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Machine tools and tooling considerations

Quick change tooling solutions

Quick change tooling solutions

When people talk about productivity, the focus can often be on metal-cutting efficiency. However, machine utilization or the time during which the machine's green light is on is equally or even more important.

​With a quick change tooling solution you can really increase your machine utilization by reducing measuring, set-up and tool-changing time.


Productivity factors

​Productivity is the number of parts produced per shift or week. Understanding where the biggest improvements can be made is vital before considering which solutions to implement. There are two important factors to take into account:

  1. Metal-cutting efficiency – this can be measured in terms of metal removal rate (cm3/min (in3/min)) for any operation
  2. Machine utilization – this can be measured in the percentage of time the machine's green light is on (the ability to maintain continuous production for a long period)

​Machine utilization is very much linked to the machine configuration and options. This needs to be considered prior to new machine investment to make sure the best technologies are implemented.

​Typical time killers reducing machine utilization in factories are:

  • Batch set-up
  • Measuring the component in the machine
  • Tool setting in the machine
  • Coolant pipe setting
  • Changing worn tools
  • Chip removal around tools or blocked conveyors
  • Component changeover

​How tools are loaded and measured has a huge impact on machine utilization. Just as how in car racing it is best when the motor is running and the time the car is in the pit stop is minimized, minimizing any machine stoppages is important.

​Through coolant delivery ensures that the full capabilities of the machine are harnessed, with optimized cutting units to reduce setting and deliver the coolant with maximum impact to provide chip control.


Quick change tooling benefits

​CNC lathes and sliding head machines have fast tool indexing but typically have a lower utilization than machining centers due to the tool change and set-up time. Manual quick change is utilized where there is no automatic tool change (ATC) in the machine, ensuring the machine's green light is on for longer. There are many benefits of using quick change.

Reduced batch changeover time using tool kits

​Changing from one style of tool to another is dramatically reduced.

  • Turning tool holders from 5-10 min down to 30 seconds
  • Boring bars take a little bit more time than shank tools because of center height setting and coolant plumbing
  • There are even more advantages of quick change tooling in combination with long boring bars. Boring bars up to 10 x D can be changed with 2 μm (78.7 μinch) accuracy in less than 1 minute
  • Driven tools from 5-20 min down to 30 seconds. Normal driven tool holders are ER or face milling. ER is limited to end mills with maximum diameter 25 mm (1 inch), which means two separate driven holders. With Coromant Capto®, the same unit covers all applications

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Increased number of tool positions

An increased number of tool positions with double tool holders allows the block to be used for both internal and internal operations.

​Turning centers with driven tool holders often have limited space. Using double clamping units allows either sister tooling or an increased variety of tools, thereby reducing tool change requirement for a wider range of components. Double clamping units can be used when the machine has Y-axis, half turret or sub-spindle.


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Reduce worn tool indexing time

​Driven tool holders: Every time a solid carbide tool is changed, the tool offset needs to be recalibrated. With indexable mills/drills, multiple inserts need to be changed. Using sister tools and changing the cutter outside the machine are much quicker.

​Static tool holders: For single inserts with good accessibility, it can be as quick to change directly in the machine. However, being able to remove the tool ensures improved maintenance of the tool, correct mounting and no unexpected stops due to the need for spare part purchases.

Eliminate coolant pipe setting

​This varies from application to application, but when operators are setting the coolant pipe direction it normally takes two to three attempts to get it right—red light on! Poor chip control then often knocks the pipe, which means that setting is quite a regular occurrence.

Quicker production start-up

​By eliminating either "first test component" or "measuring cuts", the production rate is increased and scrap is reduced. Calculated throughout the year, if quick change was used, the number of additional components produced and reduced scrap rate is significant.

