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Hoffmann Group Connected Tools Accelerating Digitalisation In Tooling

Hoffmann Group Connected Tools Accelerating Digitalisation In Tooling

The new “Hoffmann Group Connected Tools (HCT)” product family Hoffmann Group is driving digitalisation forwards in the field of tooling. The range includes Bluetooth-capable tools which at the push of a button send measured values directly to a PC application such as Excel, a tablet or the newly developed HCT smartphone app. The GARANT IP67 HCT digital caliper with Bluetooth connection has now been launched on the market as the first HCT product. This tool is also available as a depth gauge. The free HCT app is now available for download from the App Store and Google Play.

GARANT Digitaler Messschieber IP67 HCT

The new Hoffmann Group Connected Tools link the analogue and digital tooling worlds without any additional software or dongle. The tools send measurement data via Bluetooth over a range of up to 15 metres and thus make documentation particularly convenient. At the same time they improve quality management because they eliminate errors arising from manual data transmission.

The Hoffmann Group has also developed the HCT smartphone app for users who place a special value on mobile working. The app provides an overview of up to eight HCT tools. It reliably saves newly recorded measurement results and permits the export of the measured data including tool name, measurement date, unit and target value in CSV format for further processing in any PC application such as Excel or Word. The app can also display values both in the metric system and in inches.

The new GARANT IP67 HCT digital caliper not only has sophisticated functions but also features an outstanding design. That was confirmed by the jury of the prestigious Red Dot Award in 2019: The GARANT IP67 digital caliper provides a large LCD display on which the measured values are displayed at an easily legible height of 11.5 millimetres. The measurement system is embedded in a clearly structured stainless steel body sheathed in an ergonomically shaped enclosure with Santoprene coating. This provides the necessary grip for working in dusty, wet or oily environments. After 10 minutes the system automatically switches into power-saving mode. Any slight movement reactivates it and the last measured value and the zero point are displayed. This saves energy. The tool satisfies protection class IP67 and is protected against dust, water, coolant and oil.

 

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Flexible Production Capacity

 

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Flexible Production Capacity

Flexible Production Capacity

With the right tools and state-of-the-art CAM software, toolmakers and mould makers can keep their production capacity flexible, and will be able to ramp it up by up to 85 percent once the economy picks up again. Article by Michael Knauer, Hoffmann Group.

Flexible Production Capacity

Parabolic Performance Cutting (PPC) with a larger effective radius achieves better surfaces in less time.

Toolmakers and mould makers are amongst the companies keeping a firm handle on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Many companies are asking themselves how they can weather the storm unscathed as far as possible and adapt their capacity quickly once the market improves. This has placed the spotlight on production methods such as ‘circle-segment milling’, also known as ‘Parabolic Performance Cutting (PPC)’ or ‘barrel milling’.

PPC tools enable the finishing work for a tool mould to be completed up to nine times faster or, alternatively, the surface quality to be improved up to 80-fold. For example, Koller Formenbau GmbH has used PPC milling cutters supplied by the Hoffmann Group to reduce the finish machining time for geometrically defined surfaces from 100 hours to 15 hours. The PPC method is also ideally suited to finish machining work on 3D-printed parts.

Reasonable Expense

On PPC tools, the main cutting edge on the milling cutters is curved. Compared against a classic ball-nosed slot drill where the effective radius is half the tool diameter, PPC tools have a much larger effective radius, up to 1,000 millimetres, thus permitting a significantly larger engagement length on the workpiece. However, their more complex geometry means they place higher demands on the CAM software. The software not only needs to offer the ‘circle-segment milling’ strategy, it must also have a tooling database which holds the exact geometries of the PPC tools. What’s more, since the tools are aligned obliquely to the workpiece, the method can only be employed in conjunction with a 5-axis milling machine. Not all 5 axes need to be in use here. Often, once the tool has been set up, the draft angles can also be finished with 1 to 2 axes clamped. It may also be possible for flat faces and freely accessible surfaces with no interfering contours to be machined on a 3-axis machine. In the past there were only a few software programs that offered the ‘circle-segment milling’ functionality. However, that is no longer the case. Koller Formenbau, for instance, already used a 5-axis machine and the Hypermill software, so they only needed the right tool. At reasonable expense, the company was able to boost productivity by up to 85 percent, thereby increasing its capacity without having to procure a new machine. 

