Manufacturing is all about efficient, cost-effective production. So, anything that negatively affects production needs to be changed or eliminated. A significant reason for inefficiencies in production in the majority of the manufacturing facilities is downtime. Simply put, downtime is any period of time during the manufacturing process when production is halted. Although all downtime affects the production negatively, there is a difference between planned downtime and unplanned downtime. An unplanned downtime affects production the most.
A wide range of interchangeable tools are used in manufacturing processes, and these tools use various types of connection, such as hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, etc. During manufacturing processes, tools connected to machines often need to be changed. Whenever tools are changed, the process is halted until the correct tool is in place. Although it is always known to the production planners when tools need to be changed, they should ideally try and manage and minimize this downtime. However, in reality, tool change planning is not very efficient in many facilities.
While discussing tool changes in manufacturing, we are explicitly talking about the machines that use headed punches. The tool changing process takes longer when using a headed punch machine because you have to pull the bolts and replace the retainers whenever changing the tool. For smaller tools, it is somewhat manageable, but while using large tools, the changing process can take hours every day. This is a time-consuming process, which causes unnecessary downtime.
So, what is the solution to this problem? Ball Lock Punches!
Cav Tool in Kansas City offers very efficient punch solutions for manufacturing facilities that require frequent tool changes during production.
How Ball Lock Punches Minimize Downtime Between Tool Changes
A practical solution to reducing tool change time is using Ball Lock Punches instead of headed punches. In the ball lock system, there is a spherical cap on the punch shank and a ball in the punch retainer. The beauty of the ball-lock retainer system is that you don’t have to dismantle the retainer system while changing the tool. Using a release, the punch is pulled down while the retainer of the ball lock system remains in its place.
A few significant benefits of the ball lock system include:
- Considerably fast setup and changeover as compared to headed punches
- Incredibly strong grip
- Locating and locking actions are performed in a single motion, reducing the changeover time.
- No need for indicating on CNC machines
The initial investment required to implement a ball lock system is often seen as a deal-breaker for the owners of manufacturing facilities. However, once the system is implemented, it pays for itself quickly by significantly reducing the downtime due to tool changes.
Cav Tool offers effective molding solutions at affordable prices in Kansas City. We are the trusted specialists for punches, dies, buttons, and many custom tools and solutions.