CNC routers by automatic change tools cnc router manufacturer, are versatile fabrication powerhouses relied upon across industries from sign making and woodworking to aerospace manufacturing. While incredibly capable, their productivity is often limited by the need to manually change tools frequently during jobs. Automatic tool changers eliminate this tiresome process – delivering game-changing automation to unlock your CNC router’s full potential.
In this blog, we’ll look at how automatic tool changers work, their benefits, and what to consider when integrating this automation into your CNC routing operations.
Understanding Automatic Tool Changers
Automatic tool changers (ATCs) are add-on mechanisms that remove the need to manually change tools in a CNC router. The ATC utilizes a revolving carousel that holds multiple tool holders complete with tools pre-loaded.
During the CNC program, when a different tool is required, the machine automatically swaps out the current tool for the appropriate one from the carousel in seconds. This allows your router to machine parts efficiently with multiple tools without any operator intervention.
ATCs may manage 5-20 or even 100+ tools depending on the design. More tool pockets allow for larger jobs and more tool types to be run unattended. Tool change time varies by model but can be as fast as 1-2 seconds.
Benefits Of Automatic Tool Changing
The productivity gains enable shops to take on higher-mix lower-volume work with fast changeovers. And lights-out operation drastically improves machine utilization for maximum CNC router output.
Switching to automatic tool changing provides major productivity advantages:
- Faster job times since tool changes happen in seconds rather than minutes
- Ability to run lights-out for hours with multiple tool types
- Consistent tool changes every time for precision
- Safer automatic operation vs. manual changes
- Requires less operator involvement in each job
- Frees up workers for other machining tasks
- Boosts shop throughput with more jobs per day
Adding ATCs To Your CNC Routers
To integrate automatic tool changing, purchase routers that come pre-equipped for ATCs or work with your machine tool builder to retrofit your existing model. Key considerations when implementing ATCs:
- Tool carousel size based on typical tool range for your jobs
- Tool holders to suit all your tool shanks and collet sizes
- Software updates for automatic tool change commands
- Coolant manifolds to supply tools with fluid during operation
- Integrated air blast cleaner to automatically clear debris from tool holders
- Safe housing designs that keep operators away from moving parts
With proper implementation, ATCs unleash the true potential of your CNC routers. Jobs flow seamlessly and efficiently from start to finish with maximized cutting time.
Choose An ATC System For Your Application
For sign making, lower tool count ATCs around 10 positions may suffice. Woodworking shops may need 20-30 tools for diverse materials and features. Machine shops require larger 50+ tool ATC capacities.
Work with your machine tool builder to select the right ATC system based on typical tool range, shop operations and future growth plans. Modular designs allow upgrading carousel size later as business expands.
Automating For Productivity And Profit
The automated, unattended operation enabled by automatic tool changers result in smarter, faster machining that opens up new levels of productivity for CNC router users. Jobs flow smoothly as the right tools engage at precisely the right times.
By reducing manual labor and maximizing cutting time, ATCs empower shops to expand capabilities, take on higher-mix work, operate lights out, and ultimately drive greater profitability through CNC automation.