GranQuartz, a leading distributor of supplies, tools and equipment used in the fabrication and maintenance of hard surfaces for residential, commercial and industrial end-markets, has developed a comprehensive CNC program together with vendor partners ADI and Zoller for offline productivity solutions for CNC customers. This tool management and productivity system is comprised of the Zoller Tool presetter, the ADI Advant-Edge dressing machine, and a tool press for removing tools from cones. All three of these machines are offline and allow for maintenance and re-calibration to be done while the CNC machine is still able to run production. The system was designed to optimize tool performance and edge quality while also maximizing machine performance, providing better quality edges off the machine. Customers who take advantage of this system see labor savings through elimination of hand touch-ups after the CNC process, allowing tooling to run at drastically increased feed rates while giving a consistent, quality polish.

The first step in the system is the Zoller presetter. This machine is a CNC measuring device that measures the tool to a 2 micron accuracy and then transfers the values of the tool to the CNC machine, allowing the tool to run at peak performance by removing the least amount of stone at each step of the grinding process. Removing a minimal amount of stone ensures the tool provides better-looking edges and significantly increased tool life.

The second step in the process is to “dress” the tooling. The ADI Advant-Edge machine is a precision machine that allows the fabricator to use a dressing stick to refresh the tools safely offline. ADI recommends that tooling be dressed every 500 to 750 linear feet. Dressing tools at regular intervals ensures peak performance and reduces lines from forming in the finished edge. Improperly maintained tools can result in increased labor costs that require the fabricator to do hand touch-ups after the CNC process. The Advant-Edge dressing machine allows the CNC operator to dress ADI metal wheels, as well as polishing wheels at a regular interval to ensure edge quality during the tooling life cycle.   

Without a tool management process, fabricators would lose hours of productivity time on each CNC machine in their shops. GranQuartz’s goal through partnership with Zoller and ADI is to maximize production of counters and let machines run production while moving the tool maintenance process “offline.”  Offline maintenance contributes to labor savings, increased tool life and increased machine productivity.

Today’s fabricators running CNCs are trying to maximize output with increased feed rates. ADI has built the highest quality tool with their Ultra High Speed formula, which is capable of running at extreme feed rates (up to 500 inches per minute in certain cases). Increased feed rates on tooling means that machine tolerances, lack of machine maintenance and lack of water flow to the tool can all impact results.  

GranQuartz has five full-time CNC technicians that work onsite with customers to maximize their production lines. These technicians work with customers to find the optimal feed rate for each individual shop. Customers can reach out to their local GranQuartz rep for details.