Segunda-feira, 10 de Junho de 2013
THE ADVANTAGES OF SETTING TOOLING OFF-LINE
Every company with a large number of CNC machines sees the advantages of setting tooling off-line. Spending expensive machine and operator time with a task that is non-productive and sometimes impossible in larger machines is not cost efficient. But what about smaller shops that do not have the resources to invest in a highly expensive tool pre-setter?
That’s the situation we where faced with here at FOCKE & Co., Inc. Located in Whitsett, NC we are the service center for North and South America for a world leader in high speed cigarette packing machines and case packing in other industries with headquarters located in Verden, Germany. Today our CNC machine park consists of 2 Hermle C800U, 2 DMG DMU 50T milling machines and 2 OKUMA LB3000EX lathe machines. Since expansion is possible we needed a system that fulfilled our needs today and in the future.
Tooling wise anything from small 1.5mm end mills to big insert cutters 100mm in diameter. Drills, taps, and high precision boring bars. Since we are not a production shop we have to keep a variety of tooling to be ready for all situations.
After researching different machines, comparing options, capabilities and price we decided on the ELBO CONTROLLI SETHY 306. This machine fits perfectly in our machine park. It was easy to install and after a short time with the manual we were able to set-up and enter our CNC machine parameters. In no time we were measuring tooling.
The units touch screen is easy to use and the included PC software user friendly. Having the capability to switch the optics from measuring to inspect a tool is very useful. The controls to dial the tool into the measuring area are smooth and allow precise measurements. Since we use SK 40 tapers on our milling machines and VDI 40 on our lathe machines we have two adapters that can be easily exchanged. In order not to have our machinist waste time measuring tools themselves we have an employee handle this as a secondary task. All the machinist has to do request the tooling for his next job ahead of time and he is ready to go. Tooling dimensions can be printed or downloaded directly via our DNC network. This has enabled us not only to measure tooling off-line but to rethink our way on how we handle tooling. Instead of every machinist accumulating on variety of cutting tools in toolboxes in an uncontrollable chaos they are now managed in a central location with unified tool numbers across all machines. This alone is a huge cost savings.
Also we where able to tie the pre-setter software into a central tool database that is shared with our CAM program so everyone has access to the same information. We have now used the ELBO CONTROLLI tool pre-setter for several trouble free years.
It is one of those investments for a small shop where at first you don’t see all the benefits but once you use it you don’t know how you got by without it.
I can only recommend it for anyone looking for a sturdy trouble free tool pre-setter.
Manufacturing Supervisor en FOCKE & CO.