November 20, 2018

MachiningCloud’s ISO Plus cutting tool data connects programmers and manufacturers together for greater efficiency and cost savings

Digital manufacturing solutions across the board are rapidly evolving, requiring CAM Programmers to keep pace with shop floor productivity, machine efficiency and tooling optimization. As manufacturing processes interconnect in the digital age, a key roadblock often encountered is the disparity of tooling data that flows between manufacturing stations and applications.

The establishment of the ISO 13399 standard marked an initial step in creating a common data format that describes a tool’s physical product data in a way that is compatible and scalable for evolving CAM applications. Cutting tool data standards emerged so that catalogs and tools can be exchanged freely between applications, databases and whatever else CAM Programmers require to get the job done on-time and within budget. MachiningCloud not only provides ISO 13399 formatting services for tooling manufacturer catalogs, but they also ensure that this data meets their own ISO Plus standard.

MachiningCloud’s Move to Tooling Data Standardization

MachiningCloud converts and ensures that its partner manufacturer tooling catalogs comply with a wide range of prominent industry standards including ISO 13399, GTC (Generic Tool Catalog), MTConnect, STEP and DIN4000. They are the most widely adopted for providing a data file framework that’s consistent in structure and interoperable with virtually any CAD/CAM or manufacturer application.

For example, the GTC standard eliminates the need for building and maintaining a proprietary tooling database or multiple databases for that matter, establishing a uniform catalog framework that’s not only easily accessible, but also capable of reducing setup costs for manufacturers. ISO 13399 is the standard for the digital representation of cutting tool data, making product attribute information such as geometry and tool specifications universally compatible with other systems.

With tooling data standardization, all of the descriptive data of the tool, including 2D and 3D models, are organized in a uniform, logical hierarchy that enables a vendor neutral approach for their use. More importantly, the accuracy and consistency of the tooling data serviced by MachiningCloud keeps shop floors error-free and efficient. No matter what cutting tool brand, CAM programmers can be rest assured that the files and 3D models sourced from MachiningCloud are ready for import into the application of their choice.

ISO Plus Tooling Data and Manufacturing Efficiency

MachiningCloud’s ISO Plus efforts are the next iteration in tooling data standardization, encompassing all of the standards mentioned above in addition to more detailed usage information such as depth of cut, cutting speeds and feeds and projection length. As a result, cutting tool vendors who adopt ISO Plus will maximize their interoperability with commonly used shop floor applications, such as CAD, CAM, CAE, PDM/EDM, MRP, ERP, Tool Management and other computer-aided technologies.

While MachiningCloud virtually eliminates the time and effort required for tooling data research, its ISO Plus strategy has paid dividends in the long run for manufacturers ramping up their tooling digitization efforts. Tool management solutions that connect manufacturing stations together are able to utilize ISO tooling data everywhere, from presetting and measuring to inventory and recycling. Creating a centralized tooling database is no easy task but it does require a common, ubiquitous format so that it can operate and scale across different areas of production.

CAM Programmers achieve greater control over their work, increase their 3rd party integration options and dramatically reduce workflow times when using ISO standardized tooling data. ISO Plus data by MachiningCloud helps them achieve even greater control, efficiency and accuracy on every job, maximizing their ability to:

  • Find cutting tools faster,
  • Make smarter CNC cutting tool selection
  • Easily select the right cutting tools
  • Quickly create cutting tool assemblies
  • Improve cutting tools job management and reporting
  • Simplify the CNC cutting tool workflow

When compared to traditional tooling search methods, CAM Programmers that use MachiningCloud’s ISO Plus data have reported an average time savings ranging from 25% to 75%. The use of standardized tooling data also facilitates easier communication with suppliers as they can receive more accurate tooling recommendations and product refinements.

Tooling manufacturers and vendors who adopt ISO Plus are able to save time with catalog updates, making it easier to maintain product changes, additions and modifications in real-time. In addition, ISO standardization in general promotes greater exposure to third-party integration options, increasing brand awareness during end-user tool searches. As CAD/CAM Programmers make use of brand-neutral tooling selection software, brands that aren’t present will experience a loss of market share as their competitors gain new users.

Smart Manufacturing Data is Just Beginning

A universal app for every tool catalog hinges upon data flowing freely between vendors and a brand neutral platform. The days of searching catalogs, websites and placing phone calls with tooling manufacturers are nearing an end. Alternatively, tooling manufacturers can save considerable resources when accommodating tooling catalog updates.

ISO standardization is the key to data-driven manufacturing. Manufacturers that share in a common tooling data ecosystem will break barriers between shop floor stations, get their tooling in front of CAM programmers more intimately and eliminate potential bottlenecks between processes. As the MP3 file format became the standard for music data, the ISO Plus format will do the same for tooling data; allowing free flow of tooling information in order to boost productivity on the shop floor.

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