Tool Management: Simply better organized

Who is not familiar with this from their own production operation - the search for the right tools for the job! Where are the tools, and are they available as a complete set or as individual components? Cumbersome tool lists that usually cannot be called up on screen when and where they are needed! No clear information on tools for provision at the machine! Tool data is frequently still communicated manually – time-consuming, with great potential for mistakes to be made – and at times of ultra-modern, IT-controlled production technologies a very cost-in-effective way of doing things. While large sums are being invested in high-tech machines and in ever greater numbers of tools, technically obsolete production procedures tend to slip from the field of view – and with it a vast potential to improve efficiency and cut costs.

This then gives rise to high and non-verifiable costs for tools and their accessories, long periods of machine downtime and, through that, high tooling costs.

Low cost - big impact
It can however be much simpler, reliable and less costly to implement than it might at first glance appear to be. Here, ZOLLER offers highlyefficient solutions at low cost – and can also do so for small and mediumsized enterprises. The individual steps from the acquisition to the provision of tools and to their use on the machine are all based on a simple process which can be organized simply and better with the help of an intelligent Tool Management system.

Reliable tool flow
Intelligent software modules such as the ZOLLER tool data management, inventory location management and NC program management systems can guarantee, when used in conjunction with a ZOLLER measuring machine equipped with »pilot 3.0« image processing, a simple and reliable flow of tools at the workplace.

The existing CAD/CAM system produces the NC program and, if necessary, performs tool collision detection. From this, the tool list (setting sheet) can be produced. Then, using the ZOLLER measuring machine with »pilot 3.0«, the order-specific tools can be measured, checked and managed.

Simply better organized
The resulting tool list includes all the information required about tool, machine and workpiece. The tool data is not communicated via outdated job progress cards or folders, but instead travels quickly and securely across the modern network where it can be called up anytime anywhere. By means of the ZOLLER tool data and inventory location management functions, the complete tools or individual components needed can then be checked out and commissioned. The operator can also print out the commission list actually required for a given job.

Vast potential for cost-savings
The storage of tools as individual components offers vast potential for cost savings because expensive tools and accessories do not need to be available on multiple occasions in the form of complete tools. It is possible to gain a quick overview of the tools in circulation and the use to which tools are being put – on the machine, or with reference to a given job.

Production process that is faster and more independent of the operator
The subsequent measuring and testing or inspection of tools is then a fully automated or a manual process. Data output - in an appropriate format for the control unit - is transmitted into the customer network at the touch of a button. Keying errors of the kind that can result through manual input on a machine control unit are therefore eliminated. And the laborious task of attaching adhesive labels also becomes a thing of the past. A cost-effective organizational aid which delivers a big impact is the use of barcodes on existing setting sheets or on the commission list. This makes it possible to produce complete tools from individual components quickly and easily, or to track down existing complete tools.

Also for small to medium-sized enterprises
This operation is already possible with a ZOLLER »smile400/pilot 3.0«. It does not always have to be the complete solution – depending on which vertically integrated aspect of production needs to be optimized, this modular software can be implemented in a series of small steps and to any desired extent. ZOLLER TMS Tool Management Solutions are grouped together in three packages, Bronze, Silver and Gold, and deliver transparency to the tool-based production organization. Users can always access the correct data in the tool flow. Simply better organized at every stage of the production operation.