Transparent tool management is the key issue in the development toward networked production for Industry 4.0. SCHUNK, the competence leader for clamping technology and gripping systems intends to push the development with the capability of unique toolholder identification by means of a data matrix code.

Individual laser coding of all SCHUNK toolholders is already possible but as part of its Industry 4.0 initiative, SCHUNK also offers the data matrix code free of charge with TRIBOS polygonal clamping components and many TENDO hydraulic expansion tool holders.

SCHUNK intends to pave the way for the digitization of tool management by ‘replacing paper labels with high technology.’ In the future, toolholders will be uniquely identified by a code and then assigned exactly in connection with corresponding database systems of different suppliers. In combination with data from the higher level cloud, users can then obtain precise information on locations, tools used and their tool life, the machining parameters and the overall life cycle of the toolholder in order to assess the efficiency of the single components.

This significantly increases transparency in comparison to conventional solutions. The advantages of unique ID are convincing. It eliminates the possibility of lost or mixed-up paper labels containing tool settings. It also reduces the time spent at the machine and the tool pre-setting device.

At the SCHUNK Tech-Center in Lauffen, SCHUNK demonstrates the process in combination with a tool management system that is already widely available on the market.