An automatic tool changer improves the production and tool-carrying capacity of a CNC machine by changing tools very quickly without the help of a manual operator. In doing so, the ATC dramatically reduces downtime on a given project. ATCs are generally used to improve the capacity of a machine to work with several tools at one time, but they can also be used to change out worn or broken tools. There are generally two types of automatic tool changers – rotary-style and linear-style – which vary in the number of tools present within the changer.
An automatic tool changer typically consists of:
• Gripper arm
• Tool holder
• Support arm
• Tool magazines (where the tools are stored)