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Tool Simulation - An innovative simulation system to determine the lifetime of cutting tools

Based on a 3D-model for cutting tools and combined with high computing performance, ToolSimulation enables Schumacher to virtually test precision tools with defined operation and work piece parameters.

The Challenge in Terms of Sustainability:

Core objective of this development is the more efficient prototyping process for cutting tools – current proceedings are optimized in a sustainable way by the new process. Across the industry, tool manufacturers depend on prototype design and production for cutting tools developments which are to perform new tasks in innovative work piece applications. This simulation method for new developments will reduce crucial resource inputs (like energy, raw material and the time involved) to a small remaining segment of existing prototype processes. As of now, production of prototypes by existing procedures require producers to hold available additional production capacities and moreover prevent the more economic and ecological use of existing production lines.

The starting point:

Each year, Schumacher designs and produces a large number of tool variants for new applications. As of now, it was only possible to get a reliable statement on the performance of a new geometry through the production of time-consuming and costintensive testing tools. During the past couple of years, there was a strong increase in the number of required tool developments for machining with shorter life cycles. To ensure stable testing conditions and receive precise test statements, considerable resources had to be invested. In contrast to this investment, the cost share of the development effort for these new products and the resources they require (from the use of raw material to the energy consumption along the value chain) cannot be considered in the product price. For this reason, it was essential to develop leaner and more efficient development processes for precision tools.

The solution:

The solution implemented by Schumacher is based on a comprehensive construction module which generates digital 3D models of rotationally symmetric precision tools. This initial construction system ToolDesign has been developed over more than a decade and has been in operation at Schumacher production for several years. ToolSimulation now draws upon the existing system and incorporates a simulation method specifically developed to include work piece dimensions, material specifications and application parameters. This allows Schumacher to predict the cutting performance of precision tools in advance to their actual production without performing costly tests in advance. While the prototype production can naturally not be avoided entirely, ToolSimulation allows constructing the right geometry for the requested purpose with only a minimal input of raw material, energy and cost compared to current procedures. The sustainable effect of this development is a significant reduction of the production processes involved. As a most convenient side-effect, the reduction in cost and time to develop prototype geometries has a significant impact on the market success of the company.

The sustainable strength:

Within the long-term strategy of Schumacher, the new simulation system plays a key role by drawing upon the existing CAD construction module and developing it into a crucial component for Schumacher's future set-up as a provider of precision tools. In addition to supporting Schumacher's tool production, the company's division Schumacher Services will draw upon ToolSimulation to develop existing networks with other producers of precision tools. Therefore it serves as an important component in developing Schumacher from a mere producer of precision tools to an internationallyoriented service provider for the B2B business segment. Thereby Schumacher has been and will continue to create new jobs at the company's location in Remscheid, Germany. This is possible particularly through using resources more effectively and providing innovation products and services.

The inventor:

Dr.-Ing. B. Schniering is Managing Director and Shareholder of Schumacher Precision Tools GmbH, Germany. Besides developing and producing threading tools, Schumacher's division Management Tools is dedicated to strengthening the competitiveness of industrial SMEs. Prestigious German and Asian universities are partners to several of these projects.

Brief profile of the company:

Name: Schumacher Precision Tools GmbH
Hauptsitz: Remscheid, Germany
Gründungsjahr: 1918
Mitarbeiter: 40
Lösungen: Special Treading Tools and Services for the precision tool industry
Internationalität: Production- and development networks in Europe and Asia