Latest News

Siemens and Sandvik to standardise vendor catalogues for cutting tool industry

Siemens PLM Software and Sandvik Coromant, a of cutting tools and tooling systems for the metalworking industry, have launched an initiative to standardise the structure and content of cutting tool vendor catalogues.

The effort will help manufacturers address the complexity of obtaining cutting tool definitions and data in a useable form and more efficiently integrating cutting tools into production systems.

Based on industry standards, the catalogues will help engineers make smarter decisions by providing greater accessibility to tooling data and supporting the selection of the optimum and preferred cutting tools.

“Sandvik Coromant has recognised the tremendous technological development in machining processes, materials, and tooling which is driving the need for virtual machining capabilities," said Mike Verkamp, Manager, Business Development, Sandvik Coromant.

Working with data in varying formats can be a challenge, but we expect that this initiative will not only offer manufacturers a standard format for vital cutting tool data, but will simplify their CAM and virtual machining systems, helping them better optimise productivity and profitability."

“This project will address key needs in virtual machining such as standard tool data format, connectivity to CAM packages, and automatic updates of new data. We are pleased to be working with Siemens, a market leader themselves, to help bring the entire industry forward,” added Verkamp.

Manufacturers with machining equipment can purchase cutting tools from a wide-range of suppliers and they need to use electronic definitions of these tools within their manufacturing planning and shop floor production systems.

However, typically each cutting tool vendor has their own approach to classify different types of tools, describing critical tool specifications — such as diameter, lengths, angles — and representing geometric CAD models of those tools.

This makes it difficult for manufacturers to access cutting tool information in an automated fashion for use within manufacturing planning databases and applications, such as computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programming systems.

The multiple structures, non-standard definitions and varying levels of CAD data, also force engineers to manually enter individual data sets from vendor catalogs into their internal systems – a task that can take thousands of man-hours, often leaving tool library databases sparsely populated. 

To address this challenge Siemens PLM Software and Sandvik Coromant have defined and developed a new level of standardisation that will be openly available for use throughout the industry.

The initiative addresses the three key areas of classification structure, tool attribute definitions, and a standardised approach to 3D model definitions of cutting tool components and how they can be assembled.

As a key element of this initiative the companies have adopted and built upon available ISO and STEP standards. ISO13399 provides a definition for tool attributes and the STEP AP214 standard provides a basis for 3D representation of tool components and automated assembly points.

The latter allows end user customers to more easily utilise 3D models of their cutting tool components and assemblies as needed in both NC programming and machining simulation applications, as well is in shop floor systems such as tool pre-setters.

“Although much effort has been put into developing and promoting standards for tooling systems we see this as the first time that a major tool vendor has joined forces with a major PLM software and manufacturing equipment provider to define a solution that spans the tooling industry and end user requirements,” said Stan Przybylinski, Director of Research at CIMdata.

“This is a pragmatic approach that builds on the available ISO standard with definitions that will be open to all tool vendors and software providers. Given the substantial customer base of both companies and their connections across the industry, we believe that this initiative will go far in addressing the challenge of standardisation in cutting tool information systems.”

Siemens PLM Software and Sandvik Coromant are collaborating with other major cutting tool vendors to share and drive this initiative across the industry.

Specifications and methods will be available to all partners as an open standard. Key manufacturers are being invited to advise on the implementation methods as well as to share their specific requirements for access to tool catalog data.

Siemens PLM Software has also further developed its Manufacturing Resource Library, which is part of the Teamcenter portfolio.

This will enable the company’s base of manufacturing customers to import and manage standardised cutting tool vendor catalogue data, handle the transfer of selected data sets to working areas within tool libraries, and build 3D tool assemblies from component model data. Key elements of this solution are already being used by existing customers.

“Siemens PLM Software is focused on providing an open and collaborative PLM computing environment and standardisation is critical to enhancing communication throughout the global manufacturing industry,” said Andreas Saar, Vice President, Manufacturing Engineering Solutions, Siemens PLM Software.

“Standardisation gives cutting tool vendors a business advantage by providing a means to convey information about their products to their target customers in a standard format to help increase manufacturing efficiency.

"This simplified access to the right tool and associated data will help manufacturers make smarter decisions that result in better products.”

Send this to a friend