The objective of this project is the integration of tool management handling and supply based on the concept of a central tool room.
A new communication language allows a central tool manager, linked to a data base, to exchange reports and instructions with tool room machines. New process with a wide scope of industrial applications were developed, bringing improved assembly, inspection, and measuring systems for cutting tools. The data structures developed to control these could be a standard for future specifications.
Project partners developed an architecture and communications system to integrate cutting tool management and handling systems into a central tool room.
The tool room manager which was developed acts as a shop floor interface, controlling access to and management of a central data base. The tool room scheduler and controller coordinate both delivery of tools to workstations and maintenance tasks. All stations receive their task assignments from the tool room manager, and automatic inspection and measuring stations report their results to the manager.
A central data base serves the workstations, the tool room manager and machine centres, specifying the work and tasks being performed in the tool room.
A special set of commands - the Common Data Interface Language (CDIL) - was developed for information exchange throughout the system; each station has an interface to code and decode the CDIL. A message transportation system was developed for transmission of the CDIL commands.
Part of the project involved developing and improving tool-handling stations in the tool room. An automatic tool inspection station was developed to detect cracks and defects in the cutting edge. Developments in tool assembly included Computer-Aided Design (CAD), a planning system and an assembly station. For each module, the information and data needed to run it were worked out. The specifications produced by the project surpassed currently used descriptions.
The architecture developed, including the CDIL communication language, proved to be a very efficient way of integrating system modules for cutting tool management.
The input to the tool room from the shop floor are tool requests, the output are the demanded tools or plans for rescheduling of the request. The functional modules of the tool room comprise tool room managing, tool inspection, tool assembly, tool measuring and presetting.
The main task of the tool room manager is the scheduling of the tool flow throughout the whole system according to the tasks to be performed. Stations or assembly, inspection, measuring and presetting will be realised as well as planning functionalities to carry out the needed operations on the supplied tools.