How to memorize the tool offsets

When programming numerical controls, attention must be paid to the management of tool offsets, in order to guarantee precise and reliable machining.

In this article, we explain how to store tool offset data using tool presetters.

All the presetter models offered by Elbo Controlli NIKKEN allow organization and management of tools and tool sets within tool tables. This capability allows the operator to provide all the information necessary for identifying the tool on which measurement operations are required.

The tool tables themselves are associated with a respective machine tool that can perform a process. Once a tool table has been defined, the measurement is performed through a standard sequence:

  • Selection of the tool to be measured
  • Selection of the camera mode for the measurement: fixed reticle, auto-targeting, maximum measurement freezing, automatic measurement (autofocus).
  • Measurement of the tool to establish its values.

Fixed reticle mode shows on the camera a fixed ‘cross-hair’ on which the shadow of the tool to be measured can be centered. Focusing bars assist the operator and ensure with confidence the identification of the point of maximum tangency (high spot).

By means of auto-targeting, it is no longer necessary to position the shadow of the cutting edge over the centre of the reticle. The presetter detects the measurement at any point of the area framed by the camera. For auto-targeting it is only necessary to bring into focus the shadow of the tool cutting edge.

The measurement freeze mode negates the requirement for the operator to finding the point of best focus on the tool profile. Once the tool is framed it is simply a matter of rotating the presetter spindle one complete turn to detect the maximum measurement for all edges (for the previous two functions the operator must check each cutting edge/flute separately to establish which has the largest values).

Presetters with autofocus add further ease of use and expand the measurement possibilities. Autofocus is an automation mechanism for measurement. The simple activation of this mode implies the automatic focusing of the tool cutting edge, without the need for manual intervention by the operator, thus avoiding the subjective part in capturing the measurements. The autofocus also allows the automatic detection of all cutting-edge measurements with the presetter itself rotating the spindle holder controlled by the software. The final result is a table listing all the detected cutting-edge measurements, highlighted by a histogram that graphically represents each one with the highest and lowest clearly indicated ready for storing within the tool table.

The operator can choose their own preferred measurement mode.

The different camera modes allow operators to make their own choice to acquire the measurements using the various modes but always to guarantee the same accuracy in capturing the values.

Fixed reticle and auto-collimation modes are available on all Elbo Controlli NIKKEN presetters. The other modes and capabilities depend on the model and specification selected.

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