In the GTS system, pick-and-place and traveling gantry robots provide access to centralised storage of up to 4,000 cutting tools and performs just-in-time tool delivery to individual machines. MMS software commands automatic cutting tool changes, based on specific NC program scheduling requirements and real-time cutting tool life status.

The GTS system enables cutting tools to be shared among multiple machines, minimising redundancy and eliminating the need to reserve a cutting tool for a single machine. This generates cutting tool cost savings and minimises operator interaction with cutting tool changes, reducing labour expense and eliminating tooling loading errors. Cutting tool sharing also permits reduction in the size of machine tool magazines. When implementing the GTS system, its new modular design results in shorter delivery, installation, and commissioning times, as well as hardware cost advantages.

Improvements to MMS software include a more ergonomic interface and improved user experience, faster cutting tool information search functions, improved view of NC programs, and upgraded response in the case of unexpected machine stoppages.

Overall, Fastems’ cutting tool management products facilitate cutting tool setups in advance, eliminate scrap and machine crashes due to cutting tool loading errors, enable cutting tool sharing and lights-out machining, and consolidate cutting tool setup activities.

Advantages are realised in both initial investment and in ongoing return on investment. Fastems cutting tool automation equipment and software can be installed in phases, with each stage growing in capability and functionality.

To fully introduce GTS and MMS improvements, Fastems will present a virtual seminar “Productivity Beyond Machine Tending” on November 4, 2020, providing comprehensive details of the systems’ features and capabilities, while giving useful insight on cutting tool management in general.

Revealing ways to reduce waiting time, eliminate loading errors, maximise cutting tool safety and manage ergonomic considerations, the seminar program also includes useful presentations and Q&A sessions on how flexible automation and intelligent production planning software can increase efficiency and quality on a shopfloor of any size.