Since its launch in 2013, Kennametal’ s NOVO advanced digital tool selector and process planner has been interfacing tool management, e-commerce, and other programs to capture accurate, timely tool knowledge for shops that need more and more actionable date.
Now, NOVO Version 1.3 is connecting via the cloud to tool management, e-commerce, and other shop systems, reducing data errors and making non-value-added data-transfer efforts things of the past.
“Our vision for NOVO 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,” said John Jacko, vice president and chief marketing officer at Kennametal.
“This is only the beginning of delivering the promise of the digital factory. Connecting to Kennametal’ s ToolBOSS™ tool-management system via the cloud and streamlining input into Kennametal’s e-commerce system, that vision is quickly becoming reality,” Jacko added.
Customers expect continuous fast development of technology platforms to deliver more value, and NOVO can be used in a number of intuitive ways — from “I need to make a half-inch hole, one-and-a-half inches deep in ANSI 4140” to “I need a half-inch by 5xD solid-carbide drill in grade KC7315.”
In the first case, NOVO helps users define machining features, drilling a blind hole in this case, and then immediately reduces the product set to those that can do the job, taking into account constraint requirements such as material, tolerance, and machining sequence for both single tools and multi-tools. Then, it ranks the results (based on knowledge-based rules) to address the challenges of the application as defined by the customer’ s operating environment and user preferences, all in a fraction of the time.
Speeding, Simplifying Tool Selection
In the second case, when a machinist already has preferred tool and grade in mind, NOVO smart-attribute filters not only quickly select the products available to do the job, NOVO also gives the options on what cutting item and adaptive item fits and also works with the selected solution.
NOVO smart filters reduce the task of selecting all cutting tool components from hours to minutes, and users have the assurance that the list is both comprehensive and correct.
In both cases, NOVO’ s Tool Configurator provides all CAD files and graphic support for all tool components and their assembly - a major time savings for customers.
“NOVO thinks like a process planner,” explained Thomas Long, head of the new Virtual Machining RDE department at Kennametal. “It works from the feature back to the tooling strategy. In addition, each order number is tied to application data gleaned from hundreds of subject matter experts and decades of Kennametal experience. Request a part number and you also get pictures, assemblies, spare parts lists, as well as inserts that fit. Not only does it accomplish in minutes what formerly took hours, it yields an optimized solution, backed by Kennametal expertise, every time”
Further, NOVO’ s Job Functionality option is a cloud-based repository linked to a user by a unique ID where tool lists can be stored for future use, editing, copying, and sharing. These can be easily downloaded into standard report formats and include tooling commercial and dimensional data and weights, speeds and feeds, and photo or CAD model images.
Since the 2013 launch of Tool Selector, Tool Configurator, Tool Advisor, and Job Functionality applications, 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 a local Kennametal distributor 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 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. Customer part numbers are automatically populated in NOVO Tool Advisor results and Tool Availability pop-ups via the ToolBOSS database.
“By adding ToolBOSS credentials to their user profile, customers easily check the inventory in their local ToolBOSS units with their developing process plans,” said Chris Merlin, marketing manager for the Virtual Machining initiative at Kennametal. “They’ re better able to visualize items already in their shop.”
Users can leverage NOVO via the tablet of their choice. “Mobility is no longer a luxury. With Android and Windows tablet versions of NOVO now available, it brings an element of added mobility and access to your tool list no matter which device you log onto,” Merlin added. “This also makes it easy for people working on the shop floor with tablets to collaborate with the process planners in other departments.”
Being “device-agnostic,” NOVO avoids the “which app do I choose and use,” or even the need to evaluate among multiple apps, he adds. “And once you log in, all your jobs data transfer is over, making organizations and teams much more powerful by extending process knowledge to those who need it.”
Addressing the Skills Gap
NOVO also has potential to influence the understanding and skill of machinists and their colleagues. Manufacturing is undergoing a global renaissance in developed and emerging economies, as major industries such as aerospace, automotive, energy and others consistently demand new and better products. Manufacturing technology providers have responded with computer-driven machine tools, digital-based computer-aided design and manufacturing software (CAD/CAM), and significant advances in tooling.
Yet behind this positive outlook lies a serious threat to this scenario: a significantly widening skills gap as older workers retire and new workers fail to engage in manufacturing careers.
“To effectively meet the skills gap for our customers, we need a better way to distribute the collected knowledge of Kennametal,” stated Francois Gau, vice president of Strategic Marketing and New Business Development. “More than a catalog, NOVO brings users into a community — all our ongoing expertise delivered in a digital means of accessing process knowledge quickly. The result empowers users by providing the right solutions specifically tailored to their operations. It solves problems instead of managing data.”
More than a catalog, NOVO brings users into a community, delivering all of Kennametal’ s ongoing expertise in a digital means, so process knowledge is quickly accessible. The results empower users by providing the right solutions specifically tailored to their operations.