In an industrial context, set-up is all about getting machinery and machine tools ready for production. The steps in a set-up process are the same whether you’re setting out to manufacture a single item or hundreds of identical items, and they always generate costs. "Costs" - that's the bit that really sticks in the throat. Fortunately, the development teams at machine tools manufacturers are working flat-out to keep those costs as low as possible - particularly in view of the ever-shrinking batch sizes that Industry 4.0 is bringing. The team at Leistritz Produktionstechnik GmbH, one of the four divisions of the Leistritz Group, is pursuing that same laudable aim.
Indeed, cutting down set-up times was high on the agenda when the company’'s engineers set to work on the latest incarnation of its keyseating machines. Their task was to develop a set-up process that is as straightforward, tool-free and automated as possible - and judging by the new tool clamping system, they seem to have risen to the challenge. The cutter bar and feed bar are now securely clamped in place hydraulically at the touch of a button. A positioning pin in the tool holder ensures the tool is immediately fitted in the correct position, thus eliminating the need for readjustment. At the same time, the cutter guide bar can be positioned with absolute precision thanks to a zero-point clamping system. The process for determining the workpiece zero point also ensures the cutter position is accurately recorded following installation. The measured value identified by means of this process is forwarded directly to the control system, which then calculates the manufacturing parameters independently of the current tool position and ensures optimum machining precision. The final outcome is exactly as required - the outlay on tool settings has been significantly reduced and productivity and quality have been increased. But that's not all - thanks to the intelligent networking provided by Leistritz's condition monitoring, and with the aid of intelligent sensors that provide information on the machine’s behavior, operators can now gain a quick overview of their system's status.