The company took the opportunity offered by the international trade fair for sheet metal working to show how digital connected applications can help improve how production is organized and reduce costs. “We make highly productive machines. Yet only 20 percent of the cost of completing a job is incurred during the actual machining stage on the system itself. Using our connected products and services, customers can now boost the efficiency of the production processes in sheet metal fabrication that occur upstream and downstream from the machine,” says Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, Chief Executive Officer Machine Tools at TRUMPF. These upstream and downstream stages are where 80 percent of the job is processed. At Blechexpo, TRUMPF will be showing how solutions such as its factory design services can reduce the time and resources required to complete a job by up to 50 percent.
Connecting up existing machinery
The solutions TRUMPF exhibited rely on sensors, software and services. One of the things the company demonstrated at the trade fair is how to add connected applications to existing machinery. “In today’s world, digital solutions are a prerequisite for automating production processes. They can be used to optimize manufacturing processes, improve quality, avoid downtime, and achieve a more even distribution of work across all machines and workstations,” says Prokop. At Blechexpo, TRUMPF showcased a fully connected system and presenting a new software solution that shows how digitalization can make people’s working lives easier. In the future, it supports workers at various workstations on the shop floor, for example machine operators or assembly line workers. Depending on the task at hand, the digital assistant on the tablet provides specific information to support people’s daily tasks, ranging from advice on how to correctly set up the machine and tips on parts picking to details of the required tools and equipment. This helps both unskilled and experienced employees to work independently and efficiently and take the initiative where necessary. This digital solution reduces the time spent searching for tools and other items and enhances the quality of production.
Even better support and service in the future
TRUMPF also presented its concept for future predictive maintenance services, based on a power-tube. This part, which forms the heart of the laser generator in almost all CO2 laser cutting machines, automatically reports its status to the operator. As a result, the user knows when the part needs replacing and when the time has come to submit a repeat order. This is an efficient way of avoiding unplanned downtime.