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Bringing IIoT connectivity to production facilities

Source:International Metalworking News for Asia June 2017

Date Published:6/13/2017 05:06:27 PM

As a result of this digital thread, the amount of tool software will increase three to four times by 2025.

Sandvik Coromant celebrated its 75 years and to mark this event, it has invited about 40 press representatives all over the world at its Sandvik Coromant Center in Sandviken, Sweden. The company’s heritage is steel, but the real history of the company begins in 1942 when Wilhelm Haglund was assigned the job as manager for a new production unit for cemented carbide tools in Sandviken. And 75-years later its tools are used all over the world in the manufacturing of as diverse products as aeroplanes and more.

Magnus Ekbäck, Vice President Business Development and acting head of digital machining discussed today’s digital transformation covering Internet, digital sales and marketing, and digital value creation. He said the outside forces now and onwards include flat market growth, changing customer needs, increasing competition, digitalisation and technology development. Magnus stressed the demand on internal efficiency, costs and business transformation.

He also said the machine shop of the future, a digital thread will weave through the pre-, in- and post-machining processes. The Pre-Machining (Design, Process Planning, Operations Planning, Production Logistics), In-Machining (Machining), Post-Machining (Verification and Outbound Logistics).

In his presentation, Magnus explained, “As a result of this digital thread, the amount of tool software will increase three to four times by 2025. Meanwhile, the amount of tool hardware will remain about the same.”

One example of this software is Sandvik Coromant’s PrimeTurning code generator. PrimeTurning is compatible with various CNC systems and creates the ISO programming code and techniques for the toolmaker’s new turning methodology. According to the company, the PrimeTurning methodology enables parts manufacturers to perform longitudinal facing and profiling (forward and back), as well as conventional turning (from part end to chuck), with one tool. 

“Our ambition is to grow and embrace more customer jobs. Through Pre-machining, they invest in new equipment and technology, do quotations on components on customer requests, write CAM programs that generate NC code, simulate the operation/task, and prepare the production process –cutting data selection, programming, blank selection and operations list, tool list/machine. In In-machining: they run production improvement projects, remove bottle-necks, optimise production of existing part: cutting data, methods, re-programming, tooling, prepare tools and work pieces for next batch, solve quality problems, scrapping and other issues that occur, lower cost per component and improve cost control,” Magnus stated.

Digital machining

Magnus, explained its digital mission, “We believe in driving the transition of a sustainable supply chain by reducing waste. We assist our customers with the technology shift by connecting the value chain with digital solutions. We provide asset efficiency at all enterprise levels through process transparency within the machining industry.”

With extensive investments in research and development Sandvik Coromant create unique innovations and set new productivity standards together with their customers. In line with Industry 4.0, Magnus talked about CoroPlus® platform for connected solutions that is made ready for Industry 4.0. 

The CoroPlus concept is designed specifically to improve the control of productivity and costs through a combination of connected machining and access to manufacturing data and expert knowledge.

The CoroPlus suite consists of tools and software that can send and/or receive data. Using connected technology and machining knowledge from Sandvik Coromant, the suite makes it possible to reduce data waste and improve manufacturing processes in design and planning and in-machining.

With CoroPlus, users not only get access to Sandvik Coromant product and application data through connected software, but with sensor-equipped tools they can adjust, control and monitor machining performance in real time. The CoroPlus concept demonstrates how the machine shop’s productivity can be increased via accurate on-site data dashboards, through the cloud and via integration with the user’s software and machine environment. CoroPlus connects into existing software environments through open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), offering two-way connectivity and accurate data.

The main benefit the CoroPlus concept offers is the ability to optimise manufacturing through better understanding and insight into what’s happening in the workshop and machining environment. Access to accurate tool and application data inside the existing workflow enables considerable time savings to be made. Also, specific sensor-equipped solutions can be controlled to ensure breakages are avoided and performance is secured, with data intelligence collected live throughout the machining process.

The new Sandvik Coromant suite consists of the CoroPlus ToolGuide which connects directly to a user’s CAM or tool management software, the CoroPlus ToolLibrary which enables the user to create virtual tool assemblies from any supplier’s ISO 13399 standard tool catalogue, the CoroBore® + remote tool set-up system, the in-cut monitoring solution Silent Tools™ +, the Promos 3+ data collector which monitors tools and processes in real time, and the PrimeTurning™ code generator which creates ISO programming codes that are compatible with various CNC systems.

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