EDITOR's NOTE: This is a video sidebar to a Zoller Inc. case study, "In-process tool checking saves time, guarantees quality."
'What we can accomplish in production with the time savings from Zoller is substantial'
Another recent Zoller innovation is »caz« software – Computer-Aided Zoller, the virtual measuring machine. “It’s going to be a huge time-saver,” Matt asserted. “Previously we would have to create the inspection program in front of the inspection machine. Since our Star Cutter tool grinding machines come with Numroto operating software, we can export the tool model from the Numroto machine programming software as an STL file, including a 3D image, and write the inspection program from that before the tool is even ground.”
»caz« is the world‘s first virtual tool measuring machine, developed by ZOLLER. »caz« stands for computer-aided ZOLLER and offers an attractive overall solution with the complete integration into the Zoller control software, »pilot 3.0«.
Moving forward we will be using it more extensively. Its ability to check every feature and create a 2D or 3D inspection process and then simulate in real time is a big time savings,” Matt said. “We can confirm not only the inspection program but the tool design before it ever gets on the grinding machine. For example, on a 100-piece inspection run, I could have inspected each work piece in the time it would have taken to create the inspection program manually.” »caz« is compatible with all of the Zoller CNC 3D imaging inspection machines at Northern Tool.
“This can easily save us 2 to even 4-5 hours per part, especially when we are checking a multi-step tool,” Matt said. “We check every feature on the tools—even on a left-hand, right-hand interpolating cutter for automotive engines. (The tool saves 3 operations due to its design.) This means the inspection process is critical. The tools must work correctly every time. We also provide documentation of the tool’s correctness.”
Related Glossary Terms
- computer numerical control ( CNC)
computer numerical control ( CNC)
Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.
Machining operation in which material is removed from the workpiece by a powered abrasive wheel, stone, belt, paste, sheet, compound, slurry, etc. Takes various forms: surface grinding (creates flat and/or squared surfaces); cylindrical grinding (for external cylindrical and tapered shapes, fillets, undercuts, etc.); centerless grinding; chamfering; thread and form grinding; tool and cutter grinding; offhand grinding; lapping and polishing (grinding with extremely fine grits to create ultrasmooth surfaces); honing; and disc grinding.
- grinding machine
Powers a grinding wheel or other abrasive tool for the purpose of removing metal and finishing workpieces to close tolerances. Provides smooth, square, parallel and accurate workpiece surfaces. When ultrasmooth surfaces and finishes on the order of microns are required, lapping and honing machines (precision grinders that run abrasives with extremely fine, uniform grits) are used. In its “finishing” role, the grinder is perhaps the most widely used machine tool. Various styles are available: bench and pedestal grinders for sharpening lathe bits and drills; surface grinders for producing square, parallel, smooth and accurate parts; cylindrical and centerless grinders; center-hole grinders; form grinders; facemill and endmill grinders; gear-cutting grinders; jig grinders; abrasive belt (backstand, swing-frame, belt-roll) grinders; tool and cutter grinders for sharpening and resharpening cutting tools; carbide grinders; hand-held die grinders; and abrasive cutoff saws.