Cimsource Developing a harmonised data model for precision tools

Author / Editor: Dr. Götz Marczinski / Barbara Schulz

Germany – Standards are expected to play a major role in the success or failure of Industry 4.0. Because the road to digital transformation requires a digital twin of the physical product, the pressure to standardise also includes the product data itself. Cutting tools are no exception to this rule.

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The approach of the Co Co Deal project.
The approach of the Co Co Deal project.
(Source: Cimsource)

Co Co Deal (Content Collection and Delivery Standards) is a project aimed at developing a harmonised data model for cutting tools that serves as a reference for industrial engineering, NC-verification and e-procurement purposes. This harmonised data model is intended to act as the backbone for the information supply chain of suppliers of cutting tools to their users. As such, it will help suppliers to satisfy their customers’ demand for product data.

Standards are expected to play a major role in the success or failure of Industry 4.0. Because the road to digital transformation requires a digital twin of the physical product, the pressure to standardise also includes the product data itself. Cutting tools are no exception to this rule.

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Some high-end machine tools are unable to run safely without prior verification of the collision-free movement of the tool. Here, the respective software needs the digital twin of the tool to perform the simulation. A simple verification of the NC-paths, using just a model of the cutting edge of the tool assembly, is not sufficient. In such cases, critical situations may be overlooked.

Because the average machine is equipped with 60 to 90 tool assemblies that are sourced on average from 20 to 25 suppliers, the option to key in the required data exists only in theory. The users generally ask their suppliers for the digital twins to save time and money. Requests for product data, which used to concern mostly data for e-procurement applications, have been rising significantly. This trend will be reflected in the increasing use of the Tools United data distribution platform. Since the “Digital Factory” became popular, basically occurring at the same time as the rise of “Industry 4.0”, the content of this unique cloud service has crossed the level of 650,000 tool components.

Users ask for digital twins to save time and money

Tool suppliers now face the challenge of having to deliver the digital twins of their tools on a daily basis. Significant effort goes into the preparation of this data, with at least one or two full-time employees being busied with this task. Moreover, this apparently happens mostly for tools that have already been sold, which is annoying for tool suppliers. Tool data is a necessary, but not sufficient sales proposition. “We won’t source any more tools without a digital twin. But the availability of a digital twin is not the reason to buy,” explains a buyer of a major automotive supplier.

The Co Co Deal project hopes to significantly improve the suppliers’ current situation. The project is funded by BMWI as part of the “e-Standards” program, which in turn is part of the “Mittelstand Digital” initiative. Project partners include Cimsource Digital Tool Services, the Komet Group and the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

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