When TYROLIT’s ToolScope system made its public debut at the Grindtec fair in March 2018, the company had the advantage of the assistance system having already been launched on the market as an Industry 4.0 solution for machining with defined cutting edges. The system was originally developed by the Brinkhaus start-up. In 2012, Brinkhaus was integrated into Komet Group, which was acquired by Ceratizit this year. This partnership has made it possible to monitor all machining processes and prepare individual assistance strategies. TYROLIT’s system is one of the ToolScope variants that were developed for grinding. Much of it resembles the assistance systems that Ceratizit has maintained for turning, drilling and milling. Nevertheless, many requirements fundamentally differently from each other, given that grinding tools behave differently in use. This assistance system ToolScope runs in over 1,000 manufacturing plants. That means, the teething troubles that occur mainly in new software have been resolved and we are able to concentrate fully on the abrasive technology.
Buffers to be redundant
ToolScope provides further enhancement of the machine after the experienced application engineer has set up a process and completed the operational start-up on site. The system collects information and has the capability to respond to fluctuations and optimise machines, process flows and tool use. With continuous monitoring, many safety buffers will become redundant, as ToolScope takes care of the necessary process transparency. As explained by Markus Weiss, the goal is not to create a fully autonomous grinding process, but to achieve a changeover from manual data analysis to an ‘assistant’ for process managers in a first step on the road to Industry 4.0. The system processes the data to enable the operator to start out with the aid of additional information and to assist the operator in optimising the process, enhancing its design or in monitoring. ‘In the medium-term, there is no substitute for people who have an instinctive feel for grinding,’ says TYROLIT’s Abrasive Technology department. ‘However, we can support them in their job. The aim is to have informed users who make decisions based on facts.’
ToolScope analyses the data that already exists in the machine. ‘Everything that a machine requires for control can be used to set up a monitoring strategy,’ explains Weiss. The core element of ToolScope is a single hardware item: a rail module built into the machine and connected by PLC to the machine via the profibus. The engineers in Schwaz simply refer to this ToolScope hardware unit as ‘the little box’. The actual know-how of the system is contained in the software. Twelve apps monitor the machine and the process, perform various help functions and analyse data.
The logged values are saved for further analysis as required by the user, whether on the local device, in an existing ERP system, on the corporate network or in the Cloud. The user is also able to choose how the data is visualised: on the machine display, an external monitor or a tablet, or on a PC in the planning office.