What is an Automatic Tool Changer?
The production rate and the number of tools that can be carried by a machine that uses computer numerical control (also known as auto tool changer CNC router) can be increased with the use of an automatic tool changer, which is also abbreviated as an ATC. This is accomplished by allowing the machine to work with various tools. Therefore, this is a necessary step in achieving full automation.
The machine has access to a greater variety of tools because they are all stored in a magazine that the machine uses. This eliminates the need for a controller to control the machine.
A standard automatic tool changer will typically include the following components: a base, an arm with a gripper, cutting tools, and a support arm, in addition to the tool magazines. An ATC can increase the speed and precision of an auto tool changer CNC router in addition to its reliability; however, some requirements must be met to use one. One of these is the requirement that the tools must be simple to center, easy for the snatcher arm to hold, and simple to disengage automatically. Another is the requirement that the tools must be simple to disengage automatically. To provide this, the tool holders utilized in an ATC are often of the specialized design variety.
Several Varieties of Automatic Tool Changing Machines
There are two distinct varieties of the ATC CNC router, each of which is determined by the magazine’s format. Some of the tools are mounted on rotational holders attached to a turntable-like apparatus with claws that secure each instrument in its specific spot. Some are just static racks of tools, which are very straightforward in their mechanism. When the number of tools needed reaches the ’20s or ’30s,’ high-end milling machines can benefit from having tool holding stations that are of the chain variety.
The mechanism for Automated Swapping of Tools
The command to automatically change tools is carried out first. The tool that will be changed goes into the position designated for the change. After that, the arm of the ATC moves into position to pick up a tool in the desired location. While another gripper arm removes the old tool from the turret, the fresh tool is moved to the turret.
The ATC can greatly boost overall production by cutting down on the downtime experienced by the automatic tool changer CNC router. It makes it possible to store many tools locally on the machine, each of which can be returned automatically once the assigned work has been finished. It also enables it much easier to switch out large or heavy instruments that would be difficult to handle in any other circumstance.
The advantages of using an automatic tool changer –
One of the most effective strategies to shorten your overall production timetables without compromising the quality or precision of your work is to automate as many auto tool changer CNC router jobs in the shop as possible.
One of the particularly time-consuming tasks is manually performing numerous tool processes, which can significantly slow you down if you have to stay nearby & “babysit” your CNC router. If you have to do this, you will need to perform this task manually. Not only does the requirement to be present hinder productivity, but having to pause processes to switch tools manually wastes time that could have been spent doing something else more productive.
The automatic tool changer has the potential to make a significant contribution in this area. An automatic tool changer, also known as an ATC, is one of the most useful forms of automation you can incorporate into your CNC operation. An ATC lets you change tools in seconds while the machine runs without stopping the process.
A closer look at what a tool holder changer is, how it operates, and the benefits of incorporating one into your CNC process are presented in this article.
What steps are required in the operation of an automatic tool changer?
When it is time to shift tools in and out on your CNC machine, a tool holder changer will only require a few simple steps once it has been set up. This is how the process goes.
- The computer sends the instruction to the machine to change the tool, and the machine complies.
- The tool that will be changed settles into a predetermined position referred to as the “tool change position.”
- The ATC spindle will pick up the tool once it has moved to that place.
- To pick up and drop down tooling, the z-axis of the machine tool rotates between the rack and the rotary.
- Before returning to work, the spindle will either open or close the chuck so it can switch the tooling being used.
- The tool change can be performed automatically and in a matter of seconds when using an ATC without needing assistance from a person (apart from programming the change).
Check out the straightforward CNC machine that only requires a single tool. Machines with a higher level of complexity can operate with more tools. Nevertheless, an ATC is required for a device to use more tools.