How transfer tool offsets to CNC machines

In this article we explain how you can have the tool data sent directly to the Numerical Control.

There are various ways to transfer tool offsets to the CNC. Some are more suitable for older machines, others can be used with the latest generation controllers already equipped with a network card.

Elbo Controlli NIKKEN solutions, as standard, are adaptable to meet different requirements to effectively ‘talk’ to any type of NC existing in the workshop.

But let's focus right now on the main topic. How to transfer data directly to the tool table without the possibility of error.

One way that can be used in most cases is to create a file that can be read and interpreted by the NC. Within the software systems of all Elbo Controlli NIKKEN presetters we cater for majority of numerical control models available on the market. All available free of charge and periodically updated to support new controller models as and when they are produced.

But how can the correct file/format be created? Nothing could be more straight forward. Open the machine library and select a file from the library for the respective machine (or edit an existing to customize to suit). Once this selection is made the tool library can be opened and the tools necessary for the required machining process then measured and stored. Once complete the presetter creates a file for the CNC. The measured data is post-processed converting it to the codes and commands required by the selected NC.

From now on, every time tools are required for this particular machine tool, the Numerical Control will already be selected, without the need for further activities. Obviously, this operation can be done both to suit machining centers, CNC lathes and indeed multitasking machines.

Once the file is created it can be simply transferred, via a USB port or through an internal network, to the Numerical Control for the required machine. This file is nothing more than a program, loaded or executed (depends on the Numerical Control) that automatically populates the data withn the tool table.

You only have to manually insert the tools into the machine spindle or the tool changer/carousel and the process is complete.

An alternative is to equip each tool with a QR code (Datamatrix tag). The presetter will associate the tool measurements to this code and a suitable reader in the machine can then transfer the data directly to the individual NC.

This exclusive system, developed by Elbo Controlli NIKKEN, is called TiD. Operation and use is much safer with the operator transferring the respective tool directly by hand and cannot mistake in loading position. However, the automatic data communication requires networked NC machines which means it can only be used with the most recent NCs.

A huge advantage of this system is the possibility of also being able to unload the tool(s) from an individual machine. The tool information is read directly from the NC and saved on the network so that the tool can either be transferred to a store area or indeed to another machine/process as necessary.

In practice the measurements and the corresponding tool life can always updated and managed in real time.

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