Kennametal introduced digital process planning last year with the NOVO™ platform, supplying complete tool data (milling, turning, holemaking, tools, toolholders, spare parts, speeds and feeds,) digitally, saving process planners, parts estimators, and manufacturing engineers hours of catalog lookups and process guesswork.
Now, with connectivity via the Machining Cloud™, that same intelligence is driving new efficiencies in part design in CAD/CAM, cutting simulations, presetting, actual machining, inventory management, and e-commerce.
Another step involves feeding these real and potential process improvements back to the shop level based on actual data gathered from your own equipment, seeing where capacities change and efficiencies improve. This has led to NOVOsphere™.
“It seems that most technology suppliers are rushing to provide some form of digital access to information, but digital access is just the entry ticket,” said John Jacko, vice president and chief marketing officer, Kennametal.
“Our vision for NOVOsphere from the beginning is to provide an open-source system that interacts seamlessly with shop systems needing to leverage cutting tool data and machining knowledge for productivity improvement,” Jacko explained. “NOVOsphere is built around the shop needs, from quotation to inspection.
NOVOsphere has six basic applications to help our customers be more productive:
-Select and Advise: This is the stage where users evaluate machining strategies based upon machine, material, part features, and specs. What is the best approach? How long will it take? How much will it cost? Which tools do I need?
-Simulate: This is the stage where users simulate the entire process from end to end with the use of software such as CAM. Are there any dimensional issues? Possible collisions, too many forces?
-Inquire and Purchase: This is the stage where users find out what they already have that can do the job and if it’s available in real time to purchase when they need it.
-Optimize: This is the stage where users would like to know how the plan is working. Are we within planned cycle time, costs? Do I use this tool/process consistently across machines/plants?
Since the launch of the original NOVO platform — Tool Selector, Tool Configurator, Tool Advisor, and Job functions — Kennametal has added connectivity to E-commerce, easy ISO 13399 exports, and seamless integration to the ToolBOSS™ tool management system via the Machining Cloud.
Specifically, NOVO users can request a price quote from their local Kennametal Distribution Partners by transferring their shopping cart list to them via the “Request Quote” button. The distributor will receive a notification with complete detail of the items and requestor information to respond. A new pop-up also makes it easy to add spares and other individual items to existing shopping carts. Spare parts are clearly identified as “included” or “non-included” on bills of material.
ToolBOSS users on the cloud with the latest software version can now use NOVO to see if an item proposed for a process plan is already available in their ToolBOSS inventory, making both plans and budgets more efficient.
Delivering real tool data and process knowledge is one thing, but NOVOsphere also optimizes process savings based on performance data drawn directly from shop floor equipment. “NOVO Optimize is the newest manufacturing intelligence application in NOVOsphere,” said Colin Tilzey, director of Kennametal’s Innovation Ventures Group. “It collects real-time data on how your cutting tools and machines are performing and also provides analysis of where process efficiencies or capacity improvements are available.”
Every shop sits on a rich mine of data that it can collect for its own continued improvement, but a drawback is efficiently gathering the data from different makes and models of machines and tools. All NOVO™ Optimize data and process knowledge complies with the MTConnect open communications protocol designed for the shop-floor environment. This means NOVO Optimize can draw data from machine tools, cutting tools, presetters or any piece of shop equipment or data source.