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。

Everything Revolves around Tools   ——Kempf achieves a nearly 100 percent utilization of his machines a day

The three most important factors in a property are: Location, location, location. And in manufacturing? Stefan Kempf, Head of contract manufacturer Norbert Kempf GmbH, knows the answer: "The tool, the tool, the tool." These are man-aged and controlled using the TDM Tool Data Management system from Tübingen-based software specialist TDM Systems.

Reliable Processes are essential

Since 1991, Stefan Kempf has been at the company founded in 1970 by his father, Norbert, in his own home "between the washing machine and the clothesline." He has been the sole managing partner for the last five years and makes no secret of his recipe for success: "Our utilization rates are based on absolutely reliable and reproducible processes that can only be achieved through rational tool management beforehand." The secret behind it all: The TDM Tool Data Management system from TDM Systems GmbH in Tübingen, Germany, ensures the necessary data transparency. From the large selection of TDM software modules for production resource management, shop floor management, data and graphic generation, and interfaces, the Saarland-based Kempf GmbH had TDM Systems assemble a package customized to meet the company's needs.

For years, Kempf and its employees had analyzed the restricted crib again and again in search of the causes of errors. Result: "60 to 70 percent of all errors are caused by mismanagement of tools, assembly errors, poor radial or axial run out, wrong individual items, or because the tool was not getting to the machine on time." Other factors played only a subordinate role. "I can sometimes bring machine pallets and workpieces quickly down the hall to the machine with the forklift, but without tools, my shopfloor comes to a standstill." Since coming to this realization, the three main prerequisites for smooth production are in his mind: The tool, the tool, the tool.

Every new order initiates a process planning order, from the production control plan via the Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) to design and CNC programing. "Our constant main topic," says Kempf, "is a setup cost-neutral production, which we handle using TDM." The machines are standing still only for the initial setup of a new part. All other setup processes take place outside of the machines, while the machines do what they were built to do: Machine around the clock.

“Our utilization rates are based on absolutely reliable and reproducible process that can only be achieved through rational tool management beforehand - TDM helps us with this. ”

Stefan Kempf Managing Director of Norbert Kempf

Production with a System

In 2003, Kempf invested in a flexible manufacturing system from the automation specialists Fastems – a machining center with twelve machine pallets. In 2011, the maximum expansion level had been reached but still without upstream tool management. "Then we started the largest project in the company's history – a new production hall, the production system from Fastems MSL/CTS, and the introduction of Tool Data Management, TDM, which supplies both flexible manufacturing systems with tools.

The core of the system is a high rack storage, which houses the machine pallets with the clamping devices and the raw materials. A racking storage and retrieval vehicle transports the pallets to the seven machining centers or to four loading stations for mounting. The central tool storage unit that is arranged at a right angle to this has space for 2500 tools and a crib robot. The steel colleague sorts and puts away new tools and brings worn tools to the withdrawal station. If tools are needed on the machines, it passes them to a gantry robot that travels on rails over to the machine and loads it into its magazine.

Stefan Kempf explains how this works in practice: "We provide each tool with an RFID chip that contains all of the relevant data." Once the tool arrives at the machining center, geometry data and tool life is read. "But above all, the remaining tool life is communicated with used tools." And the system thinks for itself. If a tool receives a tool life warning, the robot delivers a replacement tool into the magazine chain on time.

The Difference between New and Used Tools

New and refurnished tools have different tool lives – an important information that the system takes into account. At this point, there is no TDM software alternative that can detect up to eight tool states and assign that particular tool. "We know, down to the second, what the tool life of each tool is and how much tool life we need to produce a part. Thirty-six hours in advance, the system executes a resource check to see how much tool life of a tool type is still in the system. If that amount is under the required tool life, our tool assembly area automatically receives an order request and gets informed exactly when the tool will be used."

The TDM software also helps to make sure tools are ready for use. The presetters serve not only the tool assembly. Even more important is a plausibility check that is carried out for each tool installed. The presetters receive up to nine predetermined parameters about the tools from TDM via an interface. These are compared against the actual tool and thus verified. This balance between the actual data and the nominal data stored in TDM ensures that only perfectly mounted tools enter the system. Kempf: "A key issue for reliable production."

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