Sabine Esslinger | OSG GmbH
Mercedes-Benz AG recognizes business partners with above-average performance in terms of quality, innovation as well as cooperation. OSG GmbH was nominated for the Daimler Supplier Award in the innovation category for the first time in 2019. The innovation by OSG is an ongoing project with goals of reducing machine downtime, increasing efficiency and process reliability. Although there are different approaches for achieving these objectives, Mercedes-Benz AG has opted for a special tool management system from OSG.
At the Mercedes-Benz Plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Germany, the company seeks a total solution for an entire production line and one component – the connecting rod. This connecting rod process improvement project began in 2019 and is scheduled to run for three years. The targeted goals are to be achieved with five tools for face milling (roughing and finishing), drilling, pre-hole drilling and thread milling.
In contrast to conventional systems, OSG’s tool management system is not only about tool supply, but rather about the continuous optimization of the process and cutting tools. OSG is able to provide technical support on the cutting parameters, analyze tool wear and make changes to the process at a short notice because only in-stock tools made in Germany are used. The fact that OSG can implement appropriate optimization at any time – including the base substrate, tool geometry and coating, is a major advantage.
The first interim result after a year demonstrated an enormous increase in efficiency due to OSG’s tool management system. Initially, when OSG first took over the process improvement project, tool life was estimated to be less than 6,000 machining operations per tool. After implementing OSG’s system, tool life has increased to 10,000 machining operations for three out of the five tools. This improvement reduces machine downtime that allows for higher production output. The higher machine availability rate is particularly critical at Mercedes-Benz AG because its operations are closely connected. If a machine comes to a standstill, the entire line will halt as well.
OSG GmbH Key Account Manager Jens Hofmann poses for a photograph with the OSG Tool Management System at the Mercedes-Benz Plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Germany. “OSG’s tool management system is not only about tool supply, but rather about the continuous optimization of the process and cutting tools,” said Hofmann.
What made this high output possible is open communication and a total solution package that can be controlled remotely with zero hassle. The solution offered at the Untertürkheim plant includes a tool cabinet and a software management system. OSG can connect to the cabinet remotely at any time, view inventory status and reasons for tool change, and plan the entire assembly. In addition, OSG provides total support for tool inventory and process planning, which may include tool presetting, documentation, optimization, administration of the system as well as follow-up appointments to discuss the application. The system is well monitored and documented. When a tool problem arises, the scenario is identified and recorded. For Mercedes-Benz AG, this means that processes are becoming more efficient, improvements are taking place continuously, and component cost can be reduced in a calculable manner over the term of the contract.
In summary, such a target solution is not only suitable for OEMs, but also for the supplier industry or corresponding companies in contract manufacturing as a step towards greater efficiency.