A die is a metal mold that is intended for manufacturing industrial products made of metal, plastic, glass or rubber. Almost all products, from those we are familiar with to the latest hi-tech equipment, are made using dies. Examples of products mass-produced using dies include major component parts used in a wide range of industries such as automobiles, and electrical and electronic equipment.
Plastic molds are used to manufacture many plastic products such as the exterior parts of plastic models and mobile phone. Plastic resin that has been heated until it melts is injected into the cavity between the closed dies, and then allowed to cool and solidify, resulting in the finished product.
Press dies are used to manufacture metal components such as housing of batteries and car body panels.
Upper and lower press dies are installed on a press machine (one that moves up and down). The workpiece (metal sheet material) is inserted between the two dies, and the press is operated, resulting in a product with the same shape as the upper and lower dies.
In "Industrial Statistics" of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, dies are broadly classified into eight types. Representative types of dies are plastic molds and press dies. These two types of dies account for approximately 70% of the total die production turnover of 1.1660 trillion yen (Industrial Statistics of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, 2009) from the sale of dies produced in Japan. The Punch Industry Group manufactures and sells components for dies used mainly for molding plastics and also for press work.