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User-Friendly Control for Enhanced Machine Operation



The TNC7 provides a customizable user interface, fluid multitouch operation and powerful graphical programming.

The TNC7 prioritizes intuitive operation and ease of learning for new and experienced operators.

Markus Puntigam, VP of Sales and Marketing for Hermle North America, with the Hermle C 250 machining center.

The TNC7, the latest control from HEIDENHAIN, has been designed with a strong emphasis on ease of use. This case study will explore the feedback from Hermle, a prominent machine builder, regarding the TNC7 control. With a rich heritage in machine expertise and a long-standing partnership with HEIDENHAIN, Hermle provides valuable insights into the advantages of the TNC7 and its impact on the machining industry.

Hermle: A Legacy of Machine Excellence

Established in 1938 as a manufacturer of bolts and machine screws, Hermle quickly realized the need for its own milling machines. Frustrated by the lack of suitable machines from other vendors in the 1950s, the company began producing its own milling machines. Over the years, Hermle expanded its product lines, and in the 1970s it ventured into CNC-controlled universal milling machines. Today, Hermle has a global presence with over 30,000 installations worldwide, catering to diverse customers across various industry sectors.

Markus Puntigam, VP of Sales and Marketing for Hermle North America, explained, "We serve a wide range of industry segments, from small job shops to medical companies, from mold and die shops to large aerospace businesses. Virtually anyone involved in the metalworking industry can potentially be a regular customer of ours."

Differentiation Through Specialization

"What sets Hermle apart from other machine builders is its exclusive focus on 5-axis machines," said a spokesperson. "While other builders offer a variety of machines, Hermle's laser focus on 5-axis models gives it a competitive edge." Additionally, Hermle produces only nine distinct machine models, all designed with a similar look and functionality. This streamlined approach enables Hermle to concentrate on automation, software development and maintaining a sharp focus on customer needs.

Puntigam continued, "Many of our customers are small job shops that primarily require 3-axis, 4-axis or 3+2-axis capabilities, despite the fact that our machines are fully capable of performing 5-axis machining. Our machines are versatile enough to cater to varying complexities in components, making them ideal for a wide customer base."

A Fruitful Collaboration with HEIDENHAIN

HEIDENHAIN emerged as Hermle's preferred partner for controls and scales when Hermle ventured into CNC machines. The HEIDENHAIN 100 series control is aligned with Hermle's requirements, marking the beginning of a longstanding partnership.

Matthias Koehler, Applications Engineering Manager for Hermle USA, emphasized, "HEIDENHAIN gives us the opportunity to provide input and to contribute to how they develop their offerings and innovate in the machine tool market. It is a mutually beneficial relationship, involving modifications to machines and the introduction of new features."

This partnership was further strengthened during the development of HEIDENHAIN's latest control for milling, turning and grinding: the TNC7.

TNC7: Intuitive and User-Friendly

With the TNC7 control, HEIDENHAIN has prioritized intuitive operation and ease of learning for both new and experienced operators. Notable features include a customizable user interface, fluid multitouch operation and a novel and powerful graphical programming capability. The control allows users to draw contours directly on the touchscreen, which are then converted into a Klartext program by the TNC7.

Puntigam highlighted the TNC7's intuitiveness, stating, "The control's interface and front screen can be personalized for each machine operator, enhancing user-friendliness by displaying relevant information. The full touchscreen monitor, with gesture drawing capabilities, coupled with context-sensitive dialogues and topic-related training videos, makes the TNC7 stand out as a highly intuitive control."

The TNC7 adapts seamlessly to various scenarios, providing support throughout the set-up, programming and part measurement processes. The screen intelligently adjusts to display information relevant to the operator's task at hand.

Gisbert Ledvon, HEIDENHAIN VP of Marketing, added, "This user-friendliness does not come at the expense of performance: fast block processing time (0.5 ms) ensures a smooth toolpath even in complex full 5-axis simultaneous applications. Also, the integrated process monitoring of the digital workpiece minimizes quality inspection time."

Puntigam further explained, "The control's built-in graphs and simulation simplify collision control, offering the ability to integrate 3D models of workholding fixtures. Previously, operators had to rely more on CAM software for programming due to the control's limitations. However, now the TNC7 significantly streamlines the process."

Ledvon said, "Another new feature is the cutting data calculator directly on the control in the optimized contour milling (OCM) feature. This function allows the operator to just answer a few questions in the interactive menu about the material to be cut and the tool diameter, and the calculator then determines the optimum speeds and feeds to maximize the removal rate in the trochoidal milling rough cut."

Empowering New Operators

The primary function of a control is to interpret NC code and facilitate effective communication. Puntigam commends the HEIDENHAIN team's dedication to this aspect throughout their product generations, with each new iteration introducing significant features. The transition from the 640 to the TNC7 control is straightforward for long-term HEIDENHAIN users and new operators.

Puntigam said, "What truly sets HEIDENHAIN's control apart from others, especially in the realm of 5-axis machining, is its outstanding ease of use. Even individuals with no prior CNC or NC code knowledge can swiftly program complex parts on a HEIDENHAIN control. This user-friendliness has garnered particular interest among younger machine operators, bridging the skills gap that emerges as many machinists near retirement age."

He continued, "Considering the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States, alongside the influx of younger operators in industries like space and electric vehicles, controls like the TNC7 play a vital role. Its simplicity and resemblance to an iPad make it accessible to new operators. For instance, one of our recently hired colleagues became proficient with the TNC7 in just two minutes."

Strong Industry Interest

While the TNC7 is still being rolled out to initial customers, early industry feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Puntigam recounted the excitement generated when showcasing the TNC7 at IMTS, highlighting its user-friendliness and intuitive operation: "We already have numerous customers eagerly awaiting the TNC7 control, and it presents a wealth of opportunities for us in the future. At several of our facilities, we have TNC7 controls available for demonstration and customer training. We encourage anyone interested to reach out and experience the TNC7 first-hand."

Conclusion

"Hermle's partnership with HEIDENHAIN and its in-depth feedback shed light on the exceptional user-friendly qualities of the TNC7 control," said the spokesperson. "With its intuitive interface, multitouch capabilities and advanced programming features, the TNC7 empowers seasoned professionals and the next generation of machine operators. Hermle's endorsement of the TNC7 reinforces its position as a ground-breaking control system that simplifies complex machining processes, bridges the skills gap and ensures the continued growth and success of the manufacturing industry."

For more information contact:

Hermle USA

5100 West Franklin Drive

Franklin, WI 53132

414-421-9770

info@hermleusa.net

www.hermleusa.net

HEIDENHAIN Corporation

333 E State Parkway

Schaumburg, IL 60173-5337

847-490-1191

www.heidenhain.us

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