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Home / HAIMER’s Tool Room now with WinTool and Toolbase System

HAIMER’s Tool Room now with WinTool and Toolbase System

HAIMER acquires 25% of WinTool AG and agrees on a global strategic partnership with the TCM Group.

Posted: March 25, 2024

"We have already been able to reduce our inventories in the first few months and expect the investment in the WinTool and Toolbase systems to pay off within a period of six-to-12 months," said Manfred Mayr, Plant Manager at the Motzenhofen production site, and a HAIMER employee for more than 45 years.
With the new WinTool tool management and the Toolbase tool dispensing system, HAIMER creates digital and analog consistency of the tool room process. Customers can now obtain all the key components for greater efficiency and productivity in the tool room from a single source. 
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Haimer Group, HAIMEr, WinTool AG, TCM Group, Toolbase, shrinking, balancing and presetting machines, Markus Temmel, Stefan Echle, Thimo Rotter, Andreas Haimer
With the new WinTool tool management and the Toolbase tool dispensing system, HAIMER creates digital and analog consistency of the tool room process. Customers can now obtain all the key components for greater efficiency and productivity in the tool room from a single source.

The Haimer Group becomes a 25% shareholder in WinTool AG and agrees on a strategic partnership with the TCM Group, which grants HAIMER global distribution rights to WinTool and Toolbase. Prior to the decision to acquire this stake in the company, WinTool and Toolbase were introduced in the company’s own production facilities and tested in continuous use, proving their worth in a very short period of time. In the future, TCM will rely on HAIMER as a strategic supplier in the field of tool holders, shrinking, balancing and presetting machines in the core business of tool management.

Tool management is becoming increasingly important in manufacturing companies. HAIMER, a global player and market leader for tool holding and presetting, has therefore been offering innovative tool room solutions for years, in which HAIMER shrinking, balancing and presetting machines ensure high efficiency.

At EMO 2023, HAIMER took an important step forward and has since been offering its successful hardware products for machine tools alongside a powerful digital range consisting of the WinTool software, an independent tool management system, and Toolbase, a smart tool dispensing system with software and hardware components. In order to realize this, HAIMER entered into a competence partnership with the TCM Group, which includes WinTool AG and Achterberg GmbH, who have built up an excellent reputation as developers and producers of the WinTool and Toolbase solutions over many years. The partnership has now been anchored strategically and long-term by the 25% shareholding in WinTool AG and consolidated by further global distribution agreements. This enables HAIMER to offer and distribute both product lines to its worldwide distribution partners and customers.

Markus Temmel, CEO of TCM, is delighted about the new partner and anchor investor at WinTool AG and the global cooperation with HAIMER: “In 2023, we worked together very intensively and were able to achieve significant success in a very short period of time. The product portfolios of HAIMER and the TCM Group complement each other seamlessly and our shared understanding of our customers’ requirements will lead to even more powerful overall solutions. Both partners stand for practical, high-quality solutions that are geared towards the long-term benefit of the customer. Furthermore, we are convinced that the HAIMER product range will enrich our range of services in the tool management business field and strengthen our market position and our claim to be the market leader for tool management services. All TCM tool management customers worldwide will benefit from this in the future. We look forward to consolidating this strategic partnership and welcome HAIMER as a shareholder at WinTool. ”

Offer for Digital Tool Management

Andreas Haimer, President of the HAIMER Group, explains: “The strategic partnership with TCM and the investment in WinTool fit perfectly with our strategy: We want to offer our customers worldwide a coherent system concept with regard to digitization and automation of tool room management. This requires easy-toimplement products and intuitive software solutions that enable users to increase productivity on the shopfloor. With our new WinTool and Toolbase products, we are able to offer our customers the most complete solution on the market. In a record time of just four months, we introduced the systems in our own large production facility with over 200 CNC machines. Our own positive experiences and the great customer feedback at EMO 2023, along with the trustful cooperation with the TCM team, has encouraged us to take the next step with WinTool and TCM.”

Software Implemented in own Production

As is always the case, HAIMER first tests new products that they are bringing to market in its own production facilities. “We are a manufacturing company ourselves, producing up to 4,000 tool holders a day at our headquarters in Igenhausen and the neighboring Motzenhofen plant. We also produce our 3D sensors, shrinking, balancing and presetting machines ourselves. We are therefore also very interested in constantly optimizing our tool management,” explains Andreas Haimer.

HAIMER succeeded in introducing the WinTool software, including the Toolbase dispensing system with fully integrated connectivity to the HAIMER devices, in a very short period of time. “The simple implementation of these products is already an important initial factor,” explains Stefan Echle, Head of Product Management at HAIMER, who acted as project manager and interface between suppliers, IT, tool room and production during the introduction. “In the short time available, we entered all of our existing tools, spare parts and Citems – no less than 10,000 items – as a digital twin in a central WinTool database and also digitized the HAIMER application know-how for each job. This means that the information is always available to us, regardless of the user. We have also connected our existing large vertical lift cabinet systems with Toolbase and put additional lockable Toolbase cabinets into operation, giving us a decentralized supply network for the consumables in our production.”

