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Presetting Your Tools vs. Machine Setting

Here’s the thing about presetting tools: you don’t have to do it. It’s true, you can still run your machines just as you always have, using touch offs and manual setters to get tools ready for operation. The competition, however, is adopting faster, better methods.

The problems with traditional avenues of tool setting are numerous, but they crystallise into one major point. By sticking to them, CNC operators are wasting time and money that could be better spent in production.

Why buy a new machine just for tool setting?

Presetting can be carried out using a simple height gauge, and touching off can be done with nothing more than a sheet of paper. Why spend more money?

Because it means greater efficiency, faster workflows, a rapid return on investment, and much more.

For starters, ZOLLER’s presetting and measuring solutions do far more than just find the right offsets. They gather comprehensive tool data including radii, angles, distances, reliefs, and lengths and diameters with micron-level precision. The machines gather these data points in seconds rather than minutes, using high-quality optics and cutting-edge programming.

What’s more, presetting machines gain this information independent of the cutting machines. This means that, whilst CNC operations are being carried out with one tool, another can be prepared ahead of time. This is a core strength of presetting tools: being able to stagger tasks while minimising the impact on the work that keeps making money.

What other benefits are there?

ZOLLER measuring and presetting machines have a choice of ways to enable easy data transfer. RFID chips, Data Matrix codes, and ZOLLER’s proprietary zidCode system each present a much faster and more accurate way to take data from the measuring stage to CNC operations.

In the case of zidCode, tool data is printed onto a QR code which can then be scanned into CNC control. This instantly populates the data fields with relevant details. It’s also far faster than manually typing in the same information, saving up to 45% of this time whilst also eliminating errors and typos.

With such simple-to-use tools and systems, a single operator can carry out tool setting for several machines. This frees up other workers whilst increasing overall productivity and cost effectiveness of the business.

There are even options to fully integrate the process with Industry 4.0, with automated loaders for a fully independent, reliable, high accuracy workflow and heightened throughput.


Setting versus presetting – the final score

Setting tooling in the traditional ways, using meters and paper touch offs, isn’t necessarily going to spell a manufacturer’s decline. At least, not yet.

As industry continues to advance and finds more ways to cut costs and save money, measuring and presetting will be a necessity for machine tool operators who want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their competition.

Other manufacturers are tightening their operations and gaining subsequent reputations for ‘right first time’ work. Those looking to compete will need to adopt the same methods. Accuracy and speed can’t be assured with so much human error still in the mix.

ZOLLER UK’s talented engineers can explain further. Get in touch today and find out more about measuring and presetting solutions.