OZT tool presetter slashes downtime, controls part quality and maximizes tool longevity
Reiko Masuhara | OSG Corporation
Productivity and quality are two key attributes to success in manufacturing. To boost productivity, often the first thing comes to mind is to invest in newer and higher spec equipment, which can be very costly. On the other hand, although making improvements to the setup process can potentially bring greater profits to a job shop, such option is commonly overlooked or is considered as an excessive cost. Regardless, every shop requires some form of tool measurement device for tooling setup to ensure accuracy. Shops that do not implement offline tool presetting would rely on the machining center itself, which can be less accurate and is a far more expensive choice for tooling setup. The machining center is one of the most expensive piece of equipment on the production floor. Every time the machining center is stopped for tooling setup, it cannot generate profit for the shop. A much more economical option for tooling setup is the utilization of a tool presetter.
A tool presetter is a tool measurement device. Tool presetting and measuring machines allow long service life, short setup times, avoid rejects and prevent tool crashes. They are versatile for a wide range of applications and industries. Tool presetting and measuring machines not only saves time in work preparation and programming, but can also document measurements to provide quality assurance to its users.
Recognizing the importance of tool presetting, OSG Corporation collaborated with ZOLLER, a German-based manufacturer of tool presetting and measuring machines, to develop a tool presetting and measurement device called the OSG ZOLLER tool presetter (OZT) in November 2013.
ZOLLER is a global market leader in the field of measuring technology and tool-based manufacturing organization. Founded in Germany in 1945, ZOLLER specializes in the development of innovative tool presetting and measuring machines and software for the measurement, inspection and management of cutting tools. ZOLLER’s products are certified according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for quality and environmental management. Over the years, ZOLLER has experienced tremendous growth and has developed new markets in countries such as the United States, China, India and Japan. It has sold more than 30,000 units of tool presetting and measuring machines around the world in the past 70 years.
OZT Tool Presetter
The OZT tool presetter development project was led by Etsushi Imaizumi, OSG Corporation’s Sales Engineering Manager, to enhance manufacturers’ production precision and efficiency. To accommodate different requirements, the OZT series offer a broad range of tool presetter and measuring machines from the entry-level class OZT-1, the mid-range OZT-2, up to the full spec universal inspection and measuring machine, OZT-3, for all precision tools.
The OZT tool presetter uses highly accurate parts and can perform measurement with high repeatability. It is also characterized by its superior operability compared to conventional equivalent products. With the implementation of the OZT, every tool is measured, checked for tolerances, and adjusted before being used, enabling the CNC machine tool to cut accurately and consistently. Because tools are preset in the OZT and not the machining center, an immediate increase in CNC productivity can be obtained. Moreover, the processes of measuring, presetting and inspection can all take place near the CNC machining center. In terms of accuracy, projection technology depends on the operator’s trained eyes, resulting in inconsistent measurement. With the OZT, results are precise and consistent every time regardless of the operator. Utilizing the latest vision system – camera and software, the OZT can measure the cutting edge in just seconds. It can measure much faster than conventional projectors. Last but not least, using the OZT is fast and easy. The dynamic crosshair (automatic cutting edge detection) quickly and accurately captures the cutting edge on the display, eliminating the hassle of positioning.
A recent upgrade was made to the OZT series in August 2017. The second generation OZT has modified its z axis range from 400/600 to 350/420/600; and x axis range from 400/600 to 320/420/620 to achieve a greater balance between flexibility and efficiency to accommodate the various work environment.
OZT Tool Presetter Caravan
Tool presetters are a great economical solution for manufacturers that seek productivity improvement. Internal studies by OSG have shown that if a machining center needs to change 20 tools per day, approximately 1 million yen worth of production time is stopped per year. With the implementation of the OZT tool presetter, such lost time can be eliminated.
However, anything that involves cost can be considered as an investment. A tool presetting and measurement machine is no different. When it comes to tool presetters, many manufacturers are often hesitant due to concerns with ease of use and whether or not they can maximize the full potential of the machine after purchase.
Additionally, large machines such as the OZT are generally displayed only during exhibitions. Over the years, OSG has discovered that many users are unable to attend exhibitions due to schedule conflict, distance or other constraints. More importantly, operators and management staff seldom are able to attend exhibitions together. To resolve these challenges, the OZT tool presetter caravan campaign was created inMay 2015.
The OZT tool presetter caravan campaign is setup that sales engineers would visit customers and exhibitions with the OZT-3 tool presetter so that demonstrations and Q&A sessions can be performed on the spot.
“It is most crucial to first explain how user-friendly the OZT is,” said Kazunori Yamasaki, OSG sales engineering and leader of the OZT caravan campaign. “In fact, many customers have purchased similar machines in the past, but gave up on them due to poor operability. The machines are just left in the dust. Due to such past negative experience, we must take extra care in explaining the ease of use of the OZT.”
The vehicle used for the OZT tool presetter caravan tour is especially designed so that demonstrations can be performed straight at the vehicle. The OZT caravan has an expandable tent from the car roof, so demonstrations can be conducted around the vehicle and the poor weather would not have any effect. There is no wait time and each demonstration typically requires 20 to 30 minutes. However, when there are many questions, one user may take up to one to two hours. The OZT caravan team can in general visit 4 end users per day. The caravan also stops by exhibitions, where the OZT team is able to demonstrate to a larger audience and communicate with them in person.
The OZT sales engineering team would conduct short visits as well as long visits depending on customer demand. The team has made visits as far north as Aomori and as south as Kyushu. As long as there is a demand for demonstration and more in depth explanation, the OZT team will make arrangement to fulfill that need.
Since the start of the OZT tool presetter caravan tour, there have been a number of positive feedback from users. A robot-related precision part manufacturer in Western Japan has commented that “in addition to the excellent features of the OZT, it’s reassuring to know that there will be technical support from both OSG and ZOLLER, so we purchased the OZT-3 with confident.”
Productivity improvement does not always have to start with new and expensive machining centers. Tool presetters can measure tools quickly, easily, accurately and reliably. By improving the tooling setup process, downtime can be reduced with a streamlined manufacturing process and enhanced part quality to increase profit. The more frequently a shop has to load tools in a machining center, the more savings tool presetters can offer.