Sandvik Coromant’s Strategies to Maximize Machine Tool Efficiency in Industry 4.0 Era

Sandvik Coromant Machine Tools

Sandvik Coromant, a leading player in metal cutting solutions, delves into strategies that empower tool shop owners to maximize their machines, focusing on improved equipment utilization, quick-change tooling, and modular solutions.

Amidst the swift progress of technology, characterized by the saying, “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again,” the manufacturing sector finds itself immersed in the wave of transformation known as Industry 4.0. This revolution brings forth pioneering innovations centered around the ideals of flexibility and adaptability, presenting workshops with unparalleled prospects for expansion. However, although investing in state-of-the-art technology stands as a method to enhance a machine tool setup, it does not represent the exclusive route to efficiency. Blasius Reschreiter, Global Manager of Machine Tool Solutions at Sandvik Coromant, offers insights into how these approaches can enhance workshop productivity and profitability.

In the face of evolving technologies, opting for the latest high-tech solutions may seem like the obvious strategy for a successful business. However, the market is dynamic, and continually pursuing the most advanced solutions might not be the most prudent course of action in uncertain times. The ability to adapt production to current and future demands in a flexible manner becomes crucial for surviving in today’s economy. This article sheds light on flexible approaches to workshop machinery, emphasizing the importance of making the most out of existing resources.

Maximizing Machine Tool Set-Up

Machine tool and cutting tool development are advancing rapidly, often requiring substantial investments and secure predictions for future demands. In times of market uncertainty, major investments in new technology might not be a viable option. Therefore, optimizing existing machines and capacity without significantly increasing overhead costs becomes a key consideration.

While achieving maximum metal cutting efficiency is a common focus, machine utilization emerges as a critical aspect to consider. On average, only 50% of a machine’s in-use time is dedicated to actual machining, with the remaining 50% consumed by breakdowns, changeovers, and maintenance. Increasing machine utilization, measured as the percentage of time the machine produces components, proves to be a cost-effective method to boost productivity.

Quick Change Tooling Solutions

One approach to enhance machine utilization is through quick-change tooling solutions. These solutions significantly reduce time spent on measuring, set-up, and tool changes, leading to improved productivity. Quick change tooling offers benefits like reduced batch change-over time, enabling a dramatic reduction in the time it takes to switch from one tool style to another during a typical turning operation.

Increasing the number of tool positions with double tool holders can further enhance machine utilization. For turning centers with limited space, double clamping units allow for sister tooling or an increased variety of tools, reducing the tool change requirement for a broader range of components. Quick change tooling also reduces downtime when changing worn-out tools, contributing to improved maintenance and operational efficiency.

Eliminating coolant pipe setting and improving the speed of production start-up are additional advantages of quick-change solutions. Beyond the increase in machine utilization, these solutions offer a more user-friendly and ergonomic working environment, reducing accidents and errors.

Modular Solutions for Flexibility

Another strategic approach is the adoption of modular solutions, offering a variety of tool assemblies with different characteristics. Modular tooling reduces the need for customized tools, decreasing costs and delivery times. The flexibility provided by modular systems supports continuous production, making workshops better equipped to handle changing market conditions.

Modular tooling systems bring flexibility, reduced tool inventory, and the ability to create multiple tooling combinations, all contributing to increased machine utilization. These systems prove valuable in reaching difficult-to-access features, providing stability in vibration-prone operations, accommodating small or varying production runs, and offering extra clearance when machining large components.

While the pace of technological change is rapid, strategic approaches that focus on improving machine utilization, reducing changeover time, and embracing modular solutions contribute significantly to enhancing the flexibility of machine shops. In the upcoming article, the effects of investing in new technologies will be explored, shedding light on how such investments can further improve efficiency and open new opportunities for workshops in this dynamic landscape. Stay tuned for more insights into the evolving world of manufacturing.


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