Presetting Promises Efficiency

The idea that technology is more efficient than humans should be applied in the shop as well.

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In the age of computer programs, almost always it is to our advantage to allow technology to work for us rather than risk errors by doing things manually. A basic example is using a calculator. Unless you are doing simple math, it is much faster and accurate to use a calculator than to struggle through math problems scribbled on scrap paper.

This idea that technology is more efficient than humans should be applied in the shop as well. When dealing with sophisticated machinery such as CNC Swiss-type lathes and turn-mill centers, the risk of not getting the most out of capital expenses such as these is too high. When operators touch off tools on the machine and manually enter offsets, shops lose valuable time, tool life, materials and in turn, money. This is why tool presetters are an important part of a setup strategy for such valuable equipment.

Without presetters, time that operators spend touching off tools and running trial cuts could be spent on part production. Machines are out of service for at least a few minutes during setup, which is time that adds up over days, weeks and years.

Human error is another worry. Touching off tools and manually entering offsets is risky, especially when dealing with tolerances of less than 0.0001 inch.

The technology of the presetters enables you to accurately measure tool length and diameter, calculate nose radii and angles and detect damaged or unusable cutting edges. Because reducing runout is critical when dealing with micro-sized tools especially, new presetters are designed to calculate runout very accurately and some even supply numeric and graphical representations of runout. Further, non-contact presetters have software integration capability, allowing them to connect to shopfloor networks and tool information databases.

To read more about the advantages of tool presetters, see “Presetting Pays Dividends.” For an application article, visit “Reducing Downtime with Tool Presetting.”

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Presetting Pays Dividends

Many shops are moving away from centralized toolroom operations and opting instead for distributed tool presetting on the shop floor. The presetting machines available today are accurate, easy to use and provide closed-loop tool compensation on the CNC machine tool, saving significant time during job change-over.