Proof of Concept for Global Energy Leader


Written by Geoff Hamilton on 8/1/2017

About the Customer

Hyla Soft's North American team has just finished a successful machining data management Proof of Concept at a large repair facility for turbine blades in the power generation industry. The main challenges the customer was facing were:

  • The inability to accurately track tool location on the shop floor. Without being able to know exactly where and how many cutting tools were located in the shop, additional tooling components were often purchased even when those components were in stock and available for use. This led to excessive inventory costs.
  • The ineffective management of NC Programs that were available to operators on the shop floor. Ineffective management of NC Programs accessible to the machine operators on the shop floor often led operators to run the wrong part or use outdated revisions. As a result, these errors significantly increased machine failure frequency, rework and scrap, and of course production costs.

Project Overview

Since Siemens Teamcenter was already being used to manage the customer’s design data, this Proof of Concept would also use Teamcenter as the backbone to store and manage the associated manufacturing data. Hyla Soft's team of consultants first conducted an analysis of the customer’s “as-is” processes, then worked closely with the customer's manufacturing engineers to design a “to-be” state that would fit their specific needs and requirements. Next, the “to-be” solution was documented and reviewed with the customer. Once the design was approved, the required software was installed, configured and tested by our technical specialists. At the end of the project, Hyla Soft also provided end user training to the customer's manufacturing engineers and operators on their new Teamcenter for Manufacturing ecosystem.

About the Solution

For this project, the following Siemens manufacturing solutions were integrated to the customer’s existing Teamcenter environment:

1. Manufacturing Resource Library

Manufacturing Resource Library (MRL) was utilized to store tooling components and assemblies, as well as fixtures. The resources stored in MRL would be available to engineers working within Teamcenter and NX CAM, to be used when creating the NC Program. 

2. NX CAM Integration

NX CAM was integrated with Teamcenter, which enabled users to automatically save the created NC Program and related shop documentation directly to Teamcenter. Upon save, the machining data was automatically linked to the design data as well as the tools and fixtures stored in MRL for that part. With the machining data now being stored in Teamcenter, standard Teamcenter functions could be used to review and release the data to the shop floor.

3. Shop Floor Connect

Once machining data stored in Teamcenter is released, operators on the shop floor need to be able to access the data. Shop Floor Connect (SFC) and Shop Floor Integrate were utilized to provide operators access within the shop. Shop Floor Connect allows operators to digitally access the latest released revision of the NC Program and associated machining data through a web interface. With this integration, operators can now receive the latest machining data package every time they go to run a program. The NC Program is loaded to the CNC machine directly from Teamcenter, ensuring that the latest program is run every time.  

4. Shop Floor Integrate

Operators will use the Shop Floor Integrate (SFI) web interface to manage tooling locations on the shop floor. Every tooling transaction on the shop floor is recorded through SFI. As the tool crib operator is building the physical tool, he/she will assemble the tool in SFI. The assembly action consumes the required components from stock and builds a virtual tooling assembly related to the physical assembly on the shop floor. As that tool assembly moves through the shop, the tool location in Shop Floor Integrate is updated. This allows engineers and operators on the shop floor to see exactly where and how many tool assemblies and components exist. 

Results and Future Roadmap

As a result of the project, the customer has seen how our solution will be able to provide them complete visibility over the machining process by allowing them to:

  • Reduce parts scrapped from running outdated/wrong NC Programs
  • Speed up turnaround time for replacing resources in operations
  • Increase resource availability on the shop floor

After the successful Proof of Concept, the plan is to move forward to build and implement a complete solution to cover all of the customer’s remaining CNC Machines, different production lines within the shop, as well as other production facilities. Hyla Soft is looking forward to helping our customer optimize their manufacturing processes and become more efficient from top floor to shop floor.

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