We make our own parts using a four axis lathe. Part runs typically max out at 500pcs per setup, machining time is typically 2-3.5min/part using 6-10 tools and 4-8 stations. Machine has 12 position VDI turret with 6 live positions and a subspindle instead of tailstock, headstock is C-axis. Control (Fanucklehead 18T) has 16 offsets and G54-G59 work offsets.
I determine the operations, write the program, order the tools, setup the machine, run tryout/productionizing, and then do all subsequent production setups.
We want to reduce setup time for production runs. Prototype/tryout is a time consumer, but only comes around every so often. Here's how I do a production setup:
-Change spindle liner (5min)
-Change chuck jaws (15min)
-Change out all tools in the turret (30min-1hr)
-Center any tools that require recentering (30min-1hr?)
-Touch off all tools (30min)
-Run first off (10min)
Naturally these times can vary.
Once the next batch of new parts have stable production programs, we're going to start working towards reducing setup time as it can be murderous.
Because the turret is VDI, the holders are *not* repeatable. If a tool holder is removed, the tool must be recentered/touched-off when it is reinstalled which is really a major pain in the arse. There are screws that press on a dowel in the turret which allow you to set the holder's location, but I haven't had the time to sufficiently prove these are repeatable, AND not all VDI holder have these screws!
If the holders were repeatable, I'd simply download/upload the offset table which would remove the necessity for recentering and touching off. I'll test our holders' ability to locate repeatably, but at this point I'm not exactly impressed with VDI (can you tell?)
ANYWAY, I'm interested in suggestions or other points of view on how to perform a setup in a more timely fashion. Unfortunately a Y-axis lathe is not in the budget, so leaving the machine setup for all our parts is not an option!
Thanks for any thoughts.