"These master data are simply an important piece of the puzzle in digitization"

Tobias Heutger is the managing director of Fischer und Kaufmann and has tested the tooltracer.

How far along are you on the way to networked production in your company?

» We connected our production machines to a "self-made” production data acquisition system over 18 years ago and were thus able to monitor the status of the systems centrally and carry out the corresponding evaluations. We then kept pushing this further and would have been able to "remote control” machines over 10 years ago. Here, however, safety regulations and the different systems thwart your plans. That is why we work with software experts today. «

What was the reason to work with TOOLTRACER now?

» We haven't seen the subject of tool master data for a long time. These are such hidden activities and so far we have always worked around them. But this master data is simply an important piece of the puzzle in digitization. «

And: Does this instrument meet your expectations?

» It took a while to understand that not all of the data was ready to go off the shelf. Of course, with millions of tools on the market, you cannot assume that they are all completed in the system. But we should have captured it anyway.  

But in three different systems, and the fact that this is no longer necessary is an enormous time savings that we have been able to achieve. «

How much effort did it take to get TOOLTRACER up and running?

» The setup was very easy for us. Two people from TCM came and programmed all the interfaces, ERP, WinTool and our output system. That actually worked straight away. When entering data, the system also makes it easy for you with the guided process. «

TOOLTRACER is a new product: Where is there still room for improvement?

» The system itself works perfectly. The user-interface is clean and self-explanatory, the interfaces work and the data in the user software is then synchronized at all times. Of course, it would be desirable if the manufac- turers would now also recognize the value of error-free master data for production companies like us and supply corresponding data records for every tool that comes onto the market. But I’ve heard that there are ongoing discussions about getting the manufacturers on board. «

How important was it for you that TOOLTRACER was backed by a company that had the appropriate experience with tools?

» Very important, of course. But I think someone without this experience would not have developed such an instrument in the first place. It was also important to us that this comes from someone who is manufacturer-independent and can guarantee absolute data security. «