Titan Gilroy from the TV show Titan’s of CNC is back with another tip for machinists and job shops across the world in our third installment of Titan’s Tips. This is part 2 of the organizing your shop tip, if you missed part one, be sure to read it here.
When it comes to setting up all of your tooling in your shop, Titan recommends that you standardize as much as you can. There is likely some overlap of necessary tools between all of your different jobs and machines. If you take the time to see what overlaps, you can develop a library of tools that can be loaded into every machine – minus some of the more specific tools. This gives you a preorganized tool set in your machines and by doing this, you can not only save setup time but also run your machines non-stop for similar jobs. “You can take parts that are similar, like all aluminum parts that fit in a certain range, and program them off of the preloaded tool list – keeping the machine running non-stop,” says Titan.
As an example, Titan machines a series of aerospace T-Fittings. This is a common series of parts that is machined on a regular basis and although the parts look similar, they are actually quite different. Each part has a square base and then it has thin walled tubes that extrude out from different angles in that base. There are over 100 variations in this series, so Titan simply chooses a pre-set tool list that has tools in it to complete all parts in the series. Titan chooses standard tools for roughing and finishing. He adds in special drill sizes as needed and then keeps all tools in the CNC machine permanently. Tools only get changed out when they are dull and or broken. Titan also uses quick change fixturing techniques to change out the different sized raw materials for each specific part.
If you have the capability to do so, you can have each machine preloaded with tools for different metals and configurations. By organizing your shop this way, you can rapidly accelerate production times and decrease the hassle of switching jobs. Titan stresses that this method “makes sure you have the exact tools that you need in each area where they will be used.”
These organization methods for tools may seem like a lot of work up front, but all of the small savings add up over time. When you can forget about setup, you can then focus on keeping the spindle turning, and once this happens you can focus on production qualities like precision. “Everything is about precision,” says Titan. He recommends you “make sure you surpass all of the finish and quality requirements.” Not having your tools organized properly can restrict your ability to focus on these important finish qualities. By organizing properly, your workflow & quality will improve significantly.
Titan stresses that organization is the backbone of your workmanship, a quality that Titan views as the most important for anyone that makes things. “Your workmanship goes all the way down to the box that your customer opens up before they see the finished part.” Customers will return to your shop because of your quality & workmanship. Proper organization allows your workmanship to rise to the highest level.