A genuine gain in capacity for innovation
Generating more capacity for product innovations was the objective for managing director Dietmar Dürr at GDS Präzisionszerspanungs GmbH. The contribution that optimization of the machine pool could add had been more or less exhausted. Potential fine-tuning was found in the periphery and the organization of the manufacturing processes.
Reducing non-productive auxiliary times, such as set-up times and search times, and ensuring an optimized process flow (for example, without having to enter tool data twice) were the focus: in conjunction with ZOLLER, market leaders for tool presetting and measuring technology as well as being an expert on tool management, the company proceeded.
Germany's GDS Präzisionszerspanungs GmbH is a professional supplier of products relating to grinding machines. In the rotationally symmetric field the company manufactures anything from individual parts to large series with absolute precision.
"The modernity of a company is these days provided via software solutions."
The products are in high demand with grinding businesses. More capacity was required with a focus on maintaining maximum quality and ensuring faster delivery times. The strategy for increasing capacity included measures such as minimizing expensive auxiliary times and utilizing all options for linking to achieve manufacturing transparency. Dietmar Dürr is convinced: "The modernity of a company is these days provided via software solutions."
In concrete terms this meant linking all the existing systems in the company. That was an argument in favor of ZOLLER as a partner, as tool management and tool presetting would come from a single source and linking to third party systems such as ESPRIT is possible. The initial objective was to improve throughput and output to gain one hour per machine per day, thus achieving more with the same manpower.
Fast customer response starts with tool preparation
Transparency through total production was to be achieved step by step. After investing in a new programming system, the focus was now on tool preparation. And fast customer response also starts with tool preparation "Tools you just sort of have? What a fallacy! Often you don't!", states Dietmar Dürr.
How can tools be prepared such, that 3D simulation can already be performed completely in the CAD system and the programming system? The operator should have programs and set-up sheets available on the machine and only keep things running via "plug & play".
One machine gained in single shift operation
"We have not quite reached this level yet, but we are getting there," is how Dietmar Dürr describes the progress made.
What are the results after one year? The benefits of investments into the periphery are difficult to calculate. "We have received a number of new ideas, but you cannot express everything in numbers", says Thomas Löhn, Sales Manager at GDS. "What we have definitely saved by investing into a ZOLLER tool presetting and measuring machine with the »Tool Management Solutions SILVER« package, is one machine in single shift operation", calculates Dietmar Dürr, and adds: "In concrete terms this means I have saved considerably in production time and gained one man."
Achieving more with the same manpower
"With these measures we are able to produce our workpieces more process-safe, easier and faster than before - without having to change the product or the cutting technology in any way, simply by optimizing the periphery", summarizes Dietmar Dürr.
The end of tool searching
Prior to introducing TMS Tool Management Solutions, tools were stored in cabinets, on the machine or in drawers - and then they still had to be prepared. Today, a programmer can check online which tools are where and in which manufacturing process - thanks to the ZOLLER tool exchange list »cetus« and the linked location query, machine controls can be accessed at any time.
Simulation with real tools
"Presetting tools is one thing, and plenty of people can do that. But we wanted more, we wanted genuine tool stocks including their management. The real tool had to be used in our programming system. This was important to us, not only for the simulation of parts, but also for calculation purposes. Now we can check in advance whether expensive special tools are required for manufacturing, or whether we can work with existing tools", is how Dietmar Dürr explains the benefits of the ZOLLER equipment.
Reduction of tool costs
The second point was tool costs. Reliable stock taking which signals the availability for the next program saves enormously on costs here. This is because optimal use of the tools can be planned and one always knows what is already on board - machines just have to run, ideally with standard tools already available on the machine.
It pays to rethink the manufacturing process
It pays to rethink the manufacturing process: "We can now use the increased throughput as a genuine gain in capacity for our product innovations - and expand our market position", is the summary of the managing director after the first year.
"Particularly in favor of ZOLLER as a partner, were the points "linking to third party systems" and "service", as well as the fact that everything came from a single source", is how Dietmar Dürr summarized the reasons for deciding to work together with ZOLLER. .