NTB Interstate University of Technology Buchs, an institute that specializes in engineering informatics, recently announced a new website, gtc-tools.com, which provides information to the public on the Generic Tool Catalog (GTC) cutting tool data exchange format. The GTC data exchange format was developed through collaboration among machining hardware and software leaders Siemens PLM Software, Sandvik Coromant, Iscar, and Kennametal. The GTC data exchange format is available to all tool vendors and application developers, enabling them to share cutting tool data more easily and precisely. GTC enhances the leading data exchange format, ISO 13399.
GTC enables a direct connection between the tool vendor and the application without the need of an intermediary company. GTC format catalogs from Sandvik Coromant, Iscar, Kennametal, and other companies are currently being deployed into production by leading manufacturing companies.
Having access to complete, reliable, and comprehensive cutting tool data has been a need for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software users for a very long time. ISO 13399, established by the International Standards Organization, created a common language for industrial product data, but there was also a need for additions to that information, such as tool classification, class drawings, and pictures. GTC makes this additional information available for use by cutting tool vendors and applications developers.
Siemens PLM Software’s Manufacturing Resource Library (MRL), part of its Teamcenter® software portfolio that provides classification and data management for manufacturing engineering resources, can import catalogs in the GTC format. This enables the use of tool data and 3D models in the creation of tool assemblies that can be seamlessly used in Siemens’ NX™ software for tool assembly documentation and in NX CAM for tool path creation and simulation.
“This new website makes information about GTC easily available to the general public,” said Marcel Keinan, director of product management for Siemens PLM Software. “We are fully committed to GTC. It specifies a standard format suitable for application developers and avoids the need to create interfaces for different cutting tool vendors and applications.”
Sandvik Coromant is one of the founders of ISO 13399 and provides catalogs in the GTC format compliant with this standard. GTC is also supported in Adveon™, a tool library application developed by Sandvik Coromant. Adveon interfaces to several CAM systems.
“The GTC standard is a vital step forward for the communication needed in the current and future digital manufacturing environment, Industry 4.0,” said Per Nilsson, senior manager of Intelligent and Digital Machining at Sandvik Coromant.
Kennametal believes that customers should have access to tooling data in the software of their choice. In order to access essential cutting tool information within the design and manufacturing processes, Kennametal is providing customers with product catalogs in the GTC format. Kennametal relies on NOVO™ for its tool advisor and management application that will support the creation of GTC catalogs that can be imported into Siemens’ software.
“At Kennametal we believe in the future of digital manufacturing,” said Fred Patterson, vice president of product engineering and a founding member of ISO 13399. “Partnerships with companies like Siemens are critical to the success of improving the way work is getting done. Moving ahead with the GTC helps the manufacturing community by integrating Kennametal’s tooling information in the end-to-end product development processes.”