Modern manufacturing is evolving all the time. With Industry 4.0 and smart factories transforming the ways we create goods, manufacturers are taking notice of the leads that advanced technologies can provide to their shop floors.
ZOLLER’s tool presetting solutions present some of the simplest but most crucial steps that machine tool users can take. Presetting tools is simple, efficient, and – for reasons we’ll visit below – vitally important for the most optimised use of machine time possible.
Presetting your tools with a measuring machine like the ZOLLER Smile is far faster than traditional setting methods that heavily rely on the operator. High-quality optics grant close inspection of cutting edges, radii, angles, and other essential tool data, and with far more accuracy than the conventional touch-off. Once these data points have been obtained, the information can be transferred quickly to a CNC machine using RFID chips or ZOLLER’s quick and easy zidCodes, which can be printed and scanned into the machine like a barcode.
With the information ready to go, all that’s required is to swap out the tool and start the machine up again. Simply by using ZOLLER measuring machines to capture tool data, the time savings mount up quickly. Just an hour a day of saved time totals up to thousands of hours saved across a few years, and a mountain of cost ultimately. And that’s just for one machine.
Automatic presetters can measure down to single microns, beating the observations of even the most experienced operators tens of times over. Advantages such as telecentric lenses – which minimise distortion in the field of view – can yield comprehensive readouts of a tool’s condition and life expectancy, as well as eliminating runout, confirming quality, and ensuring that a job won’t be started with a faulty tool.
Human error is also removed from the equation. With aforementioned systems such as zidCode used to transfer data, information is taken down and copied to the CNC machines without any input errors from ‘fat fingering’ or incorrect note taking.
Higher accuracy means parts being created to tolerance with first-time success, with minimised waste in terms of both materials and time.
The traditional way of setting tools whilst they’re mounted in the CNC machine is inefficient for factories that need to keep production running. All the time a tool is being set, it isn’t making any money – and the machine itself is tied up until the process is complete. With a presetter, a tool can be measured and prepared whilst another is running on the CNC machine. Being able to stagger these tasks reduces opportunity costs drastically.
By maximising the output and productivity of your CNC machines, the collective time savings can even eliminate any need to purchase an additional machine. Furthermore, by integrating with Industry 4.0 workflows, automated processes are faster processes. Being able to do more with your time is the key to a shopfloor that creates bigger and better within its finite operation windows.
Reliability feeds back to both manufacturer and their respective clients. As a business, knowing that your processes are repeatable and that your machines can be trusted to run smooth and error-free gives you an edge over the competition. It also builds a sterling reputation that will bring customers back for repeat business, reassured by your cutting-edge machinery solutions and the advantages that speak for themselves.
The information yielded by measuring machines allows a business to operate with educated choices and to be responsive. Changes to an order can be accommodated quickly, and potential issues with tools can be flagged and identified before they impact a job, not during or after. CNC manufacturing runs on numbers, so make those numbers work for you.
Presetting your tools isn’t a revolutionary idea – nor is it a complex one, with the right kit – but it fine-tunes your shop floor’s workflow to such a degree that most people see a return on their investment within the year, and an improvement to their production indefinitely.
Find out more by contacting ZOLLER UK today.