

Waterjet cutting and milling is combined for the first time in automated equipment for finishing dashboards on the new Saab 9-5 executive saloon.

Three methods are used to shape dashboards: blank cutting, milling and waterjet cutting. Milling and waterjet cutting are used on the dash because of a recess needing precision finishing. But the system, built around existing robot and high-pressure pumping equipment, is configurable to meet any production need.

Swedish supplier Lear installed the system it developed with ABB I-R, a joint venture between ABB’s automation arm and pumping specialist Ingersoll-Rand.


Toolbase 1, Formation’s newly opened rapid tooling centre in Gloucester, can deliver production-capable plastics injection mould tooling to the production line within 28 days of receiving design data, the company says.

The fast-track tooling program aims to speed up the process of bringing tools and mouldings to market.

Prototype tools, made by stereolithography, have all the benefits of a production tool including accuracy and the ability to handle volume, says Formation.


Clamping equipment that allows quick, uncomplicated positioning of workpieces ensures big savings in setup times.

Vario-Tec’s strength is the special positioning pins and angle plates which cater for every diagonal position of the workpiece from 0 degrees to 90 degrees , avoiding tool and programme changes when cutting angles to block measurements.

Stop points can be stored in the CNC programme. Clamps fit all available machine vices.


Selective laser sintering bureau Amsys of Sunderland, introduces a new material to its portfolio.

DuraForm – a powdered polymer – produces fully functional prototype parts that resist chemicals and are not brittle, so they withstand pre-production testing.

Surface detail and finish is said to be excellent.

Other SLS materials used by Amsys include glass-filled nylon, RapidSteel and TrueForm.


Aluminium tooling is the quickest and most accurate way to produce prototype plastics parts in a production-intent material, according to toolmaker Webster Mouldings.

The company produces rapid prototype and full injection mould tooling.