The History and Future of the Metalforming and Tool and Die Industries

In Manufacturing Industry News by Staff Report

The metalforming and tool and die industries are dynamic bodies that thrive on innovation and creation. Only a few decades ago, no one could have fathomed the fundamental impact of computer technology on industry jobs. And, perhaps even more importantly, those currently training to enter the manufacturing industry will have jobs that don’t even exist today.

So what’s next for manufacturing? Can we learn from the changes in industry from the past to help us predict the future?

In June’s issue of MetalForming Magazine, Pete Ulintz gives readers a fascinating and in-depth historical perspective on the changes in the die and metalforming industry. From World War II to the technology boom of the 1990s and 2000s, Ulintz examines how innovation has affected the nature of jobs in both industries.

Ulintz writes that because of the emergence of “powerful computer-aided engineering tools…tool and die shops no longer resemble the trade of a generation ago.” Instead, industry is at a crucial intersection. Experience is no longer “the most coveted attribute for die designers and tool and die makers,” as technology is advancing faster than apprenticeships can teach.

So what is the best approach for industry to take going forward? Ulintz argues that “experience no longer will differentiate your company from your competitors; a solid engineering aptitude and working knowledge of metalforming mechanics will. However, this requires radical changes in the way we train our apprentices and engineer our tools.”

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

To read the full article, go here.

If you want to see first hand the innovation that drives U.S. manufacturing, plan to attend FABTECH on November 18-21 in Chicago.  Visit for more information.

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