Tool Presetter Benefits and why You Need One

The greatest expense in any manufacturing facility is time. Burden rates, combined with overhead machine rates, represent approximately 50 percent of manufacturing costs.
kelch Kenova-set-line-V9

This post strives to explain tool presetter benefits and why every CNC shop needs one.

The greatest expense in any manufacturing facility is time. Burden rates, combined with overhead machine rates, represent approximately 50 percent of manufacturing costs. This is probably not surprising, but despite this fact, many shops continue to place a disproportionate amount of focus on reducing tooling spend. In comparison to burden and overhead machine rates, tooling spend only represents a fraction of the manufacturing cost (4–5 percent). And when facilities do examine time savings, they often place the emphasis on machining cycle times.

One frequently overlooked time-killer is setup.

One frequently overlooked time-killer is that of setup. Setup is defined as the time it takes to get parts loaded and located and tools set with offsets that compensate for variables such as gage length, diameter and runout into the machine control. The old-school method of tool setup involves manually intensive operations, often using a multitude of different tools and methods of varying accuracy to extract desired measurements. On average, the time to set one tool using these types of methods is approximately five minutes. When shops employ methods such as feelers and test cuts to determine sizes, setting time can be much longer than the average five minutes per tool. 

If setup moved at the incredible speed of three minutes per tool, the conservative cost to set up five machines over the course of a year is $189,000. If there are more machines, longer setup times, more shifts or more setups per machine in the same scenario, the cost will be significantly higher. This is the breakdown of cost for such a scenario:

  • Setup time for 20-tool capacity machine = 1 hour (for a  three-minute setup)
  • Setup cost for five machines = $375 (for an average shop rate of $75 per hour) 
  • Shop rate combines average direct labor costs and overhead rates
  • Setup time per year = 2,520 hours (assuming 252 working days per year)
  • Setup cost per year (at 2 shifts and 1 setup per shift) = $189,000

Some may question why overhead rates are included in the shop-rate calculation, and the answer is opportunity cost. Whether the machine is running or sitting idle, it is costing a company money every minute. Therefore, for that company to accurately assign cost to time, it also must factor in items like rent, electricity, depreciation and support staff. Through this lens, a shop can get a true snapshot of the opportunity cost. In this case, the opportunity cost is the value or profit that a company forfeits when the machine sits idle for setup.

Benefits of Tool Presetting

1. Preset tools offline and let spindles run

Your tooling process is uninterrupted so that setting your tools does not impact on your productivity. This process maximises your production throughput with the reduction of machine downtime, ensuring you manufacture products at a faster rate without compromise of optimal product quality.

2. Maximised tool life and machining productivity

When presetting tools you can also measure the total run-out of tool assembly. Tool run-out causes shorter tool life and tool chatter for which you would need to reduce spindle speed causing significant productivity loss.

3. Avoid machine crashes

Measured and preset tools help in avoiding machine crashes through automatic zero point monitoring as well as calibration of the presetter within Tool Management. Presetting and measurement machines are able to directly transfer measurement data from the preset tool to the CNC machine, thus avoiding human inputting errors and avoiding expensive machine crashes.

4. Saving money and time

Through minimising machine downtime by on average 15% you can expect to save time usually dedicated to tool changes which can then be converted into production time. Therefore through saving time and money within the production process, especially on waste and tool breaks, your production processes become much more efficient. 

TEKNOVA is the official sales and support agent for KELCH GmbH and we offer full range of KELCH tool presetters to our metal cutting customers helping them improve machining productivity and quality levels. 

Visit our website to learn more about KELCH presetters range and other products.

We’re interested to have your feedback. Feel free to share your thoughts with us here! 

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