Riemann Werkzeugbau is pushing the limits of machines and programs with Tebis

    Increasingly complex and extensive workpieces result in greater demands – not only on the machinery but also on the CAD/CAM system. Because calculation times were getting longer, and their previously implemented program package couldn’t handle multiple operations, the programmers at Riemann Werkzeugbau in Georgsmarienhütte, Germany, decided to make a change and implement Tebis four years ago. The start of a success story.


    Riemann Werkzeugbau


    - Professional solutions for the manufacture of series and prototype dies - Fixtures for the sheet-metal processing industry

    • The complete Tebis 4.1 parametric-associative CAD/CAM system is an end-to-end platform for all tasks from manufacturing preparation to design and CAM programming.
    • This enables die, model and mold manufacturers in particular to work seamlessly in a single system with a high degree of automation.


    Interviewee Michael Riemann, Managing Director

    The Tebis hotline has experts we can rely on. Our programmers take things very seriously. They find contact people at Tebis who have exactly the same objectives and with whom they can work to find the optimal solution. And that’s worth a lot in terms of our development and our future competitiveness in the industry.

    Michael Riemann, Managing Director at Riemann Werkzeugbau in Georgsmarienhütte
    The trend in forming tools for the automotive industry and parts for production machining is toward increasingly complex geometries. This can be seen in the machinery at Riemann Werkzeugbau in Georgsmarienhütte, Germany. The company almost exclusively uses five-axis DMG machines. The most recent machine was just installed at the company's production facility in the Osnabrück region late last year. This year it’s being joined by an MTE traveling column milling machine, because growing workpiece dimensions are also a trend that the die manufacturer has been seeing for several years.

    "There’s a very clear trend toward 5-axis machining," says Michael Riemann, who heads the company along with his brother Peter and his father Klaus Riemann. "Just a few years ago, 80 percent of our manufacturing was on 3-axis machines. Now we can't manage without 5-axis machines because of the increasingly demanding geometries.”

    The growing complexity of the workpieces being machined, and the ever-increasing milling volume required in recent years made us painfully aware of the limitations of the CAD/CAM system that was previously in wide use.

    "Whereas in the past we had orders with 200 to 300 h of milling, today we have orders with 5,000, 6,000, even up to 10,000 h of milling," Riemann explains. "Aside from the fact that the system was deficient in some areas, calculation times were also getting longer due to the highly complex geometries and the larger milling volume. This was already apparent when we wanted to rotate a piece by 180° on the display: The designer might as well take a long coffee break.”
    Riemann primarily uses DMG machines. The dimensions of the machines have grown substantially in recent years. Because of increasingly complex geometries, the trend is clearly toward stiff and precise yet highly dynamic 5-axis machines.

    The ratio of programming time to spindle run time was no longer cost-effective. More complex calculations often ran all night. In addition, the system we were using didn’t support templates, like those used for recurring programming tasks. "We had to take action," Riemann says, describing the situation at the time. "The easiest for us would have been to update the existing system. But we’re not always satisfied with taking the easiest route, especially when better alternatives are available. In this case, that was Tebis.”

    On one hand, Tebis was already being used by most of Riemann's customers. On the other, the managing directors and the programming team had always regarded Tebis as a high-end solution. Other companies queried by the Riemann team also shared this opinion.

    It ultimately came down to a showdown between the two CAD/CAM systems. Both software providers were tasked with programming identical workpieces. The first part would be programmed over several weeks with no time pressure and optimized to the maximum extent possible. A second workpiece was programmed and implemented on-site. The die manufacturers created a sample workpiece specifically for this purpose: a hot forming jaw that accurately represented all the features of typical parts.

    After the initial implementation phase – two programming licenses and six viewers – another programming station was added. The latest Tebis version 4.1 and several add-on packages are now in use. The company has also increased its workforce as a result: For example, two new Tebis programmers were hired. Another increase in the department is currently in the planning stage. 

    The entrepreneur is happy to have Tebis as a reliable and resilient backbone for high-precision tools. "With our complicated workpieces, we certainly push the machines and the programming to their limits," says Michael Riemann. "This makes it even more important for us and our designers to have experienced partners – the experts on the Tebis Hotline – who work proactively with us to find solutions when we hit limits.”

    Given the increasing complexity, the comprehensive simulation possibilities with Tebis are a big plus for the die manufacturer. Relying on the “virtual machines” in the machining centers preinstalled by the manufacturer is out of the question for this family business. Working with progressive parameters and running at rapid traverse rates with millimeter precision requires absolute safety and reliability in the software for 100 percent conversion of the machine model dimensions into reality.

    Investment continues, even during times of crisis: Riemann´s latest addition from the Pfronten-based DMG plant is a DMU 340 gantry, which began production late last year. It will be followed in the summer by a large traveling column milling machine, in this case from MTE.

    The die manufacturers therefore had a complete 3D scan made of their machines. All clamping devices and other relevant components were also digitalized. This was essential for Riemann because it was the only way to ensure that the real workpiece is accurately reproduced in the virtual world, down to the last screw.

