Paperless manufacturing, full transparency, KPIs, real-time reporting and an SAP interface – these are the ambitious goals that Georg Mauser is setting for his sheet metal processing company, Mauser + Co. GmbH, for the medium term. He is taking this step towards manufacturing of the future together with TRUMPF. The necessary confidence and trust is already there: the two companies have been working together for more than 70 years.
Located in Ditzingen, Germany, Mauser specializes in the manufacture of complete assemblies. The company operates seven TRUMPF machines and uses them to produce, for example, the support tables for punching, laser and combination machines made by TRUMPF. Currently, when it comes to software, Mauser is looking ahead to the future. That’s why for about two years, the company has been using TruTops Boost, TRUMPF’s all-in-one solution for 3D design and programming. And about one year ago, Mauser also began using TruTops Fab, a software program for production control.
“TruTops Fab handles our log-ins and log-outs to and from our work cycles in real time. This not only saves us from having to make several hundred bookings a month, it also provides each employee with a high degree of transparency.”
These tools let the fourth-generation family company keep its focus firmly on its manufacturing operations. Besides the integration of TRUMPF machines, TruTops Fab also simplifies communication with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems as well as those for production planning and control (PPC). Data import is fully automated, and an overview of all production jobs is provided on a display. Personalized search options and graphics make the tools easy to use. Oliver Secker, technical director at Mauser + Co. GmbH, explains: “It’s very important to me for the processes to be transparent. By connecting to our SAP ERP system, we’ve been able to close the gap caused by the lack of feedback on actual materials consumption and machine running time. Now we can make accurate post-calculations and generate a very precise pre-calculation diagram by intelligently evaluating the collected data. TruTops Fab handles our log-ins and log-outs to and from our work cycles in real time. This not only saves us from having to make several hundred bookings a month, it also provides each employee with a high degree of transparency. Thanks to TruTops Fab, I myself can maintain a complete overview of running times plus utilization rates for people and machines.”
Optimized work and programming processes
As customers demand more and more in the way of quality, reliability and flexibility, Mauser is anxious to ensure that it maintains an overview of its operations. For this reason, the company has connected TruTops Fab to STOPA, its fully automated materials warehousing system, in order to better monitor inventories. The system provides real-time updates on the net and gross quantities of stock in the warehouse, which holds a full 400 metric tons of sheet metal. What’s more, TruTops Fab offers standard evaluations, inventory lists at the touch of a button, and everything in between.
Mauser wants to extend this full transparency beyond the warehouse. After all, in the past, not having an overview of order status and utilization rates at individual work stations has led to longer lead times, and in the worst case scenarios delivery reliability would suffer. The goal was therefore quickly set in place. Secker explains, “Here we aim to improve our work processes and also make the programming process more efficient.”
More efficient with TruTops Boost
At the moment, there are 80 employees working in two-shift operation to deliver mostly completely mounted assemblies. The parts portfolio comprises some 100,000 different parts. A large proportion of the orders are for batches of eight to ten units. No wonder, then, that flexibility, speed and quality are key issues for Mauser.
“TruTops Boost perfectly combines the 3D world with a pioneering system.”
This is where the strengths of the TruTops Boost software come to the fore. The central control level, or HomeZone, gives the company control over all parts, jobs and allocations. Automated routines support the entire process of sheet metal preparation, from the geometry to the finished NC program. In addition, the software can be used to design 3D models and program all the machine technologies, from the laser machines to the punching and bending machines.
Many of Mauser’s jobs and parts repeat, sometimes with slight variations. Being able to easily reuse finished sheet programs and layouts through TruTops Boost makes the company more efficient. Secker reports, “Thanks to the holistic integration of all functionalities in just one interface, we were able to considerably shorten our programming times. TruTops Boost perfectly combines the 3D world with a pioneering system that generates programs for TRUMPF machines with just a click of the mouse. This minimizes the expensive and time-consuming task of reprogramming.”
Time for essential tasks
Mauser employees can take all the time they have saved and devote it to more important tasks: the company offers engineering services with its own in-house design team (2D and 3D CAD) and can provide planning and development expertise on projects that last for several years. Comprehensive consulting as well as process support are a given. “We are constantly striving to improve. We work to bolster our market position by optimizing products and processes and by keeping our corporate organization functioning smoothly. Plenty of hard work goes into this quality management, ensuring that all of our work processes – from development and production to punctual delivery – flow together effortlessly.”
By integrating its machines so that its ERP system is connected to TruTops Fab and its manufacturing operations, Mauser automatically receives all MDA/PDA data. It now takes just the press of a button to generate post-calculations, evaluations and KPIs. The company continues to optimize its production operations and level off part costs. Now it can enjoy sustainable control without investing more time or money in data collection. For Mauser, it’s another step towards manufacturing of the future.