德国的 TDM Systems GmbH,25 年以来一直是切削加工领域刀具数据管理领先供应商。TDM Systems 的刀具生命周期管理战略主要聚焦于通过刀具规划和准备而优化生产流程。 创建和编辑刀具数据和图形,将刀具技术诀窍和 3 维图形整合到 CAM 规划中,并在车间层面上组织整个刀具循环,这是 TDM Systems 的核心竞争力所在,构成了 TLM 战略的支柱。

Indispensable in Production   ——GROB-WERKE with Tool Data Management from TDM Systems

Efficient production without modern tool management? By now, this is unthinkable at GROB – at the Allgäu main plant in Mindelheim, Germany as well as in Brazil, the USA and China. The machine manufacturer is planning the future of digital production. The software solutions of TDM Systems in Tübingen play a fundamental role in this.

Tradition and Internationality

Tool use at the machinery manufacturer GROB is high. Around 25,000 tool assemblies composed of 20,000 items are being used at the Mindelheim plant, the headquarters of the internationally operating family-owned company. Their product portfolio ranges from universal machining centers to highly complex manufacturing systems with their own automation. Their largest customer is the automotive industry. Worldwide, GROB has 4,600 employees, more than 3,300 of them in Mindelheim. Other manufacturing facilities are located in São Paulo in Brazil, Bluffton in the USA and Dalian in the People's Republic of China. GROB has been on a growth course for years. Over the past few years, the production capacity has been expanded by over 35 percent and 900 new jobs have been created in Mindelheim alone.

The Global Tool

This growth and the internationality of the company are also a challenge for tool management. All factories are centrally controlled from Mindelheim. "Our goal", says Georg Wilbiller, System Administrator of Tool Management at GROB, "is to make it possible for the programs run in Germany, including the tools used, to be carried over to Brazil, the USA and China one by one." Wilbiller receives inquiries from sister factories every day. Before a tool assembly is used overseas it is initially tested in Mindelheim to determine if it corresponds to internal specifications. Once released, the factories abroad can all access data stored in Mindelheim.

From Screen to Machine

But back to Mindelheim. The centerpiece of continuous Tool Lifecycle Management at GROB is positioned like an island in the middle of the production hall. Here you will find offices, set-up stations and six-meter-high tool crib elevators right in the center in which thousands of individual items wait to be put together into tool assemblies. The first step in the tool circulation is initially done virtually and in a different department, CNC Programming. Here, new production orders are created in the CAD/CAM system. The programmers access a pool of over 25,000 real available tool assemblies via TDM. The 3D-models are carried over into the CAD/CAM program – at GROB these are Siemens NX 8.5 and TopSolid'Cam 7 – from the TDM-system via an interface.

The Shopfloor under Control

If the order goes to production, it ends up in TDMshopcontrol. The module records the entire tool circulation. "When we started with TDM, we didn't have the TDMshopcontrol module yet," recalls Frühschütz. "In some cases, too many tools were being dismantled and put away again after the end of an order. This ended with TDMshopcontrol, which always compares the new orders with the tool stock at the machine."

The responsible skilled worker still gets the order for the installation as a slip of paper. The digital support begins at the tool crib elevator. The employee opens the TDM order and the storage shelves immediately move forwards. The tool items are removed and written off. If the employee has to switch from one elevator to another, the TDM order also "migrates" to the next screen.

“TDM has become indispensable in our systems landscape.”

Markus Frank Manager of Shopfloor Support at GROB-WERKE

Good Installation is Half the Battle when it Comes to Production

If all items are on the cart, it goes to tool installation. The skilled worker has access to a TDM workspace where things like the design drawing of the tool to be assembled can be seen. If all tools of an order have been assembled, tool presetting follows. Via an interface, the presetting system gets the nominal values from the TDM data base and, after successful measurement, sets the status of the tool assembly to preset. The measurement values then leave the TDM system and go to programming and are converted into machine data. In addition to managing the actual tools, the clamping tools required for an order are also recorded via TDM. GROB has relied on external setup work for over 15 years to take machine setup times away from the machine and to minimize idling to a large extent. The orders are preassembled on a system of pallets and inserted into the machine.

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