Cutting Tool Management – No Scrap or Spindle Crashes Due to Wrong Tool Offsets
“T6345; 51.003mm; 23.475mm; 27.634mm; 24.30min”. A post-it note reminds the machine shop operator which cutting tool offsets to put into the machine tool. The operator typically does this tens of times per day. After every use, each cutting tool needs to be remeasured and if a mistake has been made, wrong tool offsets can cause either scrap parts or in the worst case, a spindle crash.
Here’s an example of how many times a year an operator can input a lengthy series of numbers and the possible risk for errors:
- A company has 4 machine tools
- Each runs for 6,000 hours a year (24,000 machining hours a year)
- On average, there are 4 hourly tool changes per machine (96,000 tool changes a year)
- There is a 1% chance of error (960 errors), of which 1% are critical causing a spindle crash (1 spindle crash)
- So, what would be the cost of 960 lost parts, including the reworking time? How about a spindle crash?
The more expensive the raw material and the tighter the delivery schedule, the more critical it is to get parts first-time-right. While our first-level tool management practices focus on saving time with predictive tool setups, the second level focuses on time and material savings. These are generated by ensuring consistent quality, which in turn is done by mastering the tool offsets.
First, a tool presetting device is needed for fast and precise cutting tool measurement. Tool presetting allows for precise tool measurements and positions to be input to the machine tool. This saves time in test runs and allows for tool setups to be done beforehand. Secondly, the tool presetting device needs to be integrated with your production system. This allows for tool offsets to be automatically transferred to the machine tool control. This makes it possible to run the batches precisely and right after the previous one has been finished. This also frees the operator’s time for more productive work.
With an integrated tool presetting device, cutting tool presetting errors are removed which means no more scrap or spindle crashes due to incorrect offsets. Our next cutting tool related post will focus on the third level of the best tool management practices: how to share tools between machine tools in order to further increase machine tool utilization and simultaneously generate savings in cutting tool and magazine costs. Stay tuned!
Find out more:
- Cutting Tool Management – Avoid Idle Time With Predictive Planning