The hub of networked production

As part of the Industry 4.0 area at last month’s EMO exhibition in Hanover, Heidenhain presented its ‘Connected Machining’ system of production in which all work steps are networked – from the design to the deliverable component – via the company’s TNC control. The system can access all order-related information in a company network, enabling efficient exchange of data. Partner companies in the areas of CADCAM, machine tools, tool measurement and tool management collaborated in the demonstration.

In the scenario presented, calibrated tools were present in the machine magazine – the operator having scanned a code on each tool holder upon loading – so the TNC 640 knew which cutters were available. Using the control’s Remote Desktop Manager software, the CAM system could be accessed directly, while for its part, the CAM software interrogated the tool database during program creation.
Using Batch Process Manager, the operator scheduled the execution of the production job on the machine. NC programs and the position of the clamped workpiece on the pallet were linked with respect to the order and sorted into a list according to priority (several production orders can be scheduled simultaneously). The control supported this by comparing the tools required to run the program with the cutters actually available in the machine, reporting any that were missing.
Newly introduced StateMonitor software supported the operator, capturing data from connected machines, presenting a real-time view of machine status and sending messages to computers and mobile devices. Finally, automatic workpiece measurement on the machine delivered important data for quality assurance.
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