Digital Standards Bridge a Gap in Manufacturing, so What’s Next?

From the outset of a design in 3D CAD through machining, and all the steps in between, there’s only one tool that helps throughout the entire process: MachiningCloud. If you are involved in planning, sourcing, or programming, MachiningCloud offers a suite of tools that are connected by the biggest innovation in machining in the last decade, standardized digital tooling data. Before you object, consider one of the biggest barriers facing manufacturing innovation today: disparate proprietary systems.

The Barrier
While the business world has forged ahead, creating giants in once dormant industries like aerospace within 16 years, most manufacturers are still doing business the same way they did at the turn of the millenium. The automated future of Industry 4.0 is here for some advanced manufacturers, but for the everyone else, little changed. Innovative startups have the luxury of creating new, streamlined systems that integrate from the ground up, eliminating silos before they even have a chance to build up. The rest of us are stuck with old databases, machines, occupations and processes that are much more difficult to modify in any meaningful way without huge capital investments. Yet, for shops looking forward, there’s more hope than ever.

The Solution
Startups and large scale enterprises across the manufacturing realm have come together to work with various industries, academia and government entities in order to refine interoperability standards in systems and data. MT Connect is one example of this, facilitating the organized retrieval of process information for NC and other machining tools. MachiningCloud continues to support the development of ISO 13399 and the Generic Tool Catalog (GTC), packaged together based on our ISO Plus efforts. Progress continues and our development goals continue to make headway. Progress continues and our team is moving forward to help speed up standardization efforts across the board.

The hard part for MachiningCloud as a startup is that we’ve spent years messaging and educating vendors and users on the benefits of standardization. We’ve found success, slowly turning aging paper catalogs into an artifact of the recent past. But for standards to become the standard, they have to be adopted, so we went even further. We help cutting tool manufacturers digitize their entire cutting tool catalog, seeing to it that digital cutting tool data becomes an expectation for users.

If manufacturers and shops demanded these standards sooner, there’s no reason standardized digital tooling catalogs couldn’t have existed more than a decade ago. The technology was there, but the will wasn’t.

When there’s a will, there’s a way
The question that we’d like to pose to the industry is what can we do next? After contributing to the digital thread by integrating digital cutting tools into each phase of manufacturing, there’s clearly much more work to be done breaking down silos and streamlining manufacturing for everyone, not just startups. What aren’t manufacturers asking for that the industry is capable of providing?

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