Tool Life Management
A custom-macro-based system can predict when a tool will become dull.
Most tool life management systems are good at telling you when a cutting tool is dull, but some are not so good at predicting when in the future each tool will become dull. A custom-macro-based tool life manager overcomes this limitation and can help with automated machines that allow long periods of unattended operation. Maybe the operator will be doing other things while a job is running but wants to know when to return to the machine to perform tool maintenance. Or maybe the job will be running over a long period when no one will be available to perform tool maintenance (say, overnight) and the operator wants to see which tools must be replaced before he leaves for the day.
This tool life management system contains four programs. Program number O0100 (which can be renumbered and saved with each job) is the data entry program. In it, the programmer specifies the cycle time, including part loading, and the number of cycles for which each tool will last before it gets dull. He also specifies the number of tools being monitored (up to 10). Program O0001 is the main program, used to machine workpieces; program O9500 will reset the tool life data for tools after replacement; and program O9501 is the tool life monitoring program.
The operator will monitor permanent common variables #501 through #510 to see how many more hours each tool will last before becoming dull.