Page 28 - 2021 CNC West April-May
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  Machines communicating via OnTakt with production, tooling, and alarm notifications.
  Consolidated tool tracking and inventory view across the shop with OnTakt.
the Caron systems. We are unique in the aspect that there are other Caron distributors, but we are the only one who have a shop and use the systems every day. We sell the Caron products in our southwestern territory, but we partner with distributors around the country to provide applications, setup, and training where we are needed. Other distributors sell systems and help get the new users dialed in as well, but we have the unique perspective of training as a direct user ourselves. So we offer ourselves and our facilities to help integrators and their customers receive additional training and application support when needed. We have great faith in the Caron system; enough
to let strangers loose on live machines that we depend on to run customer’s parts. Three years ago, we committed to Caron reselling and installation as part of our business model. We love the machining aspect of Wolfram Manufacturing, but we also love selling a system that helps people make better parts. It’s a different mentality sharing information with possible competing companies, but we take great pride in doing so. Helping others make betterpartsbringsalotofsatisfactiontoourwholeteam..”
Nathan likes to describe the Caron system by comparing a machine tool to a surgeon. “For example, take a surgeon who is at the top of his game doing appendectomies. He or she could actually perform the surgery with their eyes closed because the movements are programmed into their brain, like the machine tool. The machine tool can perfectly replicate movements, that’s its job. Where it is different from the surgeon is that it has no idea if the tool has been loaded right or not. It is like the surgeon has his eyes closed and the assistant hands them the tool upside down. With their eyes closed they have no way of knowing the scalpel is upside down. The machine tool is blind and trusts that the human who loaded the tool did so correctly and that when we press the start button it can do the movements. The Caron technologies we deploy are to fill the gaps that can be created by human error so the machine can do its one job. All of our Okumas have probing, touch setters and high-pressure coolant. The probe can reach out and tell if the part is in the right place. Tool setters tell me that we have the correct tool and that it is the right length. The high-pressure coolant is like having the surgical assistant clearing away all the guts and blood and waste, so the workplace is clear. With all that we have half a chance of success, but we still don’t have a sense of touch. I could be cutting nothing or cutting to the bone.”
This is where the Caron TMAC (tool monitoring adaptive control) system comes into play. TMAC is additional sensors that are put on every important drive of the machine to give it a sense of touch. In the case of Nathan’s Okumas that means sensors on the milling head and on both lathe chucks. The simplified description is a super sensitive chart of your horsepower curve. Every second of every cut is shown live to the operator as well as recorded for later review. The same can be done with vibration, but Nathan’s focus today is on the more widely used HP. “It used to be that a master machinist could lean on the machine while you were talking with them and feel there was something out of place and make an adjustment,” describes Nathan. “Today’s machine tools are more isolated, enclosed, and equipped with high pressure coolant. They are closed off to sight, smell and sound, so it is much harder for a machinist to do that now. With Caron TMAC we get all that back and more. I “see” with
CNC WEST April/May 2021

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