  • First test component for higher-volume production: The first component of every tool change is often scrapped and the tool change time needs to be considered, including time for changing the tool (keeping the old offset), cutting a complete part, measuring the finished component and adjusting offset
  • Measuring cuts for low/medium-volume production: Taking a measuring cut with backed-off offset ensures that the component is not scrapped, but this can take longer. Tool change time needs to be considered, including time for changing the tool, backing off offset, cutting, measuring and adjusting offset
Ergonomic and easy-to-use for the operator

​Quick change has many benefits for the operator. For example, changing tools outside the machine reduces accidents, errors and the need to search for dropped parts. It is also easy to standardize in all machine types.


Quick change in sliding head machines

​Due to the compact nature of sliding head machines, space for tool changing is limited. Often, shank tools need to be removed to index the insert, which increases the set-up time compared to conventional turning centers.​

​Quick change, such as the QS™ holding system, maximizes active production time in sliding head machines compared to conventional shanks. The tool can be removed from the machine for insert indexing, and with the fast and accurate return, you can start running immediately, without the need for setting/measuring.


Quick setting of boring bars

​​Setting boring bars in the turret takes more time compared to a shank tool due to length/center height positioning as well as plumbing through coolant into the back of the tool.

​Sleeves such as EasyFix provide a fast and simple way of achieving correct center height when mounting cylindrical boring bars into the machine. A spring plunger solution mounted in the sleeve clicks easily into a groove in the bar to guarantee the correct center height, ensuring consistently high-quality parts.

​The sleeve is available in a metallic sealed version for high-pressure coolant, as well as the original, with a slot filled with a silicon sealer for low coolant pressures.


Quick change with Coromant Capto®

Coromant Capto® is a modular, quick change tooling concept that ensures that both machine utilization and metal-cutting efficiency are maximized. Below are some of the key benefits of Coromant Capto®.

Segment clamping

​The camshaft-activated drawbar is used for both locking the coupling with segment clamping and for pushing out the cutting head. Only a ½ turn is needed to lock and unlock the manual clamping unit. The camshaft has a self-locking angle and will not open during machining.


​The high precision of the coupling and its self-centering design ensures repeatable accuracy within less than ±2 microns along the x-, y- and z-axis for the same cutting unit in the same female receiver.​

​This allows pre-setting outside the machine for high batch production or tool kits for batch changeover. Both eliminate measuring cuts, allowing faster start-up and reduced scrap rates.

Coromant Capto® quick change calculator

Increased stability

​Stability is measured in terms of bending stiffness and torque transmission. The key features providing superior stability are:

  • Face and taper contact: Resisting bending moments and providing positional accuracy
  • Polygon coupling: The large contact area transmits torque without any loose parts such as pins or keys. The torque load is spread symmetrically without peaks and irrespective of direction, with the polygon shape self-centering for accurate tip-seat center height
  • High clamping force: The segment clamping generates high clamping forces, ensuring a press fit and a two face contact and resisting the bending moment generated during cutting

​Read more about torque transmission and bending stiffness

Clamping unit range

​C3 through C10 are all used for quick change on CNC lathes. The size is dependent upon the machine size and cutting parameters.

​Vertical lathe RAM interfaces vary and the manual clamping unit block with Coromant Capto® clamping units is either supplied directly with the machine by the machine tool builder or is ordered separately as a special block.


VDI-DIN 69880



CBI (Bolt on)



Dovetail VDI-DIN 69881

VTL – machine-specific


Coromant Capto® clamping units for bolt-on interfaces (CBI)

Machine-adapted clamping units (MACUs) are available as standard products for many machine tool builders' own turret interface designs.

Coromant Capto® disc interface (CDI)

​CDI was developed as a turret interface that can be standardized regardless of the machine type, as a replacement for VDI. The CDI turret option is available for many machine tool builders.

Non-standard clamping units – Clamping unit sets

​Clamping unit sets are used to make clamping units according to specific requirements. These are commonly used for tool blocks for vertical lathes, double units or for retrofitting quick change onto existing turrets.

​The clamping set sleeves are available in different forms depending on the application.


Square – double units

Offset – boring bar applications​


Styles for machining specific clamping units

External – OD turning

Single external​

Double for sub-spindle​


Half turret​

Parting blade adapter


Internal – ID turning/drilling

Single internal​​


Double for sub-spindle


Half turret​







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