Manage CNC tools digitally

Manage CNC tools digitally

Manage CNC tools digitally

Manage CNC tools digitally

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Labeled complete tool set in a wooden shelf.
Labeled complete tool set in a wooden shelf.
Labeled complete tool set in a wooden shelf.
Business Lead of twinio the tool management of tapio.

Jan Essig

Tool management for quality production

With more than 35 years of experience, Metawell GmbH produces and develops aluminium sandwich panels and lightweight components in Neuburg in Germany. The modern production technologies only run efficiently if the tool management is consistent. Therefore, Metawell uses the digital tool management twinio.

Manuel Wallesch from Metawell talks about his experiences with twinio.

How important is digitalization for Metawell?

The topic digitization is crucial, especially regarding the information flow within the production. For us, it is essential to reduce non-productive time, to keep track of building components, and to connect the different process steps.

Did you run a tool management at Metawell before you introduced twinio?

Before the introduction of digital tool management twinio, we had "analog" data holders on the HSK holders with information on length, tool number and radius. These data information plates were inserted into a register on the tool changer so that you knew what was in the changer at any given moment.

What had been the biggest pain points regarding the lack of a digital tool management? Is twinio able to provide solutions for this?

A major pain point was the tedious search for tools that are not standard in the machines but are used by several machines. We really lacked an overview of the current storage locations, such as the tool cabinet.

Only with the digital tool management system twinio, we finally gained an overview of the storage locations, the condition of the tools, and information directly from the tool supplier.

What challenges did you face when introducing twinio?

The challenges had been identified quickly. Luckily, there had not been many hurdles. Once we had created the tool data and storage locations in the system, we had to determine which hardware would be used to retrieve the information in twinio, i.e. the tablet, smartphone or browser on the PC.

Then, we already started to create the QR code and labeled the data holders on the HSK images. Our team was convinced of the importance of twinio and adopted digital tool management after the first quick steps quickly. After all, it is a real benefit for our production.

I can also imagine that in some companies the restructuring of the tool database is still a "tidying-up task" before getting started with twinio.

How did you introduce twinio? Which processes do you think are indispensable for using twinio successfully in your company?

I think that three areas were decisive for the positive introduction of twinio tool management in our company:

  1. We have provided tablets at the machines so that the recording of tools can be as quick and as easy as possible.

  2. Our tool database was presented systematically and structured with tools being indexed.

  3. Our team maintains the contents of the twinio database responsibly and cleanly so that the current storage locations of the tools are always up to date.

In which areas do you use twinio at Metawell. And, to which extent?

The entire CNC department with the CNC tools is central for us because the management of tools, from aggregates to clamping templates, should be digitally mapped and managed in twinio.

In addition, the tool management can be used everywhere where various important tools are used by several workstations. For example, in final assembly, where the router, magnetic column drill or circular saw is often required.

Was a high initial investment needed to be able to use twinio? Did you have to buy new hardware in addition to the license?

twinio tool management works on any hardware, as it only needs to be opened in any internet browser. Thus, it will also work via the browser on the machine. However, we have decided to use tablets, which we installed for each machine anyway. With these tablets, we additionally use further tapio applications, like ServiceBoard.

Moreover, the tablet camera enables the QR scan function in order to capture the tool easily and quickly. Furthermore, we plan to use further digital applications in production. Thus, purchasing the hardware seemed necessary anyway.

As the costs of the data holders and matching stickers are not worth mentioning. The tablets as hardware component were needed anyway, and the monthly twinio basic license gives us a transparent overview and flexibility, because we can adapt the basic license according to our own needs with tool add-on packages. Therefore, we did not have a high investment overall.

Are you satisfied with the price-performance ratio?

Yes, the profitability speaks for itself as search times are reduced massively.

On which type of hardware do you use twinio? Do you use different end devices, such as smartphones, tablets or PCs?

We use iPads on all machines.

What are the most important functions in twinio for you and why do you use them intensively?

  1. Storage location management to reduce search times is the best achievement for us. We now have an overview of the current storage locations of CNC tools and templates with just one click.

  2. Storing and retrieving tool data, such as the maximum speed, is a real help in production. We can access this information for manually created tools and also for tools of integrated tapio partners.

Which other functions would you like to see in twinio in the future?

In the future it would be good if there is a way to organize and define the roles in twinio. For example, a person who is allowed to create and archive tools and another person who, for example, "only" can change storage locations.

Finally, how would you discribe your digital tool management after the introduction of twinio?

With the help of twinio, our search times have dropped to almost zero. Thanks to the search function in twinio, the current storage location can be found quickly. All tools that are not standard in the tool changers have been equipped with a data holder. This label shows data such as length, radius, tool number and the corresponding QR code. This allows the tool and the new storage location to be quickly selected in the digital tool management twinio.
The digital, mobile tool management beats the old, analogue version of the tool management by far.

Thank you, Manuel Wallesch, for the insights and your shared experience with the twinio tool management. We conducted the interview in summer of 2020 and incorporated the feedback into the further development of twinio.

In the overview of integrated partners, you can see which tool manufacturers are already integrated into the digital tool management twinio.

Metawell has set up its own storage management for the tools of its CNC machines without much effort. With digital tools like the twinio app, the entry into digital storage management is easy, quick, and cost-effective.

Each item (tool) has a unique identification (ID), which makes confusion impossible, despite possibly having the same data. The QR codes for scanning come from the twinio app and can be used for your own storage management.

For your own tool storage management, you can be creative and build according to the space available in the workshop. You can also use existing storage locations and complement them with twinio.

twinio manages tools digitally. You automatically receive the data of our tapio partners integrated in twinio while scanning or manually adding. Recognizable by the blue ticks in the app. Manage grinding cycles and more.

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