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Why better tool management will make your manufacturing purr

What springs to mind when you hear the phrase ‘smart manufacturing?’

Streamlining, quality, precision and reliability, perhaps. Innovation, connectivity, cost-effectiveness and future-proof operations.

While it’s all of these things and more, there’s one aspect of a production operation that is the absolute cornerstone for any business aspiring to achieve such benefits: tool management.

We don’t simply mean a drawer full of labelled drills. We’re talking a high-performance system capable of uniting all of your existing data and assets, integrating perfectly into your overall processes.

A system that’s user-friendly, versatile, secure and intuitive, helping to improve organisation, reduce factory down time, exploit tool potential, guarantee quality and drive up productivity.

The very heartbeat of your business.

For more than four decades, since it began performing early software development testing on a Commodore computer, ZOLLER has been perfecting a tool management programme that today is without peer.

 

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Tool management that grows with you

From one central database, ZOLLER Tool Management Solutions (TMS) make sure the right tool is in the right place at the right time, contributing to faster set-ups and maximum output.

From design to finished part, all stages of the manufacturing process are linked via the data held within the database – CAD/CAM department, warehouse, purchasing, machines, maintenance, quality control and, of course, the ZOLLER tool presetting and measuring system.

Modular bronze, silver and gold software packages are easy to implement and freely expandable, offering a flexibility that can be tailored to your specific needs and grow with you. Each runs on advanced pilot 3.0-based software, which boasts controls that can be operated easily, quickly and error-free by any employee.

The TMS interface can integrate all third-party systems easily, from the ERP and CAM system via cabinet and lift systems through to machines, while wide and varied tool identification methods (RFID, chip, barcode, data matrix code) are meeting the requirements of Industry 4.0.

All of this is complemented by ZOLLER Smart Cabinets, a range of manual or automated cabinets with advanced inventory software that make manual searching a thing of the past. They are guaranteed to deliver time and cost savings by recording, measuring, managing, storing and inspecting all tools, components, materials and consumables throughout their entire lifecycle, allowing items to be located quickly and making the ordering process ultra-lean.

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While multi-nationals have come to rely entirely on ZOLLER TMS systems for mass production, implementing effective tool management is advantageous for manufacturing companies of all sizes.

Failing to adequately manage tooling can leave you open to unnecessary risk and avoidable issues. For example, stock management processes become less clear – with a drawer full of drills, how do you know which one is best suited to the job in hand, or indeed if any of them are?

Crucially, how is tool life measured and what happens when there is no ready-made replacement for a damaged or broken one? Time is money. When production has to stop there is a negative impact on the bottom line, with customers left dissatisfied and staff frustrated.

Even at entry level, ZOLLER TMS helps to alleviate some costly threats. Alongside the production of set-up sheets that inform machine operators of the critical tools needed to complete a given task, the basic package can also enable offline programming away from the shop floor.

Consequently, there is no need to stop your spindles turning and a robust database can be created and fine-tuned.

When a business can achieve such infallibility in tool management, there is no limit to its potential.

 

Download the ZOLLER TMS brochure