Tool management: integrated, it runs on its own

Beim diesjährigen SAP PLM Infoday zum Thema „Digitalization and Product Development“ war auch die DSC Software AG wieder mit einem spannenden Vortrag zum Thema Mechatronik und einem Demostand vor Ort. Am Rande der Veranstaltung besuchte das DSC-Salesteam Asia aber auch Bestands- sowie Neukunden.

In a trade fair with seminars, DSC presents the options and benefits of SAP-based tool management with Factory Control Center

“Tool management in practice. Do it yourself, or have it done for you?” Under this title, CIM Aachen invited visitors to a one-day seminar in the Maritim Hotel in Ulm. There, on February 2, 2017, up to 70 participants were informed about current solutions for tool management in the product creation process – also with a view to the requirements of Industry 4.0. The seminar lectures were supplemented by an exhibition of leading providers of tool management systems – including DSC. The Karlsruhe software house showed how tool-related tasks can be designed more efficiently and profitably automated – with Factory Control Center, a modular solution that integrates tool-data and tool-lifecycle management as well as production planning and CAM in the SAP system and also connects shop-floor systems.

Managing tool data in the SAP system

From the company’s own and bought-in tools and tool assemblies to measuring tools and resources: FCTR integrates complete tool libraries in the SAP system – including BOMs, order data, geometries, cutting data, 2D/3D data and structures, as well as templates for tooling sheets and settings sheets. Whether the tool data itself is recorded or imported via tool catalogs such as ToolsUnited from CIMSOURCE: in the SAP system, this data can be structured and managed in relation to the plant. It can also be standardly classified by means of material masters. Moreover, tools and resources can be instantiated and the individual instances managed as equipment in the SAP system – including features such as correction data or remaining service life and all other relevant data.

Letting technology work for itself

FCTR provides all points along the product creation process with tool data: either automatically or via search functions such as the intelligent search with tool suggestions plus a preview of the graphical comparison. Other benefits come from the FCTR tool editor, which helps you in creating tool assemblies: by component search, explosion of the component structure, viewing function, separation join inspections, etc. Furthermore, it can independently put together tool assemblies from individual tool components according to requirements. What FCTR also offers: complete monitoring of tool flows, precise localization of tools, and ongoing supervision of the tool lifecycle – provided that all CNC machines and shop-floor systems such as setting and measuring equipment, storage lifts, etc. are connected via FCTR to the SAP system. Last but not least, a lot can be automated with FCTR. Some examples:

  • Identification of tool requirements as well as measurement and resource requirements
  • Comparison of requirements and availability as well as the triggering of corresponding activities
  • Creation of tooling orders and generation of setting orders
  • Generation of tooling sheets, tool lists, and where-used lists
  • Creation of orders for loading, unloading, and dismantling of tools
  • Supervision of downtimes and creation of required maintenance orders
  • Provision of measurement regulations on setting devices
  • Transportation of tools from storage systems to the machine and back

Exploiting efficiency potentials

FCTR opens up not only classical tool management potentials: downsizing of tool store by 30%, reduction of tool variety by 20%, cutting of direct tool costs by 10%. Product manufacturers can also speed up their CAM and procurement processes, reduce provisioning and setup times, and optimize tool and machine utilization. This gives them a better position in the entire PEP and they are faster to market with their products.