【DE】Digitization to touch

Metalworking industry strives for efficiency, higher availability and increased productivity / Digital concepts at AMB


The AMB 2022 in Stuttgart from 13th to 17th September 2022 forms the marketplace of the metalworking industry in Europe and beyond. A look at the exhibitors and their top topics shows that mechanical and electrical solutions are increasingly being supplemented by intelligent, digital concepts, as an exemplary tour shows.


Efficiency, higher availability and increased productivity – this is the triad of the goals in the companies of the metalworking industry. They can be achieved by highly qualified personnel and high-quality machines, tools and components – and more and more through the use of digital products and services. They will be at this year’s AMB from the 13th to the 17th. September in Stuttgart and are at the center of interest at many stands. For example, exhibitor Chiron unlocks the potential of digitization with a comprehensive portfolio of systems, called SmartLine. Chiron not only focuses on the machining centers, but also on the environment of production and company management. The modular software portfolio consists of


  • ConditionLine: Automatic condition monitoring
  • DataLine: Integrated machine and process diagnostics
  • ProcessLine: Simulate and optimize processing in advance
  • ProtectLine: Preventive machine protection in every mode of operation
  • RemoteLine: Remote diagnostics and remote maintenance
  • TouchLine: Safe and intuitive operation


The individual components communicate via umati, a universal interface of the VDW industry initiative, which has been established worldwide for several years as an open standard for machine tool construction.


Digitization modules at the AMB in Stuttgart

AMB exhibitor Hermle also focuses on automation

and digitization. A combination that is becoming increasingly important, as the numerous customer requirements show. Industry 4.0 and the desire to digitize Hermle products plays an important role, especially in the growth sectors with a high proportion of automation. Hermle offers digital components such as Digital Production, Digital Service and Digital Operation. Each building block reaches into the other, as you can see in Stuttgart in September. Various functions are available: The “machine tuning” of the Digital Operation dynamically adjusts controller parameters and offers intelligent machining setups. The Digital Production module contains the tool management systems HTMC/HOTS, information management systems HIMS and automation control systems, HACS for short, and the Digital Service the functions remote maintenance, diagnostic and monitoring systems.


It doesn’t work without connectivity

The exhibitor Grob has been intensively dealing with digitization and the development of new solutions for production and process optimization for years and has come to modular solutions. Due to the connectivity and flexible customization options, the applications developed by Grob within Grob-NET4Industry can not only connect the coarse machines, but also all types of machines and controls from all manufacturers in a holistic digitization platform. This allows users to analyze the performance of the machines and optimize their processes.


In the field of edge computing, Grob4Interface offers the possibility to connect many controllers, even manufacturer-independent, to an MES system. This gives the user the opportunity to view and control all machines uniformly in production. MES, in combination with the customer’s merchandise management system, enables order management, planning and order control on the machines. The modules within Grob-NET4Industry enable the organization of the direct and indirect areas around machining with the aim of making the best possible use of the high-quality and very precise machine tools. And all areas of production are coupled: from production planning, monitoring and analysis to the visualization of workpiece processing processes to proactive service and maintenance.


Intelligent clamping devices

In the field of clamping equipment manufacturers, the optimization of production with the help of digitization plays an important role, as AMB will show. For example, Hainbuch will exhibit clamping devices with integrated, intelligent measurement technology – the IQ series. Thanks to integrated sensors, many different measurements and monitoring are possible. Even measuring machines can be partially saved. Via non-contact data and energy transmission, the measurement data is routed directly to the machine control and evaluated. It is particularly important for Hainbuch engineers to offer a simple and intuitive user interface. The goal must be that humans and robots can achieve the maximum for their company in a kind of symbiosis.


However, not all automation solutions can be conveniently connected via plug-and-use. Often older existing machines are not designed for this. That’s why Vischer & Bolli Automation was included in the Hainbuch Group. You work as a general contractor and look at the entire process individually from the user’s point of view. The range of solutions includes not only the link between machine tool and automation, but also clamping technology and tool provision. In doing so, they also look at logistics or the main-time parallel activities and reconcile them and support the implementation of the findings.


