Tooling maintenance deeply influences product quality in sheet metal products. Tooling that is not sharp and shipshape can damage your materials, cause downtime, even make the tooling self-destruct through cracking. When you realize the costs of machine tool downtime, you know that dollars burn very quickly when the work is not getting done.
It is common but risky to leave maintenance to individual operators. Skill levels vary widely, and so does time in position. Each operator has his or her own speed and degree of quality when it comes to bringing tooling back to optimal levels. This situation often results in delays and rejections or poor quality punching.
One of the complaints is that often, maintenance is viewed as a necessary evil, and grinding is an action that always takes a back seat to the work at hand.
AMADA considered the situation and came up with a way to improve on the old methodology. It soon became clear that the company’s ID TOGU automatic grinder would increase speed as well as give consistent results. It’s a digital system; ID-TOGU utilizes a database that is part of the AMADA ID Tooling System (AITS). It gets the grinding values directly from the AITS Server, and it communicates back the automatically measured tool height.
We see the ID-TOGU in Figure 1. On the left is the grinding unit. On the right is the control panel (top) and the tool height measuring device. On the right side is the bar code scanner for scanning in the tool using its unique QR code.
AMADA ID tooling has a laser-etched QR code on its side. It serves as a unique identifier for each tool. At the ID-TOGU terminal, the operator points the handheld scanner at the QR code. Scanning automates the grind value setting through the AITS server. After putting the tool into the ID-TOGU grinding enclosure, ID-TOGU already knows what to do, and it immediately does it. It knows the history of the tool, the exact needs and targets of the grind, and other pertinent data. ID-TOGU brings benefits of digital grinding to even older, non-ID tooling because the operator can manually enter the data for the desired grind.
After the automatic grind takes place, the operator moves the tool from the grinding area into the tool height measuring device. The control software takes over and the tool height is measured. The results are transferred to the AITS Server. The tool’s current measurement data is now current, and as it continues to be deployed, its records will be continually updated.
Time for maintenance
When it comes to reducing maintenance time, there are a lot of valuable, practical features on ID-TOGU to help the operator. One of these is that the punch height can be adjusted interactively while ID-TOGU checking the measured value. It is indeed a live measurement; no need to pull out the tool, adjust, and reset the measurement.
When the grinding is finished, ID-TOGU blows air against the remaining coolant on the tool tip, taking away moisture and particles resulting from the grind. Pre- and post-grind, AMADA has accelerated the process by adding a high-speed mode function—it is used before or after the grind to move the wheel up or down quickly while not actually grinding.
All new AMADA turrets and punch/laser combination machines are set up to use ID tooling, including:
Some of the greatest advantages of the system answer very common challenges. You will no longer lose tools; the system will know where it is because it must be scanned to be used, ground, and transferred. Even shared across machines or operators, the AITS Server tracks the location and status of your punch tooling. Additionally, you will always have up to the minute information about details like number of hits and time remaining until maintenance.
With the ID tool system, the NEX III tools, recent turrets or punch/laser combinations, and ID-TOGU, you will save time and money systematically.
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