Everything on shop floors, from massive production lines down to custom mom and pop shops, will be completely digital in the next 5 years. Need proof? Checkout a tradeshow and try to leave without feeling a bit like the future is coming faster than expected. The task is to keep pace, but doing so with little impact to your status quo. Working hard is obvious, but how do you know if you are working smart enough?

To help, we’ve compiled several low friction, no cost ways that show how machinists and CAD/CAM programmers can work more efficiently with a digitized tool workflow. Cutting tool data is freely available, so the adoption carries zero risk and little to no expense. The impact is minor, requiring only a few minutes to get started. The most important part is thinking in digital tooling data mindset so that your soon-to-be, Industry 4.0 shop floor can capitalize on cutting costs and improving manufacturing results.

1. Is your cutting tool process digitized yet?
This is where it begins. The latest cutting tools are available from a growing list of prominent brands that have made their catalog data available on the MachiningCloud app which is available for desktops, laptops, and tablets. MachiningCloud optimizes all digital tooling data according to the Generic Tool Catalog (GTC) standard, thereby refining manufacturer tooling data so that it’s CAM application agnostic. The GTC standard helps make cutting tool manufacturers’ geometric information, feeds & speeds, and other data readily compatible with the most popular CAM systems, from simulation to tool management. With uniform file standards, MachiningCloud can help mix and match different part brands in order to create a custom assembly on-the-fly that can be instantly used for the next step in NC code development.

2. Easy cutting tool selection
Even in digital form, CAD/CAM Programmers can make better tooling decisions in less time despite the mass amount of tooling data they’d have to sift through. Using MachiningCloud, they can start their search with a wide angle view of all of the options available, then narrow down their results by specifications. They can also quickly confirm their results by benchmarking tools against their machine’s specifications in order to achieve the best process settings possible. Selected tools are saved for later jobs or they can be verified for stock management thanks to real-time inventory tracking.

Do you only have a general idea of the tool that you need? MachiningCloud’s Tool Advisor helps find tooling based on the type of job and cutting strategy that you’d like to employ. Alternatively, the app’s built-in Industry Application guide will help generate cutting tool recommendations for you. Instantly searching through thousands of tools at your fingertips is a powerful step in building an efficient manufacturing workflow. Once you do it, you’ll reveal a world of tooling possibilities that can be instantly shared across workgroups. Most importantly, this resource is free for shop floors to benefit from.

3. Game changing cutting tool collaboration
MachiningCloud provides exportable PDF and Excel reports, highlighting a tool assembly’s description and performance data, BOM information, feeds & speeds, and CAD drawings. All of this information can be disseminated and accessed accordingly to other members in the workgroup. Workgroup collaboration with MachiningCloud helps streamline project development as well as data accessibility, adding value to departments across the board.

4. Cutting tool process refinement
Adding new software and tools to a process has risks. Sometimes you come out ahead, and other times, it’s just another step and a little more time required. MachiningCloud is designed to circumvent the time, focus, and resources required to get the right tool for the job.

  • Spend time finding the right cutting tools, and selecting better tools for the job
  • Spend less time finding 3D models, and getting the most up to date 3D models
  • Spend more time adding value to a job, instead of manually entering data
  • Spend more time with job development, simulation and analysis, rather than on setup
  • Improve stock management and decrease stockouts or double orders

The process of digitizing manufacturing often comes in the form of an investment. However, adopting new technologies and integrating them into the shop floor is a mixed bag of success and failures. Evolution towards IIoT and Industry 4.0 can happen with small, free, incremental steps. Improvements that yield the best returns often come at little to no up-front cost. This is where MachiningCloud shines. It plants the seeds for manufacturing interoperability and better prepares your organization for the transformation to a digitized tooling workflow that is already here.

5. Rapid development
Both MachiningCloud’s speed and ease of use encourages users to research and experiment with new tooling. Across a manufacturing cycle, access to instant, verified tooling data lays the groundwork for achieving optimal results in machining as well as efficient collaboration across departments. Machinists and CAM programmers are handed a digital toolbox that allows them to quickly source and experiment with tooling without risking actual project overruns. With a broader view of what’s out there, backed by intelligent tooling recommendations and standardized data, users can quickly find potential tools and export them to their preferred CAM application.

One application for all of your digital tooling needs

The mental barrier to adoption is what makes old habits die hard, not the costs or the learning curve.
As colleagues adopt and collaborate, their processes and preferences will evolve organically. MachiningCloud is flexible and powerful enough for a wide variety of use cases, so when questions come up, we’re available to help. Check out our website at www.machiningcloud.com or contact us to help you get started with your shop’s digital transformation.