Fifteen years ago, TDM Systems GmbH began selling its tool data management (TDM) software as an independent enterprise. Now, the company’s client list is a manufacturing Who’s Who, containing names like BMW, Krones, Liebherr, MTU, and many others.
“Although our software is still officially a teenager, it has long since stepped into adult-sized shoes,” commented Managing Director Jürgen Auer, who has led TDM Systems since the beginning.
Recently, Auer invited customers, partners, and the TDM team to a 15-year jubilee celebration at Walter AG, the company under whose aegis the innovative TDM software first came into being more than 20 years ago.
Walter at that time was bringing the first NC-controlled machines into its production area. Its EDP department began working on software for supplying NC programmes electronically with tool data. Because other manufacturing companies were also modernizing their production equipment, demand for the software grew constantly. In 1993, the Walter EDP team became Walter Informationssysteme GmbH. This subsidiary turned into TDM Systems GmbH in 2004.
TDM is now a software and digital systems company with some 65 employees—at present. “Like everybody else in the software branch, we are always on the lookout for trained people,” says Jürgen Auer.
While Walter AG continues to use TDM software in production planning and in the toolroom and crib, the total number of customers has climbed to more than 800. TDM Systems is expanding its presence not only in Europe but also, and increasingly, in America and elsewhere. Its subsidiary TDM Systems Inc. serves clients in the USA and South America.
And the MD points out that plans for the future include Asia and the Pacific region as well. Says Auer, “Our TDM software is now in use by many companies in various plants around the world. We want to keep this development growing.”
The word “development” applies to the software itself, as well. The original TDM module for managing and readying tool data in the planning and programming areas has now become 15 different modules. Successively, tool crib was added, then a shop floor module, a module for gauges and calibration equipment, CAD/CAM links for various systems, TDMstoreasy, a programme for linking tool cabinets and lift systems together, and more.
“Production would come to a halt in many of our customers’ plants without their TDM software,” says Auer, who adds with pride, “Back then, I never would have dared to dream how important our software would become to the companies that use it!”
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