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Hoffmann Group To Showcase Latest Product Innovations At EMO 2019

Hoffmann Group To Showcase Latest Product Innovations At EMO 2019

The Hoffmann Group will put into display its latest product innovations at EMO 2019, which is scheduled on September 16–21 in Hannover, Germany. Visitors to Hoffmann’s stand will be able to see innovations in the fields of machining, clamping, measuring, and digital services. Highlights include the GARANT Xtric centring vice, the GARANT Master Alu milling cutter range, and the GARANT Master Tap INOX specialist for thread machining stainless steels.

With the theme “From Concept to Reality”, Hoffmann is showing how they can support the entire production process with physical and digital products at EMO 2019. An important trade fair highlight will be the GARANT Xtric centring vice for blank part clamping and finished part clamping. It makes pre-stamping redundant and impresses with its innovative chuck jaw quick-change system, which makes simple and fast conversion without any tools possible using a click mechanism.

The new ‘GARANT Master Alu’ milling cutter range for aluminium machining includes tools for any application.

The new ‘GARANT Master Alu’ milling cutter range for aluminium machining includes tools for any application.

In addition, Hoffmann is showcasing the GARANT Master Tap INOX, specialist for thread machining of stainless steels, and the new milling cutter range ‘GARANT Master Alu’ for aluminium machining. The latter comprises of a complete tooling series for any application—from the single-cutter end mill, the finishing cutter and the knuckle form roughing slot drill to the pocket milling cutter and torus cutter.

The new GARANT Xtric impresses due to its chuck jaw quick-change system with a click mechanism and makes pre-stamping redundant.

The new GARANT Xtric impresses due to its chuck jaw quick-change system with a click mechanism and makes pre-stamping redundant.

In addition to these special exhibits, Hoffmann is presenting numerous additions to their existing ranges, including TPC tools from the GARANT Master Titan milling cutter range, an indexable insert and solid carbide barrel milling cutters for Parabolic Performance Cutting (PPC), as well as the latest version of the GARANT MM1 measuring microscope with an image field that is up to ten times larger.

Hoffmann is at Hall 3 Stand A06.

 

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The Recipe For Centennial Success

The Recipe For Centennial Success

Ahmad Alshidiq speaks with Martin Reichenecker (Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and Spokesman of the Board) and Borries Schϋler (Chief Product Management and Engineering Officer) from The Hoffmann Group on the company’s recipe for its centennial success.

Martin Reichenecker (Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and Spokesman of the Board)

Borries Schϋler (Chief Product Management and Engineering Officer)

The Hoffmann Group is a leading system partner for quality tools, combining trading with manufacturing and service expertise. It supports over 135,000 customers with supply capability, assured quality and enhanced productivity in meeting all their needs for machining tooling, clamping, measuring, grinding, as well as workstations and storage and personal protective equipment.

This year, the headquarters based in Munich is celebrating its centenary with excellent prospects. In 2018, the Hoffmann SE with its subsidiaries achieved record sales of more than EUR1 billion, the number of employees grew to more than 3,000 and the company is continuing to grow organically. Hoffmann SE develops and steers the corporate strategy and orientation of the entire Hoffmann Group together with its long-standing partner companies. In 2018 the Hoffmann Group comprising Hoffmann SE and its partners generated a turnover of more than EUR1.4 billion and employed approximately 3,700 people.

100 years in the industry is a significant milestone. What has Hoffman done right to be an industry leader for such a long time?

Martin Reichenecker [MR]: For 100 years, we’ve been flexible with our offerings and products. Today, we are the number one in Europe in quality tools, cutting tools, hand tools, metrology, etc. I think what has brought the company success is we are always focussing on the clients´needs, trying things and learning fast. We’ve been pioneer in some fields of tools distribution. We had our first printed catalogue in back in 1936 and in 1998 we established the first web shop in the industry. There has always been a good combination of traditional, well used and modern aspects (in our offerings) which helped the company to reach a revenue of more than EUR1 billion in 2018. We are also serving many different industries, not just any particular one.

