Tool Management 4.0 – Successful applications

For around one year now, MAPAL has been offering its “Tool Management 4.0”. This uses the open-cloud platform from c-Com GmbH. The processes are digitised and displayed transparently using the c-Com SaaS solution (Software as a Service). In addition to the benefits of classic tool management, such as 100% tool availability, resource conservation and reduced inventory costs, Tool Management 4.0 opens up completely new potentials for the customer. Where individual lists with limited access were used in the past, the data are now available to every authorised person with Tool Management 4.0. It no longer has to be maintained in different systems. Data discontinuity is prevented. The individual projects are now being gradually changed over to Tool Management 4.0, depending on the agreement with the customer. The first projects are already in successful operation.

Examples:

Cost per part reporting for engine production

For example, MAPAL has changed over the whole tool management to the new platform for the works of a car manufacturer with the capacity for the manufacturing of 500,000 engines per year. The existing tool management is conducted exclusively via the platform. The most important indicators at tool level, such as consumption, stocks and overall the cost-per-part can be displayed transparently and read out automatically.

Regrinding handling for roll milling cutters

For another MAPAL customer, a TIER1 supplier to the automotive industry, the focus is on regrinding as the first step in the changeover to Tool Management 4.0. MAPAL has been responsible for the tool management there since 2012. Even then, the tool costs were reduced by around 15 percent.

The supplier has some 60 different roll milling cutters from various suppliers in use for more than 70 machining operations. The logistics surrounding the regrinding of the roll milling cutters that was not part of the tool management has been handled to date in the form of vast Excel files that are constantly sent back and forth by e-mail between the company’s logistics department and the respective supplier. The consequences of this method were stocks that were too high or too low, regular difficulties with the suppliers due to a shortage of tools and resulting stoppages in production – along with the high administrative costs for clarifying misunderstandings. The manufacturers of the roll milling cutters have indeed saved the number of regrinding processes of each individual tool in a database, but this data was not available to the customer.

With the changeover to Tool Management 4.0, MAPAL has now also taken responsibility for this aspect. First these tools were personalised with a data matrix code (DMC) and the data stored in the cloud. The current stock and status, how often the tools have already been reground and the remaining tool life can now be checked at any time. In this way, the tool costs for the roll milling cutters were reduced by 20 percent within a very short period of time – thanks purely to the transparent overview.

A similar project that MAPAL is carrying out for an automotive industry supplier also involves the regrinding handling. In this case, PcBN indexable inserts that are used for hard milling are being serialised. With a clear benefit for the customer: The status of every single special indexable insert is known at all times so that optimum use can be made of the regrinding potential of the PcBN cutting material.

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