Re: Set-up/fixturing Q for small shops

"Proctologically Violated)." <entropic3.14decay@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in
message news:EGE3i.6$7c5.1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"Garlicdude" <pulsar@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Proctologically Violated). wrote:

The gist of the Q is this:
Does anyone save their cat-40 tooling along with the fixtures-proper
(machined jaws, mounts, doo-dads, etc)?

May seem silly, perhaps a waste of expensive tooling, but here's the

For a small shop doing small quantities of numerous parts/pieces, and
bouncing around from part to part, I thought of buying multiple
tool/collet holders, and storing those away (with the tool, of couse)
with the fixtures for each part, for quicker changing of setups.

Then, change programs, re-fixture the vises etc, plop in the stored tool
holders and press Start.
Especially when each part uses 10 or more tools.

In my inexperienced mind, this would save considerable changeover time,
proportional to the parts changing.
It would save hunting for tools (possibly lost, broken, or just in use
someplace else), and should improve reproduce-ability of each part.
Greatly, in my case. :)
Overall just make changeover less painful.

Proc, I save any fixtures, custom softjaws, and unique cutting tools.

I tend to program around a few standard size endmills so I leave them in
their holders. The same goes for taps. I mostly tap #2-56 thru #10-32,
so the drills and taps for those sizes are left in the holders.

That's actually a very sensible practice, an idea I had sort of been
flirting with, but not concretely. It would probably solve at least 50%
of the problem, mebbe 80-90%.
It also forces you to think in a "standardized" mode, instead of getting
silly and persnickety with subtle and perhaps unnecessary changes.
I have about a carousel's worth of tool/collet holders as is, and with
mebbe another 5-10 holders (mostly collets), I could get a "permanent
standard array" of ready tooling.
Yeah, my supplier is already putting one of his kids through private
school, on my dime(s). :)
Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY

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entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie,
all d'numbuhs

I've got a few "extra" holders that I change tools in as the need arises.

This works pretty well for me, and seems like a good balance between
making my tool supplier rich and me rich.

Steve Saling
aka The Garlic Dude )
Gilroy, CA
The Garlic Capital of The World

Standardizing on the cutting tools used is far more cost effective for a
little. Unless you are doing large runs of parts it will be hard to recoup
the cost of exactly the right size cutter, over programming to use the
standard which may already be sitting in the tool changer. When I was
programming for a pair of Fadals I found a huge percentage of my time was
spent not programming, but trying to identify the tools and holders needed
for each job. Once I convinced the owner to buy us a comprehensive set of
tool holders my programming time, and the time spent setting tools was
greatly reduced. Sometimes the standard cutter increased the cutting time.
In our case it never came close to costing what the right tool would have.

One time I wrote a program to drill a series of holes in a long part. The
operator complained that it always started from the same end so the return
trip of the tool was real wasted time. I had written the program with all
the hole locations in a single subroutine, called for several different
tools. He was right it did waste time, over the 50 parts we had to do it
was almost 10 minutes. However I wrote this program in like 5 minutes, and
he only had to dry run the subroutine once. So together we saved about an
hour. If it had been a couple of hundred parts I would have spent the time
to drill in both directions.

Gary H. Lucas