In the past it was common to see rows of hydraulic presses working continuously, producing the same components.
Unforeseen and frequent stops, due to problems with the tools, were not serious because there was a large installed capacity. Tools repairs or new tools were quickly produced by the internal maintenance teams, based on one or two tool steels. Overall, work materials were less demanding and work speeds were slower.
It is for these reasons that tools rarely failed. However, production methods and technology have evolved considerably. Currently factories and equipments are under tight control and scrutiny, with the aggravating that productivity and high accuracy are essential.
Cost reduction and profit maximization are the order of the day, as well as the use of high-speed presses producing "just in time" (JIT) components with difficult raw materials, from a tool point of view, using built-in tools and/or tools that are repaired externally. In this way, the design of the tool, the manufacturing techniques, the material of the tool and the raw material of the components are part of the global solution, with the objective of optimizing production and reducing costs.
In order to get maximum productivity, the tool steel and the knowledge of it makes all the difference.