Tool-specific machine data is a hidden resource with great potential. It makes the planning and production processes more efficient continuously and in the long term. This requires a bidirectional tool data transfer between TDM and the machine control system. The TDM – MCC interface ensures the transfer.
TDM – MCC is an extension of the TDM Shopfloor Manager module. Thanks to this module, the Shopfloor Manager can take the real machine stocks and tool conditions into account, in parallel with the planning calculation and management of the tools in the cycle.
The tool data transfer within machine communication is illustrated in four areas:
- Tool loading/data provision
- Tool data reporting/status notification
- Query magazine content/magazine data synchronization in TDM
- Tool in NC process/application analysis
TDM Systems has a set goal: Standardized communicationbetween the TDM database and the MCC middleware. It makes Industry 4.0 a reality. The actual machine integration with an MCC middleware solution must still be considered individually. It depends on the machine manufacturer and type, the control system and the software version. This means: TDM experts often implement the data transfer between TDM and the machine control system with the support of a solution partner who provides an external middleware (MCC = Machine Control Connect). Further options are TDM's own solutions. They are based either on tool offset files or on the control system manufacturers' API interfaces, which are then integrated in the TDM interface server (MCC).
The machine control system receives a complete tool data record, consisting of
- tool assembly identification,
- basic and master data,
- machine- or control-specific data,
- individual actual tool data and
- presetting results as well as
- wear rates.
TDM receives information from the machine control system about the tool's actual condition and exact remaining tool life as well as the loading/unloading messages.
Further possibilities of machine integration
Transferring NC programs to the machine: Integration makes it possible to upload and download NC programs, tool offsets and CAD data to the machine.
TDM manages the NC programs for the final production
- makes them available to the machine control system via DNC system
- transfers the files directly to the control system if API functionality (MCC) is available.
Via the TDM – MCC interface, current technology data from the machining process such as feed, speed and spindle speed from the active NC operation can be re-transferred to TDM for analysis.
An example of a successful implementation of bidirectional tool data transfer between TDM and the machine control system is the Toolfilter interface solution in cooperation with DMG MORI. For this purpose, DMG MORI has extended its self-developed software application known as "Toolfilter" to query the TDM tool data via a TDM Webservice API and transfer it directly to the machine control system. In addition, tool conditions and the machine's tool data are fed back from the machine control system to the TDM database. The TDM – DMG MORI data exchange is based on three main functions:
Tool order request
"Toolfilter" records the missing tools for an NC program allocated to the machine pallet by checking the available tools in the machine magazine. These tool requirements are displayed on the control system and reported to TDM via the interface. TDM takes the tool request into the pick list and creates the presetting order.
Tool data transfer
The measured tools are inventoried by the unique holder ID (Data Matrix Code, RFID Chip ID). TDM manages the individual tool data record for the unique tool identification (holder ID). When the tool is inserted into the machine, the Toolfilter software scans this ID and uses the unique holder ID to request the data from TDM. TDM transfers all tool data to exactly the requested tool and Toolfilter writes it directly into the machine control system's tool data management.
Tool data report
If the tool is in use in the machine control system, Toolfilter reports the current tool information, such as condition, wear and remaining tool life, back to TDM. In TDM, this tool report displays the machine's tool magazine and visualizes the tools' current situation in the TDM application. This enables the provision of replacement tools, or the missing tool, for subsequent machining without interrupting production.