Intelligence in milling, drilling or micro machining

The intelligent tool holder iTENDO2 from Schunk also stands for digitization in tool tension. He “remembers” if something is wrong during the machining process and passes on information about excessive vibrations, rattle marks or when a tool is about to break. Equipped with sensor, battery and transmitter unit, the smart tool holder detects vibrations directly on the tool. If the condition of the cutting edge or tool changes, it can react in real time thanks to the closed control loop and prevent damage to the workpiece or tool.

With its speed of max. 30,000 rpm, there are extensive applications in aerospace, glass processing, automotive and medical technology. It can replace standard tool holders one-to-one, which eliminates the need for reprogramming of the machine. Its interference contour is also unchanged compared to standard tool holders. If the smart tool holder is ordered directly with the right tablet, setup is particularly easy: With the help of the supplied app, the user can retrieve all important data and use it for parameterization and trend analysis. With the data interface iTENDO2 easy connect, processes can be tracked and machines monitored – in a later planned version, processes are even to be controlled.


Connecting peripherals

Knoll’s machine builders feel an increasing demand for machine data and its connection to higher-level systems. The data that arises anyway and provides evidence for the predictive control of plants should be used for process optimization. Even if from the point of view of Bad Saulgauers, there is currently little acceptance for the creation of an Internet connection of peripherals, the company will launch the completely independently developed SmartConnect operating concept this year.


The edge computing solution stores and processes data directly at the systems and provides it via interfaces (e.g. wirelessly via Bluetooth). A cloud connection is possible, but not absolutely necessary. In this way, all relevant data can be viewed and evaluated app-controlled and peripherals are controlled, processes monitored and optimized with little installation effort. The experts at Knoll, like the VDW, also recommend connecting to the umati machine tool interface and/or to the OPC UA mechanism.


Intelligent platform combines data

Coscom has set out to achieve smart CNC manufacturing and brings together manufacturing data with the help of its ECO system. In this way, “relationship knowledge” should be generated and made available specifically in the process – without additional data maintenance effort. CAM, tool software, adjustment/measuring devices, lifts, etc. access a common database as required. Added attachments immediately have up-to-date information. In addition, the exchange with the ERP takes place permanently. They are supplemented by information from CAD, CAM and PLM systems, for example on NC programs, materials, design details or production instructions such as clamping plans, drawings or videos. Also integrated: the technology data from the areas of tool presetting and tool management, warehouse and logistics.


The core product is the FactoryDirector VM, which combines all information relevant for production on one central platform and at the same time networks the existing IT infrastructure, such as PLM and ERP/PPS systems, CAD/CAM and simulation systems as well as tool measurement and storage systems. This creates a production data network with the aim of generating knowledge from data. This is intended to improve productivity, increase efficiency and minimize unproductive offside and set-up times. Existing resources in production can be used better, the time from the model to the finished component is shortened and the production of repeating parts is accelerated.


Focus on system security

However, centralization and low-hurdle access to data also carries the risk of misuse. It is precisely this aspect that still prevents many responsible persons from investing in digitization. On the occasion of AMB 2022, VDMA Software and Digitalization is focusing on cybersecurity and digitization. Because the number of hacker attacks in mechanical and plant engineering is increasing. More and more member companies of the VDMA are reporting attacks on IT and OT (production) security in the company.

Together with police authorities at state and federal level as well as the BSI, the VDMA is working on more security: “For member companies, we offer assistance with precautions against possible and actual attacks. At AMB 2022, we will play prominent attention to this topic with the VDMA Software and Digitalization, among other things, says Prof. Claus Oetter, Managing Director of the professional association. AMB is an important trade fair for us, as it shows innovations and further developments around the metalworking industry. Many of our member companies are represented in Stuttgart and we are looking forward to an exciting trade fair.”


About the AMB

Since 1982, AMB has presented the highlights of the international metalworking industry. At the last AMB in 2018, more than 90,000 trade visitors and over 1,400 exhibitors were received in Stuttgart. On an area of around 120,000 gross square meters, they showed innovations and further developments for machining and removing machine tools, precision tools, measurement technology and quality assurance, robots, workpiece and tool handling technology, industrial software & engineering, components, assemblies and accessories. AMB 2022 is supported by the ideal supporting associations VDMA Präzisionswerkzeuge, VDMA Software and Digitization as well as VDW Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken.

Further information at www.amb-messe.de



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