Metal machining companies making the jump to digitalization
As a result of its many years of support and optimization of machining processes, TCM is your partner when it comes to redesigning existing machining processes (re-tooling) or adopting the entire tool design for the machining of new parts. Oswald Scheibenbauer, Manager Engineering, in an interview on digitalization and how it changes the lives of many professionals.
Mr Scheibenbauer, what challenges are your customers currently facing?
First of all, the question arises as to what digitalization in the field of metal cutting and precision tools can do and with which software components such progress can be implemented.
Here, our software Wintool offers numerous advantages. Possible questions regarding the compatibility with other digital systems can be answered by TCM with pre-programmed interfaces to the most important CAD and CAM programming systems.
Although TCM is a tool specialist, every process optimization involves examining the setup and clamping of the parts, the clamping device itself and the design of the CNC machining program and incorporating them into the optimization of the machining process.
Such an intensive cooperation with our customers finally results in modern solutions for components that have been manufactured by the customer for some time.
Typical optimization possibilities for TCM are:
Reduction of machining time, improvement of surface quality and dimensional accuracy, improvement of process reliability.
There are different approaches to this:
- Use of a more suitable cutting material,
- Use of self-designed and developed special tools for the combination of several processing steps,
- Optimization of cutting values and the CNC programs used,
- Use of modern machining strategies.
"EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT USING STATE-OF-THE-ART TOOLING TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE MACHINING TIME AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY."
Furthermore, it is a great concern for us to be able to accompany our customers as a system partner, from the conception of a component and the procurement of machinery to the complete machining of the component.
The optimum tool package from TCM guarantees the customer the use of state-of-the-art tool technology and a smooth start-up of high-output parts production.
We also like to take the time to talk to our customers about the benefits of our Toolbase tool dispensers, and the creation and use of digital tool data with Wintool, ranging from CNC programming in pre-processing, to tool pre-setting in the Toolcenter, through to its use in the machine.
In which sectors or industries are have you observed particularly exciting changes?
Aircraft suppliers manufacturing titanium alloy parts. Customers who mass-produce aluminum die-cast parts. Machining of demanding components for racing. Machining of 3D contours in turbine construction and tool making. Processing of superalloys and lightweight components, made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).
What do customers want and what can TCM offer them as a partner?
TCM automatic tool dispensers promise cost transparency for cutting tools, automatic reordering, significant reduction of company-internal communication routes, all while reducing tooling costs. Furthermore, the 24h tool supply with automatic dispensing machines is more in demand than ever.
Our customers want digital data from complete tools for consistent use in CAM programming / CAM simulation, to creating digital setting plans in tool assembly, through to the digital transmission of tool dimensions to the processing machine.
In this changeover to the widespread use of digital tool data, TCM has proven itself to be the right partner. We support on site when the tools are commissioned, can create digital tool data for the customer and provide ongoing advice on the processing of novel materials.
Which trends are currently in discussion?
In the digital domain, tool data preparation and its reuse is directly in the CAM programming. The digital acquisition of the machine's performance data during the machining process for optimum use of tools in unmanned production and the digital acquisition of machine spindle runtimes to optimize set-up times and better production planning are increasingly important topics.
Alternative milling strategies such as trochoidal milling, high-feed milling and high-performance milling with specially profiled barrel cutters are currently attracting considerable interest.
The machining of additively manufactured components, which are specially developed for specific applications, is one of the most up-to-date fields of activity which we currently are also constantly researching in our in-house machining laboratory.
The final precision finish machining of these additively manufactured parts and the finishing of high silicon aluminum casting alloys with PCD and CVD diamond tools constantly represent a high challenge that we face every day and for which TCM has already been able to develop new, powerful tool systems.
Thank you for the interview!