Machine status on your cell phone

Monitor the machine status with Condition Monitoring
— an example from a window manufacturer in Switzerland.

Florian Krebs is partner at Muster Fenster AG in Switzerland and is responsible for window production and project management at his company. His 20-member team produces 2,500 windows each year. Well, thought-out processes and the most efficient use of CNC machines are therefore essential.

Besides this use case, we also held a joint webinar with Florian Krebs and the GFF journal on digitization. Learn more about the webinar here.

As Florian Krebs is happy to share his story, we took a closer look at his company and talked to Florian Krebs:

Florian, can you give us a short overview of your concept in your window production?

Our window production's heart is our CNC window production center from HOMAG, or, more precisely, a BMB 925. The cut and planed parts are automatically clamped in place and come out as a finished part on the processing table after the milling process.
It is, therefore, a machine type that can operate autonomously. Thus, we can put 50-60 parts into the machine, which are then milled and machined one after the other. Depending on the complexity, our machine can accordingly work autonomously for 2-3 hours.

How does the process look like in your case?

We mainly use autonomous work during breaks, e.g., during lunchtime, but especially when we start a production cycle in the evening. So we can finish the workshop at 5 p.m. and go home while the machine continues to work until 8 p.m. The autonomous operation of the CNC system naturally only works if there is no malfunction. So when the machine was new, we had to reorganize ourselves. The machine operators distributed extra shifts so that they could go back into operation in the evening and see whether the CNC had run through without any errors or whether there was a malfunction.
Sometimes, a spindle just kept on running, or a machine error where it would not be good at all if the machine were to stand still overnight, mostly since the production process would then not be completed.

Where is MachineBoard helpful?

Based on our queries about the processes, HOMAG presented us the MachineBoard from tapio, and that was the solution for us:
Via the view on the MachineBoard, I can easily see the machine's details on my cell phone. I can see at a glance which machine and which machine table is currently in operation. I can see when the machine has finished producing all the parts.
For example, the machine cannot continue working if a part cannot be appropriately clamped. Then the machine goes into sleep mode. I can see this from anywhere on my smartphone and can then react. In another scenario, there may be a changeover error, and the spindle continues to run.
It would be not good if I didn't know. The next morning, I would be confronted with an unfinished production cycle. The spindle would continue to run for 12-14 hours throughout the night. This would not only delay all the following processes, but I would also lose time and efficiency, and the spindle would not feel good at all.

How exactly do you use the MachineBoard?

When I'm at home in the evening, I can quickly check my machine's condition on my cell phone. Then I can see that everything is in order and can enjoy the evening with a clear conscience and go into operation the next morning with peace of mind. That gives me a good feeling!
Suppose a machine error is displayed on the MachineBoard. In that case, I can decide whether I need to go back into operation or whether it is not critical.

Digital transformation: How have you made the transition to digital thinking in your company?

We have long been engaged in rethinking our production and the associated processes. We were in the digital stone age with our old machines, which we had for 20-30 years. To be modern, we cut and tore out everything old.
All new machines are now equipped with an internet connection. The topic Internet of Things (IoT) is prepared with us, and maintenance becomes digitally possible. Almost three years have passed until we could implement everything with the new machines, and everything was ready.

In three points: Why is the MachineBoard valuable for your production?

  • I always keep an eye on the condition of the machine.
  • We can use our production time more efficiently.
  • I feel good in the evening when I go home, and the machine is still working

Florian Krebs from MusterFenster AG in front of his CNC machine with the tapio MachineBoard App. With his tablet, he can see the status of his machines anywhere at any time. The MachineBoard gives Florian more flexibility in his everyday work.
Florian's CNC woodworking machine with which he produces his windows. To avoid having to walk past the machine all the time, he uses the tapio MachineBoard to monitor the status of his machine.
This CNC machine from HOMAG is tapio-ready, i.e. it is capable of being connected to tapio. Once a machine is added to My tapio, the machine can be integrated into the App MachineBoard by assigning a license from the shop.
examples from the workshop & production

Maintenance and service from practice
made digital & efficient