Best way to handle tool offsets for multiple jobs
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    Default Best way to handle tool offsets for multiple jobs

    Our company has an Enshu Horizontal with a 30 tool magazine and a Fanuc 21i-MB control. We run a lot of repeat work and have a large collection of tools for all repeat jobs. I don't agree with how the current machinist handled all the tooling but non the less, I am trying to make things faster and more organized. Considering the machine only has a 30 tool magazine and 60 tool offsets, my plan is to hold about 10 common tools in the lower pockets and change out the job specific tools with the higher numbers. I know that I can import offsets from the card but I am trying to come up with a way to handle all the offsets for an easy import.

    My thought was to create an excel sheet with all the tools and their offsets. I would then filter out the tools I need for the job and create the .DAT file I need to import. I don't know if this can be done yet but it was my starting point.

    I know I can export the tool offset info from the control after running a job. However, the reason for the excel sheet is to make sure all offsets are current. My fear is that if a tool breaks on Job A and a new offset is created, the updated offset would not make it to Job D later on.

    How do you guys handle something like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wishin4snow View Post
    How do you guys handle something like this.
    Since it's production work, how about using specific length and diameter tools and use a presetter ? The only offsets that you'd have to deal with then would be diameter on the finishers.

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    We're a job shop, so we don't use that many tools on parts. Usually 5 or 6 ,but there are times where we have used 20 tools for a 5 axis job.
    I program my parts to have sequential tool numbers. Every program starts with T1. Operator loads the tool, sets the height and good to go.
    Do this for a while and you can manually change,load,and set 10 tools in 10 minutes or less.
    What cad/cam system do you use? You should be able to set defaults for tool numbers and such fairly easily to have it spit out the numbers you want.

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    Emanuel,
    We do use a presetter. I guess I am not sure what you mean by a specific length. Right now, I take the number off the pre-setter and put that in the control. I'm trying to come up with a faster, more full proof method. I don't want the operator punching in the wrong number by accident.

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    Best you can do is to build a common library and program from that as much as possible. Beyond that, you would need to upgrade things a bit and start to employ some integrated tool management techniques. Lost of ways to skin the cat but lots will depend on what the machine control can handle and how much money you have in your pocket to manage this. Storing offsets on a card isn't a great idea unless it is going from the presetter to the control that way. Baluff chips would be the best fool proff method you could upgrade to. Presetter writes the length and diameter to the chip, and the control reads it in. All tools would have a unique ID and in theory you would program to that ID. Problem solved.... Doesn't matter which way you go, you will have to create a process, and follow it.

    For now would just regiment some checks and balances in after getting as much as possible onto a common tool library. Use plastic tags (see link) with sticky labels to keep offset data while out of the machine and have a bin or peg board (that matches the magazine) near the machine control of tags for currently loaded tools that you can go back and double check against.

    https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tnp...BoCQugQAvD_BwE

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskermcdoogle View Post
    Use plastic tags (see link) with sticky labels to keep offset data while out of the machine and have a bin or peg board (that matches the magazine) near the machine control of tags for currently loaded tools that you can go back and double check against.

    https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tnp...BoCQugQAvD_BwE
    That's a great suggestion! A search for others led me to this model on Thingiverse, if you have access to a 3D printer. While I don't have the need for a tool library like the OP, this tag should be rather useful. Thanks!


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