Machine Shop Tool Crib Procedure - Tooling for CNC mills

P

pjohal

#1
Hi All,

I'm looking for a general Tool Crib Procedure that can be implemented in a machine shop. More specifically, it needs to focus on the tooling for CNC mills in regards to the wear and tear of the tools. How should the tooling be verified, how often (before and after use?), etc.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
 
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#2
Hi All,

I'm looking for a general Tool Crib Procedure that can be implemented in a machine shop. More specifically, it needs to focus on the tooling for CNC mills in regards to the wear and tear of the tools. How should the tooling be verified, how often (before and after use?), etc.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
To narrow the scope of your query:
Is the machine shop engaging in long runs where tooling is likely to wear (degrade) or break before the run is complete? (this might entail implementing an in-process combination procedure of SPC to monitor changes in workpiece quality and periodic inspection of the tool itself for wear or damage.) In the case of a mill working on a large workpiece which may require multiple shifts to complete one workpiece, it certainly makes sense to implement an inspection schedule to examine tool wear. Armed with data from a series of such inspections, a plan can be put in place to swap out tools before degradation affects quality of output, but not too soon. It's all a matter of economics - cost and time to change out tooling (lost production, cost of tool, labor) versus cost and possible damage to either the machine or an expensive workpiece if the tool breaks or fails during operation.

When I had three and five axis machines working on very expensive workpieces (many, many times the cost of the cutting tool), my operators frequently halted production to examine the cutting tool for wear and replacing the tool rather than risk damaging the workpiece if the tool failed or broke. Dull tools can be refurbished, broken ones can't.

In my turning centers, we had both physical and optical probes (depending on the machine) which would periodically check the tool for wear or damage, automatically indexing to a new tool when preset parameters were exceeded. Tools were then examined at leisure to confirm the probes were performing as desired.

The selection of the proper tool (material, design) as well as feeds and speeds is a combination of art and science. The use of Design of Experiments may often be too costly for the size and profit margin on a production run to fine tune to the optimum combination because, especially in low piece price/value, it may be more economical to run a tool to the point where it no longer produces conforming material, scrapping a few piece parts which are less expensive than the tool or inserts.
 
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