TDM Tool Management Software Explained
Cutting tools play a major part in CNC manufacturing and new geometries and grades are constantly being developed by tool manufacturers to keep up with demanding part materials and applications. In other words, the variety of tools in today’s machining world is so vast that no human brain will be able to fully handle details such chip breakers, coatings, speeds & feeds, prices, where used and other parameters.
Data Silos and Disconnected Databases
The big issue in manufacturing companies is data integrity and consistency. A CNC shop is no exception where staff deal with multiple databases managing cutting tools information. Most common way to manage tools is using spread sheets where you input tool codes, descriptions and some information such as speeds and feeds, operations numbers and part numbers. Some store their tools assemblies as templates inside CAM softwares. Some use electronic tool cabinets to manage their inventories. Some print and file hard copies of tool drawings and tool lists and keep them in the cupboards ! Well they all do the job, don’t they ? but question is: “How Efficient and Accurate? “
Wastes in Machining Processes
If you look at managing tools from Lean and Six Sigma perspective, there are huge wastes that could be either eliminated or mitigated. Let’s go through a few examples:
How many times we’ve all seen operators running around the shop to find out what tool list is most updated version. Where are the inserts located? on what machines holders are available ? is the tool on hand same geometry as the tool in CAM operation ? or perhaps one other example could be the times you’d like to report on tool items that are mostly used and to find out which items are obsolete? the times that you’d like to change over to a new tool but have no idea what jobs are being run by the current tool ? Which CAM files/program numbers you need to update ? the disadvantages of not having an integrated tool management solution are so many.
Some Downsides of Managing Tools Without a Tool Management Software
- Resource inefficiency (Operators, CAM engineers, Supervisors…)
- Tool related machine down times
- Large tool stock levels and obsolete inventories
- No tool cost reporting per job and shift
- Lack of transparency and tooling standardisation
- Unnecessary investment in additional tools
- No consolidated supplier management capability
- Huge cost of managing duplicate databases
SOLUTION: A Software that Manages the Entire Life Cycle of Cutting Tools
TDM software was developed by Walter AG, the world famous tool manufacturer, 28 years ago. Since then, TDM company has grown exponentially acquiring more than 900 customers globally. To date there are more than 14,000 users of TDM software across continents stressing the values such system can bring to CNC manufacturing plants.
What Can TDM Do ?
- Import and create tool items from inbuilt manufacturers’ catalogues including drawings, 3D models, geometries and speeds and feeds information
- Create tool assemblies (2D & 3D)
- Create tool lists with where used search capability
- Integration to CAM softwares to import tool data and export tool lists per operation
- Integration to electronic tool cabinets/cribs to monitor tool stocks and cost reporting/allocation
- Integration to tool presetting machines t measure tools and transfer offset data
- Integration to machine tools to query required tools and tool life monitoring
Who Does it Suit?
Literally anyone! It can be a small machine shop with 3-4 machines or large companies with +20 machines. Certainly the bigger the operations the more necessity of such structured tool management platform. The big plus for smaller shops is that they can implement it quicker and at relatively smaller cost. The reason is legacy data. The more scattered tool databases you have the longer will be the implementation phase.
Moreover, TDM is modular and scale-able meaning that you can start with TDM base module which helps you manage tool items, assemblies and tool lists. For many small shops these are the only core requirements. As their operations grow in time, they can add more licenses and think of integration to other machining aspects such as CAM software, tool cabinet, tool presetting and CNC machines integrations.
So regardless of your machine shop size, you can benefit from TDM tool management software.
Below is some of our global customers using TDM
What is the cost?
That depends on how many licenses/users you’d need but in general it’s very much moderately priced software platform. We can access your requirements and submit a quotation outlining all costs involved.
Where to start ?
Teknova is TDM’s partner in Australia and New Zealand and our staff can book a face to face or online session with you to give a free demo of the actual software and answer your questions.
TEKNOVA is the official sales and aftersales agent of TDM Systems GmbH in Australia and New Zealand and we can scope and implement TDM tool management software in your CNC manufacturing operations in order to reduce tool costs, increase machining productivity and maximise tool potential.
Learn more about TDM by visiting our website.
We’re interested to have your feedback. Feel free to share your thoughts with us here!
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