Workshop Optimization and Special Programming at MTT

Compass Software installed a new system for workshop-optimization at the German company Meister Treppentechnik (MTT) at the turn of the year.

MTT produces and delivers treads to staircase builders. The company manufactures ca. 600 treads per one-man-shift. In the past MTT used different software packages for communication with the warehouse, plate optimization, and to operate an old CNC machine. The coordination of the different systems and the fact that the CNC center was quite old and was not supported anymore caused a huge headache for MTT. Through talking with two major competitors in the area, MTT became aware of Compass Software and decided to make a change. They ordered a new 3-axis standard machine (Homag) and hired Compass Software to unite the entire software process in their workshop. By taking this step MTT aimed to eliminate problems with the old machine and coordination of the different software programs and customer services.

Our developers had to develop and/or adapt different modules to realize this special programming which would encompass the whole workshop. First, it was important to make sure that foreign data and formats from external staircase builders could be imported automatically for tread production.

[Translate to Amerikanisch:] Zum einen galt es sicherzustellen, dass fremde Daten und Formate von externen Treppenbauern für die Stufenproduktion automatisch eingelesen werden können.

Furthermore, our developers had to program the plate optimization. Up to 8 treads were supposed to fit on one plate. To make this possible the communication with the warehouse had to be programmed. A dataflow had to be developed which could communicate which plates are available in the warehouse. The treads then had to be optimized according to the plates in stock and the results of the optimization had to be sent back to the warehouse so that it could deliver the necessary plates. Last, Compass had to develop a module for milling the plates and making use of leftovers on the Homag machine. The entire programming was tested internally at Homag during development as to not interrupt MTT’s production process.

[Translate to Amerikanisch:] Es musste ein Datenfluss erstellt werden, um zu erfahren, welche Platten im Lager vorhanden sind, die Stufen müssen gegen diesen Lagerbestand optimiert werden und die Ergebnisse der Optimierung müssen dem Lager mitgeteilt werden, damit das Lager die benötigten Platten bereitstellen kann.
[Translate to Amerikanisch:] Weiterhin war es wichtig, die Plattenoptimierung zu programmieren.

To further avoid a stop in production and to ensure the seamless transition to the new system, our technicians and the Homag-technicians worked tirelessly during the turn of the year to build the new system. The result is a fluent and reliable process: The optimized plates are delivered by the warehouse and the machine automatically pulls the plates on the table. The treads are then milled from the plate and sent through a plate turner to prepare them for the sander.  After sanding, the finished treads can be removed from the construction. A printer prints the respective labels and depicts a control image. The entire line of machines reaches a length of ca. 20 m (66 feet) in the workshop.

"Compass Software was extremely competent and flexible when it came to understanding and resolving our problems. Their problem-oriented approach and quick reaction to conclusions from our tests on-site, lead us straight to the desired result", comments Hermann Wank, CEO at MTT, when summing up the partnership.

After completion of the project MTT is able to draw a positive conclusion. All of the goals have been achieved: There is only one service contact for the entire manufacturing process, the optimization results are similar to those achieved during production before the change and even promise the possibility to save specialist staff, which can be utilized for other tasks in the workshop, and process-reliability has been increased. By replacing the outdated machine and partnering with Compass Software for the entire process, MTT is able to ensure a smooth production process for decades to come.

Hermann Wank adds: "due to the fair and correct business procedures, I always felt like I was in good hands partnering with Compass Software. Apart from the quality of their work, I was especially convinced by the pleasant and enjoyable collaboration with them personally!"

And since everything worked so well, MTT is now thinking about investing in another 5-axis machine, which will naturally be implemented with the same software partner.