    The die manufacturers also work with actual data for the precision tools they use. And this ultimately applies to the blank as well. The fitters can therefore be certain that the machining results will precisely match what they simulated beforehand. "Our programmers are ultimately 'milling' with the 'real' cutter on the 'real' surface of the 'real' part," Riemann explains. Working with real data establishes a high level of process safety – and that's also a big plus when it comes to on-time delivery to the customer.”

    Production at Riemann isn’t completely paperless yet. But the paper drawings no longer include any dimensional information, for example. Only the data stored in Tebis are valid and up to date. Tebis viewers are now used on all machines.

    Designers can also quickly and easily process large volumes of data with Tebis 4.1. Productivity and process reliability at Riemann have been significantly increased with the extensive functions for automated programming and comprehensive simulation options.



    Riemann appreciates the highly trained employees, some of whom perform 2.5D programming directly on the machines. "It can certainly happen that the programs are loaded into the system and the operator then derives the DXF curves, for example. What's really great is that Tebis provides all of this in a single end-to-end system."

    Drawings at Riemann are only used to provide an initial overview. The machine operator can see the binding status of the data with dimensions, tolerances and other parameters on their Tebis Viewer. This ensures that everyone always has the latest information.

    However, the programs are usually already completed. Tolerances and other parameters are usually determined by the OEM’s color codes. "Because most of them also use Tebis in their work preparation, no data conversion is necessary. The company sees this as a key advantage. "For example, if a customer adds a note: 'Caution! Not 10H7, but 8H7,' we now know for sure that everyone affected by this will see it," Riemann affirms. This isn’t always true for converted data. End-to-end processing with Tebis therefore gives customers a bonus in terms of stability in their overall processes. This was one of the reasons that the OEMs advised Riemann to use this CAD/CAM system.

    The fully prepared data are sent from the CAD/CAM system to the machine. The operators, all highly qualified specialists, only program 2.5D machining operations on the machine if necessary: or they derive them from the DXF curves, for example.

    Tebis has opened the door to many new possibilities for the die manufacturers. Compared with the old CAD/CAM system, spindle run time has increased dramatically relative to programming time. Using Tebis, the programmers generate many more parts per person than ever before. Programming time has been roughly halved for comparable parts. Given the time pressure in die manufacturing, this is an advantage that can’t be underestimated – because the lead time for dies has become increasingly relevant, especially in the automotive industry.

    Thanks to Tebis, the Riemann team not only manufactures significantly more complex parts – it’s also able to take on significantly more orders. The capabilities of the program package allow us to take on other jobs where die manufacturers can’t be replaced so easily. "We’ve acquired a lot of expertise in working with the capabilities of the CAD/CAM system," Riemann says. "We put that to work for our clients and try to push the limits of the system."

    In the Riemann technical center, a full-blown Schuler production press is available for testing. This permits the die manufacturers to ensure that the customer receives dies that are mature and ready for production. Today this is a competitive advantage that can’t be underestimated.
    The programmers often push both their machines and the CAD/CAM system to the limits and go all out with their programs. The key advantage: "The Tebis hotline has experts we can rely on," the entrepreneur confirms. "Our programmers take things very seriously. They find contact people at Tebis who have exactly the same objectives and with whom they can work to find the optimal solution. And that’s worth a lot in terms of our development and our future competitiveness in the industry.”     Rw

    Michael Riemann, Managing Director at Riemann Werkzeugbau in Georgsmarienhütte, Germany: "Using Tebis, we create many more parts per programmer than before. Programming time has been reduced by up to half of that needed for comparable parts. We’re also manufacturing much more complex parts than in the past.”

    Riemann Werkzeugbau
    For over 30 years, this die manufacturing company in Georgsmarienhütte, Germany, has been providing professional solutions for the manufacture of series and prototype dies and fixtures for the sheet-metal processing industry. Customers from many different industries benefit from innovative and intelligent product solutions for manufacturing progressive dies, transfer dies and blanking dies. The company's customers include nearly all European automobile manufacturers, either directly or through the products they manufacture. A well-equipped technical center, including a full Schuler production press, allows Riemann to provide its customers with mature dies that are ready for production.

    Tebis V 4.1

    The complete Tebis 4.1 parametric-associative CAD/CAM system is an end-to-end platform for all tasks from manufacturing preparation to design and CAM programming. This enables die, model and mold manufacturers in particular to work seamlessly in a single system with a high degree of automation. The software developers designed and optimized the intuitive user interface of Tebis 4.1 in close collaboration with users. The system structure is therefore consistently oriented to the logical procedures of CAD designers and CAM programmers and enables clearly structured workflows.


    A convincing CAD/CAM solution involves more than "just" good software

    The benchmark test to which Riemann invited the two software providers was clearly more than a simple comparison of the two systems. The process clearly revealed the value that software manufacturers place on Riemann as a user. Tebis had made exceptional preparations and brought a programming expert in addition to the optimized first part. That was one of the reasons the decision was made in favor of Tebis. And it’s proven itself in everyday work: Now not only are the die manufacturers working with what they consider to be the optimal CAD/CAM system. They also receive extensive support and expert knowledge, because the technicians on the Tebis Hotline are dedicated and competent partners for the designers, especially when it comes to production engineering challenges.