Beyond CAM—Tool Management
Early in the CAM programming process, the programmer creates a set-up sheet that defines tool and tool-holder configurations. There is a transfer mechanism and communications protocol within Mastercam that allows the tool library in the CAM software to communicate with products like the Zoller Tool Management System so that the necessary tools can be located, preset, assembled, and ready before the CNC program is posted to the shop floor.
Within any manufacturing environment, there are an enormous number of interrelated data events encompassing initial programming, tool setup, crib management, inventory, and more. This automated system assures that the right people get the information they need in real time, leaving nothing to chance. It improves accuracy, reduces tool management costs, and assures that lead times are kept short.
Stay tuned for the next installment of this series, in which we will focus on the topic of CAD/CAM for robots.