What is the Tool Changer?

Makinews Tool changer

Good morning everyone!

After introducing the Spindle in our last article in the category “ How it Works “, today we are going to introduce you the specifications of one of the most distinctive machine tools parts: the tool changer.

Tool Changer

The tool changer is a key part of the machining center (and also milling machine sometimes) and it is very important for the versatility and flexibility of the machining centers.

This component provides the machine with a wide range of tools on board, avoiding long production breaks for tool change operations and operator intervention.

On the other hand, the tool changer provides an operational flexibility which is needed to process a high numbers of different pieces, minimizing the passive time associated with the tool change.

 Type of Tool Changers

  • Tumbling Drum
  • Chain (tools changer)
  • Rack (tools Changer)

Tool Changer Characteristics

The main features of a tool changer are as follows:

First, ATC (Automatic Tool Changer), is the automatic tool changer. A needed automatic mechanism needed to replace the tool mounted in the spindle with the one in the changer selected by the machining program.

Second, tool storage capacity. The number of places available for the tools in the changer itself.

Third, time needed for tool change. Usually max 2-3 Sec.

Fourth: Tool selection system. This is the system through which the machine program selects the tool from the changer.

The latter can be one of several different types that we describe below:

  • Coded station: the changer stations are numbered, the program will select a number that will match with the right tool
  • Coded tool: the tool is loaded through reading the information contained in the label or its own chip
  • Programmed tool: tools are arranged randomly in the tool changer storage, before machining, a table will be loaded in the machine control unit with the correspondence of each place in the magazine to a specific tool number.

Please, do not hesitate to consult our online Machine tools catalogue, on Makinate.

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