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Manufacturing product lifecycle management: Periphery products and machine tools into the spotlight

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article image Remote diagnostics through hotlines or software solutions help to further minimise expensive downtime on the shopfloor

Product Lifecycle Management: Periphery products into the spotlight

The increasing number of machine tools involved in metal-cutting worldwide has resulted in future oriented service solutions gaining importance. Modern manufacturers have started considering the whole lifecycle of a machine tool instead of simply providing for spare parts and assigning service personnel. DMG MORI SEIKI Australia has set out to provide 360° solutions helping users to create the best possible environment for their machine tool to run precisely and productively throughout its entire lifetime. 

Operators’ skills, professional maintenance and fast diagnostics for longer machine tool life

A machine tool’s longevity depends on the service provided right from commissioning to fast on-site support for any specific damage through skilled personnel and the availability of spares. Modern spare parts logistic networks across the globe ensure users have quick access to spares while service engineer localization enables fast local language on-site service, and remote diagnostics through hotlines or software solutions help to further minimise expensive downtime on the shopfloor. 

Additionally, factors such as training, maintenance and remote monitoring also have an impact on the lifespan of a machine tool. A machine achieves best results when operated by experienced well-trained staff, making training a cornerstone for successful manufacturing. Service training for the correct maintenance of machine tools is another important component. 

Check-up systems in the control help to plan maintenance intervals and service work. Software for remote troubleshooting or remote monitoring on smartphone or tablet devices prevents longer machine failure. 

Productivity: Getting the best out of a machine tool’s lifespan 

Periphery products are a crucial component of the product lifecycle increasing machine and tool lifespan, precision and productivity: the higher the productivity, the better the return over the whole lifecycle. 

True lifecycle management starts even before the machine is purchased, from choosing the right machine configuration and continuing with training operators to ensuring reliability in the production processes through round-the-clock local support or remote diagnostics. Regularly planned inspections of safety functions, main spindle, hydraulics, cooling units and software status among others help minimise unexpected service assignments.

Additionally, customer specific solutions in automation such as robotic and handling systems, and engineering and tool pre-setting devices significantly increase a machine tool’s productivity and help to get the best out of the machine tool’s lifespan. The use of tool pre-setting equipment in manufacturing frees expensive machine tools from unproductive setup times and increases their availability. 

Taking a closer look at software solutions

Intelligent software solutions increase efficiency and ensure reliability in production. Key objectives of software include failure prevention and performance optimisation of the machine tool. 

Software products encompass the complete process chain from drawing, simulation and programming to the final machining of the work piece. They add to fast and efficient manufacturing avoiding unnecessary machine stoppage or failure through preventive simulation. 

Remote diagnostic and support software kicks in when technical problems occur, as the operator can setup a secure internet connection right from the machine to the manufacturer’s service department with a suitable service employee undertaking an immediate and detailed problem analysis and also rectifying a multitude of machine problems directly, without being physically present on-site.

Software solutions also allow users to check the current state of their machine at any time, independent of their location, and to respond to an error instantly if needed. 

Machine tools reborn with overhauling and reconditioning 

The provision of reasonably priced machines with comprehensive manufacturer’s guarantees or the repurchase of older machines within the scope of new investment have opened the doors to trading, retrofitting and upgrading of used machines. Machine tool users can retrofit their existing machines and increase productivity to the latest standards without purchasing new models. Overhauling of complete machines or components as well as giving them in part payment for a new machine, is another way of providing solutions for productive operations using products that reach the end of their lifespan. 

DMG / MORI SEIKI’s professional reconditioning services include thorough incoming inspection and complete cleaning of all components. Defective parts and wear parts are replaced with original components. Once re-assembled, the machine goes through extended operating tests and outgoing inspection. When reconditioned correctly, the quality and efficiency of a machine tool do not depend on the year of its manufacture.

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