A CNC machine shop only makes money when the equipment is running. Despite the high initial cost of equipment acquisition, the largest production cost on any job is the cost of labor. Maximizing efficiency is critical to maximizing profits. It is important to keep the people and equipment running and humming. Don’t let a poorly designed shop or inefficient tooling practices lead to down time and lost profit. You may find that gaining efficiency might be as simple as honing the tool changing process and using an R8 tool holder.
You Don’t Bill Down Time for Tooling – So Minimize It!
In a perfect world, all production could be made with a single feed and one tool? Yeah
courtesy Stuart Miles
well the world isn’t perfect and that scenario is more like a dream than the reality in most CNC shops. Now, for the hobbyist tooling around (pun intended) in a home shop, the down time for tool changing isn’t a big deal. But in a working shop, tool changing is a profit drain. Any time spent on the tool changing process is not time that is spent making money.
Tool Cribs Increase Shop Efficiency
Large shops can afford to have dedicated tool cribs. They also employ too managers that maintain all tools, bits, drills, and supplies used in shop production. Some tool crib managers also store extra machine parts to facilitate quick equipment repairs. The tool crib manager also tracks use, maintains inventory, and creates reports for management. Extremely large shops utilize automated cribs like the AutoCribs
to automate the tool issue and return process.
Small shops can’t afford tool cribs, much less automated tool cribs. Many small shops can’t depend on these efficiency aids. Instead they depend on the machinist to maintain their own tool and collet inventory in their work area. Unfortunately the small shops need to be as efficient as possible but are forced to utilize a system that is inefficient by nature. But if each machinist can devote just a bit of time and effort to organizing their workspace, they can decrease tool changing time and increase efficiency.
Tool and Collet Holders are Perfect for Small Shops
courtesy Stuart Miles
It doesn’t matter if you are R8 or 5C set-up; you need your collets at hand and you need a good collet wrench
. See, you are on the way to becoming a quick change artist. By using a good R8 tool holder
or collet tray
you will work more efficiently. With your tools and collets organized, everything has a place. You just need to make sure they stay in place!
Give Every Tool A Place
. The first maxim of all organization systems is that Everything Has a Place. This is the same whether you are organizing R8 tools in a shop, cookware in a kitchen or surgical tools in an operating room. The benefits of designating a place for every tool are as follows:
Every Tool Stays in Its Place
- You can see at a glance if a tool is missing
- Tools are protected from damage
- You don’t waste time spent searching for tools
- Quick tool access facilitates faster tool changes
. All organization systems are limited by their implementation. It doesn’t aid efficiency if you don’t utilize the system you put in place. So, if you place an R8 tool holder in the work area, you make it easier for the tool to be returned to the tray. By making it easier, you have increased the chances of the tool going to “its place”. You only get more efficiency from the machinery and the people if your organization system actually gets used. A dedicated R8 tool holder at the machine (or even mounted to the machine) increases the chances of the tray being used.
Quality R8 Tool Holders and Collet Trays
To organize the work area around your machine, use an R8 tool tray. These are tool trays are free standing and don’t need to be mounted. That means you get to decide where you want to place them. The tapered seat design holds collets secure. The large openings make it easy to remove and insert collets. Key features are:
- 52 tool/collet capacity
- Heavy duty construction for tool protection
- Compact design to organize with a small footprint
- Made in the USA.
Use an R8 tool holder in your workspace if you want to change faster than Clark Kent in a phone booth. Your tools will be at the ready and easily accessible. Order your R8 tool holder today. Organization, efficiency, and free shipping, what’s not to love?