Changing Ideas

with BMW Group

A story of success

Staying on top today requires tool management that is not only precise, but that is "absolutely precise". And tool management that ideally also reduces tool costs by 50%.

[Translate to English:] BMW Group Landshut, Kompetenzzentrum für Leichtbau und Elektromobilität

Our customer: The BMW Group plant in Landshut

At the BMW Group plant in Landshut, around 3,600 employees ensure day after day that every BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce contains a piece of Landshut's innovative strength. 
As a competence center for lightweight construction and electromobility, this is how trends are created for an entire industry. 

The challenge

TCM International had taken on the task of supporting the BMW Group plant in Landshut with tool supply and tool presetting. 
The claim of TCM International? To develop a new perspective for work on the store floor. 

How everything began

With the TCM Tool Analysis, the usual processes, 
potential for improvement and also the quality of the master data. The unbiased, objective view from the outside is incorruptible and shows ways how the process quality can be increased. In addition to the status quo, the potential for improvement in the areas of purchasing, organization and tool technology is also worked out. In this case, the results of the analysis enabled both an immediate and a continuous increase in productivity in tool management. 


The result

  • Tooling costs cut in half
  • Ongoing consulting in the design of new projects

TCM's contribution: Tool Management Level 6 

As a further development of the highly proven TCM Tool Management, the specialists of TCM International developed a new "Level 6" for more efficiency and significant productivity increases. 
In addition to the classic tool cost analysis, Level 6 also includes innovative machining concepts that are integrated into the respective business model. Thus, TCM can offer the benefit of reduced tooling costs on the one hand and, on top of that, a pre-defined level of productivity increase during the contract period. 
A crucial aspect here is that the extent of the higher productivity is several times greater than the savings in tooling costs. Through integration with the SAP Tool Management COCKPIT developed by TCM, additional processes can be efficiently controlled and optimized in the future. TCM's performance enables its customers, such as the BMW Group, to benefit from long-term and sustainable optimizations, to improve their own competitiveness and to record annual savings. The introduction of Wintool and the repair and reconditioning of PKD tools were also connected with this.

Max Lankes about

The day after tomorrow is today  
already the day before yesterday


TCM International's Tool Managers have been supporting the BMW Group at the Landshut plant for five years. We asked TCM Tool Manager Max Lankes to take stock. Here he reports on what has been learned together, why you should quietly get personal, and what the number 1 piece has to do with the future.


The facts are quickly told: At the BMW Group plant in Landshut, 3,600 employees ensure day after day that every BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce contains a piece of Landshut's innovative strength. Almost five years ago, TCM International, the tool management specialist with Austrian roots, started a so-called "Level 6" project in this competence center for lightweight construction and electromobility.

"Level 6" sounds good - but what exactly is it? 
Tool Management Level 6 goes beyond the classic tool cost consideration and also includes innovative machining concepts that are integrated into the respective business model. A decisive aspect here is that the extent of higher productivity is several times greater than the savings in pure tool costs.

In soccer, success is measured in goals - how can the success of a tool management project be measured?
Max Lankes: In soccer parlance, I think we've managed to win by a landslide! The decisive goals? We have achieved a 50 percent reduction in tool costs over the years - an exemplary performance by all involved. Thanks to a stable and at the same time flexible supply process, there are virtually no more machine downtimes and thus much more peace and quiet in production. And what fascinates me most personally: Together with BMW Group employees, we thought and worked far beyond the actual core task of machining and thus brought something new and exciting into the production process in many respects.

What does it take?
In addition to a good portion of "high tech" from the customer side, i.e. from the BMW Group plant in Landshut, and from our side as a service provider, what is needed above all is an even greater portion of "high touch. To put it in concrete terms: The most important success factor is how the people in the team get along, not only professionally but also personally. In our case, for example, the two technologists on the BMW Group and TCM sides not only did a fantastic job in terms of tools, but also looked at interfaces and went deep into the entire production process. In concrete terms, this means that the upstream and downstream processes such as pre-machining, measuring, washing and much more were included, which had a great effect on the production result. 







What has TCM learned from the BMW Group? And what did the BMW Group learn from you?
One important point was certainly how wisely they handle innovation - namely, curiously enough on the way to the future, but not head over heels. And vice versa? We were certainly surprised at how quickly and easily we could solve problems that suddenly arose. We are really good at "firefighting". And yes, I think our independence from manufacturers is a valuable contribution. You can learn from us that the right tool has to be in the right place at the right time - but which name is on it is not decisive for us and for the efficiency of the process.

Speaking of the future - what do you think is in store for the metal cutting industry?
To be honest, I think that we are currently going about the same as Columbus on his great voyage. We know roughly where this "continent of digitization" is. And yes, we keep finding exciting new islands. But we still often find ourselves in the fog on our journey into the future. Now, you can see that as a risk, or you can see it as an opportunity. 
At TCM, we see it as an opportunity, for us and for the industry. Our motto is "Changing Ideas", in short: we want to change perspectives. Let me give you an example: If a C02 marginal tax rate is introduced in the foreseeable future, then the perspective of "how do we save more seconds in the process" will no longer be enough. We will then have to expand it to include "how resource-efficient are our processes". An exciting challenge.

What does TCM have up its sleeve on the subject of the future?
It is clear to us that the day after tomorrow is already the day before yesterday. That's why we absolutely have to learn to master the increasing complexity in manufacturing today. We see ourselves and the industry increasingly confronted with higher component complexity and smaller batch sizes - the keyword being "number 1". Over the past few years, we have specifically adapted to this situation and aligned our own software modules accordingly. This starts with the master data (, continues with the complete setup process ( and ends with the system-supported provision of tools ( As you can see, we have continuously developed our tool management cycle. Otherwise, we would not be able to efficiently manage projects with, for example, more than 5,000 different tools. In the fall, the next customer workshops will start, where we will define further optimization steps together with our customers. For us, the day after tomorrow can come! 


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