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Hermle AG makes production FIT

The renowned machine tool manufacturer enhances its PLM environment with the manufacturing solution Shop Floor Connect for Teamcenter from A+B Solutions.

hermleThe machine factory Berthold Hermle AG in Gosheim, one of the world's leading manufacturers of milling machines and machining centres, has introduced the software Shop Floor Connect for Teamcenter from A+B Solutions. The manufacturing solution is completely integrated into the Teamcenter product family from Siemens PLM and offers employees in the workshop access to all production-relevant data via web clients. The company expects the software to lead to a reduction in processing time in production and to a reduction of costs.

Hermle AG is a long-time user of the CAD/CAM software NX Siemens PLM Software and manages its design and manufacturing data with Teamcenter Engineering and Teamcenter Manufacturing so that all employees in the company are always able to access current versions of relevant information. However, the process chain was still lacking the final few metres from the management of the production data to its supply at the machine. This problem has been solved by the integrated DNC module from A+B Solutions.

Two important components of Hermle's PLM philosophy are central product data management and continuous data use, as explained by its Chief Technology Officer: "We chose the solution from A+B Solutions because it very closely integrates with our current system landscape. This continuity is essential for shorter project terms, higher process reliability and a reduction in error rates."

The use of Shop Floor Connect for Teamcenter also represents an important step towards manufacturing with less paper. Until recently, workers were given a thick folder of paper documents with each production order. The manufacturing solution from A+B Solutions allows users to manage product data and production-relevant documents, such as drawings, NC programs, setup sheets and tool lists, using the PDM system and to access these documents directly via a web browser at the production workplace. If needed, they can also access 3D models from the design department in order to familiarise themselves with the processing of complex parts. Changes to the production machines are reported back to the system via the web client, which, when combined with standardised approval processes, provides a high level of process reliability.

This works in both directions: if changes are made to a component during design, the associated production documents can immediately be blocked. This ensures that only production that is permitted takes place. The advantages of a continuous process chain from design to production become particularly evident when changes are made, as these can be introduced much faster into the production process. This contributes significantly to a reduction in development time. Hermle has found that development is now 25 to 30 percent faster than it was a few years ago thanks to CAD/CAM and PDM. "With Shop Floor Connect for Teamcenter, the company can save time even in the last few metres," says Ralf Stetter, Managing Director of A+B Solutions.