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TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager: Full traceability and process reliability

Strict legal requirements for production documentation apply in particular to the aerospace sector. It must be possible to trace all process steps for a workpiece at any time. The TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager meets these requirements in a practical way. Moreover, with its application-oriented access controls and documentation for use, the software module provides greater transparency, process reliability and significant savings.

The TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager was developed in collaboration with Liebherr Aerospace. Because, for a long time, recovering NC programs on server drives was an extremely time-consuming process for Liebherr Aerospace. To further complicate matters, the storage on the server did not satisfy the strict security specifications for this industry.

Liebherr Aerospace and TDM Systems have developed the “TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager” together

A customized solution is becoming the standard

For this reason, Liebherr Aerospace wanted a transparent solution that fully illustrates the processes involved in creating, releasing, modifying and archiving programs. Working together with Liebherr Aerospace, TDM Systems developed a structure for NC program management which can fully trace the workpiece production process in a straightforward way. The solution has since become an integral part of TDM's standard module program. The TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager works together with the TDM Base Module and the TDM tool database as part of the overall TDM module concept.

 

Automatic transfer process ensures traceability

The TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager makes various directories available to the user. The programs currently being processed can be found in the work area. After a program has been released, the NC-Program Manager automatically moves it to the productive area. This area, in turn, is divided into a protected and an unprotected area.

The unprotected area contains the released NC program versions. From there, the TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager transfers the NC program files to the machine via the DNC program. Immediately after that, a transfer process moves the program to the protected area with limited access. This is how to ensure that NC programs that were live at the machine can be reproduced.

Process innovations and advantages gained at Liebherr Aerospace

Process innovations

  • Assured traceability, as the "workpiece – NC program – tool list" allocation makes the processes transparent.
  • Improved collaboration and networking thanks to transparent handling of the NC documents and clear areas of responsibility.
  • Assurance of application expertise: Optimizations of NC programs on the machine are fed back into the NC planning process. Therefore, no information is lost between shopfloor and NC programming.
  • Definable access control ensures that only authorized persons can edit and release NC programs.

Advantages gained

  • Increased productivity and quality: All data related to workpieces is readily available and checked.
  • Cost and time savings thanks to reliable processes and storage directories.
  • Legally compliant, transparent documentation of the manufacturing process plus reproducible data.

Authorized programs for the machine control

Only released NC versions are transferred from the software to the machine control via a DNC system. Older program versions are automatically moved to the NC archive. This key element of NC program management allows you to trace NC program versions back to their workpieces. NC documents are archived according to various criteria, e.g. relating to the machine, personnel or area.

 

Ensuring complete application expertise

If the NC program is modified at the machine, the NC programmer sees the changes, accepts these if necessary and then releases the program. This is how to ensure that you receive planning information from the machine. The TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager documents all operations carried out on an NC program transparently with a log file. A workpiece index verifies the program version that was used to process the individual workpieces. The fact that NC programs can be found using workpiece data also ensures the necessary transparency.

 

Management of additional production documents

Additional production documents can also be stored according to the workpiece. For example, Liebherr Aerospace manages the programs for the additive manufacturing of some titanium workpieces using the TDM Integrated NC-Program Manager.

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