Perfect processes at the push of a button

TRUMPF presents software to control the entire manufacturing line

Streamlining sequences, creating transparency, monitoring capacities and having all the relevant data at hand, at all times – that is the premise behind the TRUMPF fabrication control software: TruTops Fab
(PresseBox) ( Stuttgart / Ditzingen, )
Many sheet metal processing operations are facing a flood of incoming orders - and some can hardly keep up with delivery deadlines. That heightens the pressure to continuously increase productivity and efficiency. High-output machines are one factor, but they often cannot deliver the ideal overall result because upstream and downstream processes are less than perfect. Streamlining sequences, creating transparency, monitoring capacities and having all the relevant data at hand, at all times - that is the premise behind the TRUMPF fabrication control software: TruTops Fab.

Shorter throughput times

"Many of our machinery customers are sitting on order books so full that they are thankful for every bit of help to speed throughput," says Reinhold Gross, TRUMPF Service Manager. "Our system here - at a relatively low investment level - offers greater potential than a machine which is somewhat faster. To that extent, this product is a good match for the current situation." Perhaps more importantly, the software suite is now being presented in its entirety for the first time ever. In recent years it has grown by responding to customer requests and suggestions. The newest version now offers complete job order processing, from the first step to the last.

The customer inquiry lays the foundation for a continuous information flow. That includes calculating the costs for the job, preparing the proposal and confirming the order - followed by generating the job order and issuing the shipping documents. The operations supervisor knows the status of the order at all times and whether there are sufficient materials, machine capacities and other resources available. A new iPad app even makes it possible to remotely monitor and control the system. If a minimum stock level has been reached, then TruTops Fab will reorder without operator intervention. The software automatically selects the NC program matching the job order and forwards it to the machinery. And, by working on the basis of information about the orders on hand, the software generates work schedules, job cards and material tags.

Suited for companies of all sizes

TruTops Fab can easily be integrated into existing networks and it exchanges data with ERP and PPS systems. Since the system is modular in design, it is suited not only for networking large arrays of machines but smaller operations with just a single machine and without an ERP system can also profit from the TruTops Fab functions. The software was originally designed for sheet metal fabricators however, manual workplaces - such as welding stations - or third-party machines like presses and cutting tools can be integrated.

"Production, storage, calculation." TruTops Fab is made up of various modules that can be introduced or augmented step by step. "We have installed about 250 systems in recent years, and no two of them were identical," Reinhold Gross reports. "The situation on site and the users' requirements were all so different that we had to tailor each solution to the particular customer. The spectrum of work might only include selecting the appropriate standardized modules but can go on to adapting individual interfaces and even generating individually programmed modules."

New: Generating online proposals

Entirely new is the Internet-based WebCalculation module. With the assistance of this application, the user can give customers the capability to request a proposal - automatically generated, quickly and easily - even outside normal business hours. WebCalculation can readily be accessed by a link on the company's website. The customer then loads the desired part into the application. Thanks to networked structures running in the background, the hourly rates for the machines, wage costs and profit margins are automatically taken into account when generating the offer. Here - as is the situation everywhere in TruTops Fab - the TRUMPF technology tables play an important part. They embody the specific sheet metal expertise that TRUMPF has accumulated over the years, along with a vast amount of data on materials, tooling and machines - data that the user has available every step of the way.

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