“We work directly with the customer to analyse their data flow on the shopfloor level and map it out perfectly,” summarises Volker Schwegler, senior consultant and product manager at TDM Systems, of the advantage of the new TDM Shopfloor Manager with TDM 2017 Global Line.

TDM Global Line is a central part of the ‘TDM next generation’ program range that, besides TDM Global Line, also includes TDM 2017 and TDM Cloud Line.

Until now, tools were booked and then rebooked between the machine and the crib. “Today, we book tools as early as the tool assembly and presetting stages. Thus, we directly map out the actual, physical tool flow,” says Schwegler. In doing so, TDM Systems is always oriented towards each user's respective situation. Every person involved in a process should be able to view precisely the information they require for their specific task.

The module records the entirety of a tool’s journey, from requirements planning for tool assembly, presetting and tool use at the machine, through to disassembling. The way these elements are combined will, in future, be based on various configuration options that essentially allow the modules to be slotted together, according to each customer's needs.

Many companies combine assembly and presetting together in a toolroom, for example. In this case, the toolroom cost center can be represented and all necessary actions summarised on a single screen. It is also possible to assign a presetting to a machine in the configuration.

The operator's work is also made simpler. The fundamental principle is the to-do list: the operator ticks off each task step by step. Additional tasks are simply added to the list at the appropriate stages of the process. This is carried out via an interface with a modern design that the user can mostly put together themselves. Adds Schwegler: “We know exactly what needs to happen with a tool so that it can be used. Now we can assign these tasks in such a way that it suits each customer.”

In addition, the TDM Shopfloor Manager in TDM is fully integrated into the inventory management system of TDM Tool Crib Module Global Line. TDM Tool Crib Module Global Line has access to all apps in order to guide the tools through the tool cycle of the production process. The software supports ordering processes, controls and manages automated manual crib systems, and ensures optimum crib inventory levels.

With TDM Shopfloor Manager integrated into the inventory management system. This means that, in future, even tool assemblies in secondary cribs can be managed. This is important, for example, to subcontractors for whom the array of parts they manufacture on their machines is usually changing constantly, meaning that they require the same tools again only a short time after using them. In theory, such tools should be returned to the central crib and disassembled – something nobody does in practice. With the Tool Crib Module, a tool assembly can also be managed in secondary cribs near the machines. This means that it is always known exactly where the tool assemblies are and what condition they are in. Schwegler again: “Disassembling, reassembling and presetting are no longer strictly necessary, saving significant time and costs.”

In doing so, this fundamental principle is followed: if a job has been completed at cost centre A, it is transferred to cost centre B; “an ever balanced in and out”.

In accordance with the TDM strategy of Tool Lifecycle Management, this strengthens the integration of the machine tool into the process chain in the spirit of Industrie 4.0: The tool is assigned to a machine and the necessary data is transferred to the machine via an intelligent interface. The machine operator works with identical shop view options, regardless of the integration level.

This new flexibility should cover at least 80% of customer demands. Secondary cribs, central tool storage for multiple machines or machines for which the tool offset can already be transferred and machines for which it cannot, can all be mapped by one and the same software structure. According to TDM Systems, the majority of users require hardly any individual adaptations on this basis. And TDM Global Line is available everywhere in production via web browser any time it is needed.