Marlatt, system implementation expert for the
Matrix unit in Canada.
Despite dedicated solutions such as these,
Marlatt agrees that smaller shops especially
often struggle with a system implementation.
“Unfortunately, it’s no small job organizing
everything. A lot of times the folks working for
job shops and smaller manufacturers are wearing
six different hats, and it ends up being the same
person running the crib, doing the purchasing,
presetting, and everything else. For them to build
a library and get that information lined up is
something they don’t necessarily have time for.”
In these situations, shop management has
little choice but to bring in external support.
This might range from a highly paid software
consultant to the owner’s nephew, but organizing
your shop’s manufacturing data is a task that won’t
get any easier by procrastinating.
Reach out to tooling and software system
providers, bring in some college kids over
summer break, dish out some overtime pay,
whatever it takes. Just get it done. The data driven
manufacturing revolution is here. SMT
Machining Research Corp. ( http://shopmetaltech.com/machining-technology/ from-coding-to-chipmaking.html) CAMplete offers a
universal post processing and simulation platform that integrates with
a number of different CAM systems.
VP of sales and marketing Jeff Fritsch agrees there’s not always a
definite data gatekeeper in most machine shops. “It’s kind of looking
at your tool box and kind of picking the tools that fit best what you
actually need to do. From our perspective, accurate tooling data
is what’s most important.” That being said, Fritsch recognizes the
importance of avoiding data duplication, which is why the company
has developed plug-ins able to extract this data directly from their
partners’ native CAM environments.
Another integration point is with the machine builders themselves.
Fritsch and CAMplete management have partnered with five axis
machine builders such as Hermle, GF Machining Solutions, and
Matsuura to develop a tight interface between the hardware and the
software that drives it.
“We get all the engineering data directly from the manufacturer.
From that point on we work together with the factory to test the post
processor and the simulation environment—by the time it gets to a
customer, we know it’s going to work.”
Pulling it all together
Post processors, G-code, and machining simulation are all important
parts of the manufacturing data puzzle. But perhaps one of the biggest
pieces is how the data management solution comes together. As
mentioned previously, CAM systems can pinch hit for some of a small
company’s data storage needs, but nothing really beats a dedicated
TMS solution. Commodity and Tool Management Services (CTMS), a
division of the IMC Group and sister company of Iscar, provides one
such solution with its Matrix series tool management system.
“There’s an awful lot of information out there and much
of it is essentially duplicated. Our goal is to link up those
islands and get each piece talking to one another,” says Tim
www.shopmetaltech.com APRIL 2016
46 | MACHINING | CAD CAM
MachiningCloud is launching a new venture: adding machining
application advice to its database of dimensional tooling data.