Safer Tool Setups with SPI

Scanning a tool holder.

The pandemic has affected all of us, not just at home in our personal lives but at work too. We’ve been working remotely on and off for months; our popular Breakfast & Learn event was virtual for the first time ever this spring. We’ve heard firsthand how manufacturing facilities of all types and sizes are adjusting.

From a safety standpoint, limiting surface contacts and close interactions are two of the most important steps that can be taken to help prevent the spread of illness. It got us thinking about how our tooling and systems can help maintain a safer environment.

SPI (Simple Post Interface) is one of BIG KAISER'S Industry 4.0 additions to the presetter. This option will reduce the number of touches required at the machine tool.

As opposed to measuring, printing a label and punching the data into the control, SPI prints a label with a QR code at the presetter that’s read by the SPI module at the machine control. The system can also be configured to send measurements directly into the tool NC’s offset table—nobody touches anything at the machine.

While SPI doesn’t need to be paired with our INTELLIGO Tool Management solution to work on all of our presetters, the combination unlocks even more safety benefits. It allows you to monitor tool count going in and out of machines and allows the tooling or setup manager to monitor tool life remotely. They can identify where tools are that need attention, any replacements and go directly there with the right tools and gear. This avoids wandering the shop—the “milk route” as it’s known—talking to people across the floor. They can go direct to the tool and quickly address it.

In essence, this combination guarantees you’ll have the right tool, in the right place at the right time while optimizing tool resources and budgets and eliminating the overlap of work and people.