Borries Schϋler [BS]: We also employ the right people that grasp Hoffmann’s philosophy in serving our customers.

Any changes Hoffmann has made in this era of Industry 4.0 from what they offer previously?

MR: In 2009, we already had our first wave of digitalisation called 360-degree tooling and provided our customers with electronic tool files across a complete cutting tool assortment. And we also started building data-based solutions for our customers.

What’s your most breakthrough technology and why is it important to the industry?

MR: Two years ago, we launched the high performance drills GARANT Master Steel SPEED and FEED and opened up a new performance class allowing the customer productivity rates. It was not so normal that time. Another technology from Hoffmann is the TPC and the Parabolic Performance Cutting – a further development of ball-nosed slot drilling cutting and also known as barrel milling. These solutions offer customer high productivity.

BS: In August this year, we will be launching our new constant grid dimension. Today, different manufacturers have different grid dimensions for cabinets, work benches, trolleys and so on. And from Hoffmann, you will get all the items in the same grid dimension. This will offer you space for customisation and long-term investment protection, and this is a technical step ahead as it is a complete system. With the GARANT GridLine series, the Hoffmann Group is now the first supplier to offer a completely integrated modular concept in its product range, which includes even the smallest details such as partitioning materials and rigid foam inserts for drawers.

Hoffmann’s own brand GARANT is one of the biggest tool brands in Europe, it is the only brand with which you can completely equip the whole workshop. Customers have given trust to this brand and they know we are delivering everything – whether it is cutting tools, metrology, hand tools, grinding discs or workshop equipment.  With GARANT, you have one brand with the whole portfolio for your mechanical production.

Where do you see the biggest opportunity for Hoffman in the forthcoming years?

MR: Hoffmann became very international in the last 15-20 years, having expanded from countries in all over Europe to North America, and to Asia. We are a young and small player in some markets but the opportunity is huge for us. Product-wise, we still have a lot of ideas on what can be brought into the market. And last but not least, on process optimisation for customers. From application to ordering process, we want to optimise the whole process end-to-end.

What’s your strategy in Southeast Asia?

MR: We learned a lot about the market in the past year, and we discussed and adjusted our approach in the region – much focus is on Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

What is most important in addressing present-day challenges in digital manufacturing?

BS: I would take it a bit wider with digitisation, completely. I think digitalising internal processes can be handled; it’s just a matter of time and how many resources you have. In developing digital business models, you have to have the right people and certain creativity in your staff. For me, the challenge will be when you have a higher transparency of data and team members have to take bigger decisions in a shorter period of time. You have to have the right people who can perform this when time calls for it.

Milestones For The Hoffmann Group

1919 – Josef Hoffmann registered a company in Munich.

1932 – Franz Hoffmann joined his father’s company. He shaped the company for more than 60 years.

1936 – The first catalogue revolutionised the industry.

1973 – The introduction of the GARANT brand turned Hoffmann, the reseller, also into a manufacturer.

1993 – Foundation of the Hoffmann Gruppe, which has been called the Hoffmann Group since 2003.

1995 – First steps over the border: Hoffmann went international.

2000 – Started its online business.

2009 – Opening of Europe´s and the industry´s largest and most efficient logistics centre.

2018 – Further expansion: construction started on the LogisticCity in Nuremberg.

2019 – Hoffmann is preparing for the next 100 years: with digital products and services.

 

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Garant: Solid Carbide Barrel Milling Cutters

Garant: Solid Carbide Barrel Milling Cutters

Garant’s Parabolic Performance Cutting (PPC) represents a further development of ball-nosed slot drilling and is used above all in machine tool building, toolmaking and die making. The particular feature of PPC tools is the main cutting edge in the profile of an arc of a circle. Compared to a ball-nose slot drill this permits significantly larger effective radii. The result is a line skip up to nine times larger, or a surface quality up to 80 times better. To allow finish machining of even more complex geometries, the Hoffmann Group has now extended its range to include a new stub point conical version for machining flat faces at the bottom area of the workpiece. The precondition for PPC is a 5-axis milling machine and CAD/CAM software which allows the tool geometries to be processed as a data model.

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