The user training confirmed that the software has a very practical structure. “There are no fancy extra bells and whistles on the user interface, it concentrates on the essentials,” confirms Stefan Echle. “The production employees and the people in the tool room working with the products have no problems understanding and using it.”

What are the Capabilities of WinTool?

As a software solution for tool and data management, WinTool enables the collection and use of tool, master and operating equipment data as well as CNC machine programs and processes. Thanks to its modular structure, users can “start small” with WinTool, says Stefan Echle, “by initially only entering their cutting tools and tool holders. This is the first step: collecting and fine-tuning their tool data.” To ensure that this can be done easily and efficiently, WinTool provides an open database that can be used to import existing data from other data software systems. 2D and 3D data provided online by manufacturers can also be easily imported.

This first action alone provides the user with an overview of which tools and sister tools are available in production and where they are located. In a second step, the user can clean up the initial stock and further optimize their tool stock based on the consumption determined over time.

“The respective tool life can also be stored in WinTool, which is essential for maximizing cutting tool usage in machining,” mentions Stefan Echle, adding another strength of the system: “Assembling complete tools in 3D is much easier in WinTool than in a CAM system.” For the subsequent transfer to CAD/CAM, WinTool offers 25 direct interfaces to all common systems – ideal for companies like HAIMER that use more than just one CAD/CAM system. Thimo Rotter, Area Sales Manager at WinTool, summarizes: “WinTool is the optimal data hub for all tool information and, thanks to the connection to CAM, ERP, Toolbase, the presetter, and other software systems, the customer has access to uniform and relevant data anytime and anywhere.”

Of course, WinTool can do much more, and HAIMER will expand its use step by step. The software can be used as a library for working materials as well as for CNC data, process and inventory management. The benefit: Shorter programming and set-up times, reduced tool inventory, integrated documentation and ultimately higher productivity.

Find the Right Tool Quickly and Safely – Thanks to HAIMER Toolbase

The perfect complement t the tool management system is the smart Toolbase dispensing system, an easyto-use software-supported tool dispensing system. “We have also equipped our existing dispensing cabinets with Toolbase software,” explains Stefan Echle, “and are extremely satisfied. The dispensing system saves us cost-intensive processes, such as searching for the right tool, ongoing stock control and determining consumption requirements.”

Ideally, Toolbase as a logistics module is combined with WinTool, as the interface is available and has been tried and tested many times. However, Toolbase can also be combined with other tool management systems or operated manually as an entry-level solution. Stefan Echle points out that for small and medium sized companies the combination of a HAIMER Microset tool presetter with a Toolbase dispensing cabinet is a beneficial solution: “Many processes can be made leaner and more efficient with slimmed-down management and automated warehousing.”

The Toolbase software allows user access as well as searching via barcode, RFID chip or manual input and enables tools and consumables to always be withdrawn correctly without time-consuming searching. The gains in terms of time and process reliability are noticeable from day one. Accurate consumption data also creates transparency and is the key to more efficient warehouse management and a reduction in storage costs. “We have already been able to reduce our stock in the first few months and expect the investment in the WinTool and Toolbase systems to pay for itself within a period of six to 12 months,” says Manfred Mayr, Plant Manager and a HAIMER employee for over 45 years. “From the very first minute, I was impressed by the simplicity of the WinTool and Toolbase user interface as well as the intuitive operation of the software.

The machine operators for our more than 120 CNC machines at the Motzenhofen plant procure their consumables themselves via the output systems. The automatic ordering of tools from the Toolbase software ensures that there are always enough tools in stock and that we can concentrate fully on the production of around 4,000 tool holders per day.”

Efficient and Digital Tool Management with HAIMER

For Managing Director Andreas Haimer, WinTool and Toolbase are important elements in the digitization of CNC machining: “We benefit in our own production and gain experience that we are happy to pass on to our customers. We are convinced that tool management with our analog and digital HAIMER products will continue to gain in importance as automation increases. All systems are modular, so every company can choose the right entry point for the digitization of its own production.”

This is why all HAIMER Microset tool presetters can be supplemented with WinTool as a standard in the future. Because if the master data is available in WinTool, a digital twin of a complete tool can be created and used for simulations in just a few minutes without any complications.

As far as the master data for HAIMER cutting tools and tool holders is concerned, the company has already created all parameters, STEP and DXF files in accordance with DIN 4000 and ISO 13399. The data is available for download on the HAIMER website and the Tooltracer platform.

www.haimer.com

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