January 17, 2013
Nothing is more frustrating to any CNC machine shop than an idle machine tool. When spindles aren’t turning you’re not making chips which means lost productivity. That’s why quick, efficient and accurate setups are so important.
The best setup procedure for a particular machine tool depends on the application. A simple part requiring one operation on a single machine is quite different from a complex part that needs multiple operations on more than one machine. Fortunately there are a number of options that help reduce setup time while enabling repeatable and precise machining. These include simple clamping devices screwed into the machine table, vices, chucks and locating pins.
For more complicated jobs, quick-change fixtures provide rigidity and repeatability, and enable the part to be easily transferred from one machine to another with minimal downtime. These fixtures are available in a wide assortment of types, from custom to modular products that enable operators to configure quick-change fixtures for a variety of applications.
For high-volume production, pallet systems can be preset for multiple parts, thus saving a great deal of changeover time. Automated pallet systems such as the Okuma AMPS products are actually Factory Automation Systems (FMS) that optimize throughput by managing the production schedule and level loading machining centers. A single operator can often manage these enhanced production lines, thus reducing labor costs even further.
According to Gosiger 3-D Applications Specialist Brian Stall, “Reducing setup time is one of the most important ways a CNC machine shop can improve productivity. Unfortunately, there is no single solution that fits all situations. With the wide variety of options available, you need to carefully consider each specific application, taking into account the part print requirements, the material involved, the complexity of the operations to be performed, and the tooling requirements. With all of this information at hand you can select the best setup process.”
“Helping with setup issues is one of the most critical support services we provide Gosiger customers. We’re fortunate to have a deep and experienced staff of applications engineers and technical specialists available to help our customers get the greatest productivity out of the machine tools and automation systems we provide.”
To learn more about how Gosiger can help reduce setup times and increase productivity, contact Gosiger today.