A the time of implementation of ToolMaster, Fostron was already using a modified post processor to automate tool calls and pallet calls on their existing 5-Axis Exeron Digma HSC 600/5 machining center (with multiple Pallets ) which allowed for operator less machining of both small steel parts as well as electrodes. However, after CMM checking of parts, it was found they often had to make corrections due to tool wear.
At the time of implementation of ToolMaster, tools were being changed based on a Go- No Go tolerance between programs with no possibility to repeat the program (and re-cut the surface) based on a set or variable tolerance for each tool.
The goal was to optimize tool wear tolerances and change tools for duplicates based on actual tool wear as well as automatically re-cut a surface (based on ACTUAL measured tool wear) so as to decrease the amount of parts that needed to be “corrected “ after quality control on their CMM machine.
ToolMaster would allow for tolerances to be set per each type of tool as required.
Training of staff at Fostron took 1 day with a second day used for support during implementation of ToolMaster.
Within the first 2 weeks of using ToolMaster “corrections“ had been virtually eliminated and due to the ability of ToolMaster to record and report wear amounts ( at the time of each tool change for a duplicate ) Fostron was able to very quickly and easily fine tune tolerances so that Tools were “caught“ for exchange for duplicates at just the right time.
A second advantage was that Fostron ( like many toolmakers ) was using a fixed tool table on their CNC machine this meant that each time programs were being prepared to run on the machine the operator had to rewrite the tool position list to match the tool table, with ToolMaster a tool table is generated automatically to match tool positions which eliminated a lot of operator time editing the position list and also eliminated the possibility for mistakes during manual editing of the tool position list.
- Significant improvement in quality by reducing the number of corrections (elimination of machine time for corrections) due to the ability of ToolMaster to measure, record and report wear amount per program on each individual tool. This allowed Fostron staff to optimize tolerances for tool changes that would call up duplicate tools and either automatically recut the last program or start the next program
- Decrease of set up time to edit tool position list each time machine is set up.
- Elimination of mistakes during manual editing of tool position lists.
- Next step is to implement ToolMaster on their Makino 5-axis machine.