HANNOVER, GERMANY – Leitz woodworking tools is showing prototypes of networked tooling at LIGNA 2015, with chips embedded to communicate to CNCs and other machinery and operations controllers. It is also presenting a research project called eApps4Production.

Incorporating tools as active and intelligent process components is  Leitz's interpretation of Industry 4.0, the LIGNA 2015 trends to advance integrated woodworking automation.

"In the course of its life cycle, each tool produces countless data," says  Andreas Kisselbach, head of R&D at Leitz. "In Industry 4.0, the tools exchange their data via Internet with its networks."

An example of network partners  are machinery makers and tool sharpening services. For users, says Kisselbach, "Networked tools allow faster commissioning and higher process security.“ At Leitz's Ligna booths, the first prototypes of networked tools can be seen, with  tiny data chips with individual tool codes feeding data to a Cloud data repository. There, master and application data, critical and offset values, performance times and service cycles are saved and  updated continuously, to be accessed by users, machines and service technicians. "If machines and tools speak the same language and access the same Cloud, then the data exchange can start," says Kisselbach.

Leitz is also showing its research project eApps4Production. The objective of the project is for the development of Engineering Apps being able to collect different information from various production processes and make them available on any terminal device.

Users are expected to be able to use it eventually to detect critical operating states of machines and tools and  collect operating data such as performance times. The eApps research project is supervised by the project sponsor Karlsruhe (PTKA). Among the partners are Leitz and the Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart / Germany. T

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.