Digital transformation for Tool and Part Manufacturing


Running a machine shop in today’s economic environment is no easy task. The margins are razor thin. Competition for a job might be located across town or across the ocean. Customers demand top quality yet require delivery on incredibly short schedules. The opportunities are there, but it takes highly skilled organizations to profit from them.

We’ve found that manufacturers that have made the digital transformation have remained competitive and are poised for growth in these uncertain economic times.

Efficient CNC programming for a smart shop floor

Modern CAM systems provide the ability to automatically recognize and program the entire part – called feature-based machining. The system analyzes the part, finds the features, picks the right cutting tools and creates complete machining processes – an enormous time-saver. Therefore, it not only saves time but delivers consistencies. And, modern CAM systems provide additional ways to automate processes, like using specialized operations to minimize input or capture and reuse the company expertise to provide standardized processes – the power of highly automated CAM systems.

CAD/CAM software with seamless connectivity

Another issue confronting machine shops is the need to accommodate design changes from engineers and customers. A notable approach to this problem is the Master Model method (or model-driven process). This allows the machinist to create a derived version of the 3D model from the engineer. That model can then be modified and tweaked so it can be prepared for the development of tool paths. Then, when a change is made to the original design, it propagates to the derived models, including the machining and inspection models. This means the tool paths and inspection paths are then updated in an automated yet safe way.

Manufacturing software made for small business

Siemens digital manufacturing solutions are part of Siemens Xcelerator portfolio—a comprehensive, integrated portfolio of software, services, and an application development platform. It is designed to help companies of all sizes become digital enterprises by providing solutions that can be incrementally acquired, personalized, and adapted to fit their specific business needs. Siemens Xcelerator components enable combinations of software and IoT-enabled hardware, including machine tools, to be accessed and integrated.

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