Automated tool change system helps cut changeover time on tube sizing machine

February 24, 2014

AddisonMckee has developed an automated tool handling system for a customer forming tube from 2 to 6 in. dia. The tool sets used in the customer’s AddisonMckee HG150-IDOD tube sizing machine can weigh up to 300 lbs., so loading and unloading previously involved the use of an overhead crane system.

The pick-and-place system uses an overhead gantry to change the tooling sets, eliminating manual handling. Tooling changeover time from part to part for preprogrammed tubes is about 90 seconds.

Tools are stored within a rack system that holds up to 10 ID finger/OD jaw sets. The tube sizing machine’s control system links with the tool changer system and uses tooling identification to store the tools in programmed storage slots and retrieve the proper tooling set for a chosen operation.

When the operator recalls a saved sizing program, the machine retrieves and installs the associated tooling set, and the machine automatically adjusts to the preprogram parameters.