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Assembly Instructions for MRT Automatic Tool Changer
with Fixed Tool Pallet

Caution Notes

  •  NEVER actuate the drawbar with the Tool Changer motor on. This will drop a spinning cutter causing damage or injury.
  • Please read through the entire directions before starting the installation.

These instructions assume that the machine 0,0 is at the lower left hand corner of the machine. If your machine is set up differently you may need to deviate from the instructions listed below.   If unsure contact customer support at support@midwestrapidtool.com

 

 

 

Mounting the Tool Changer to the Z Axis.
Lower the Z axis either all the way down toward the table or 2” above the table, which ever comes 1st. If you did reach the lower end of the travel, raise the Z axis by .25”. Place the template against the Z axis and let the bottom of the template rest on the table.

If you can drill through the Z axis cleanly, the template is located correctly. Look down the inside center of the Z axis and make sure you will not interfere with any internal components. If this position does not work, move the Z axis up till the top holes are clear to drill or till a ¼” bolt can pass through the Z axis. Clamp the template to the Z axis. Align the template as close as possible in the Z direction with the Z axis. Drill through one of the top holes through the Z axis. Install one of the ¼” bolts. It may be necessary to raise the Z axis in order to drill these top holes. Recheck the alignment of the template with the Z axis. Drill through the other top hole in the template and install another ¼” bolt. There are 4 sets of holes in the lower portion of the template. Drill through one of the holes in each of these 4 sets of lower holes. Use the template hole which either has a hole already there or where you can drill a complete hole. Do not try to drill through a hole which is partially covered by the template. It will not work and the hole will not be placed in the proper location.

Once the holes have all been drilled, remove the Tool Changer from the bracket and bolt the bracket to the Z axis.  A 5/16 hex key and a 7/16 socket or box end wrench are required for this. Install one of the top bolts and lightly tighten. The air tubing might need to be removed to get access to the holes. To do this, push the tube into the connector, push in the locking ring on the connector and pull the air tube out of the connector.

Put a level across the top Tool Changer clamp on the bracket. Adjust the bracket (not the upper router clamp) till the level reads plumb. This is a good 1st pass at getting the Tool Changer level. A method of final alignment is shown later. Install and tighten the lower opposite bolt. Install and tighten the remaining bolts. Reinstall the Tool Changer making sure the lip of the Tool Changer is seated securely on the top of the upper rear bracket.

Reinstall the front bracket and tighten securely. Make sure the cap screws are tightened evenly so the gaps between the front and rear clamps are consistent on each side.

Once the Tool Changer is back in place adjust the air blow off nozzle on the bottom of the unit to blow air just below the center of the collet chuck on the Tool Changer.

 

 

Tool Changer Control Module Installation
The Tool Changer Control Module comes with  hook and loop attached to the back.  Remove the paper covers, position the Control Module where desired and apply firm pressure to the top of the Control Module.  Note-The adhesive used is very tacky and strong.  Repositioning may not be possible.  See below for the electrical hookup.

Air and Electrical Hook Up
Attach the supplied ¼” air line to the input on the solenoid on the right side of the Tool Changer. Route the air line, cable from Solenoid Control Module, and the cable from the Tool Changer Control Module along the flexible cable support bar and use the supplied cable ties to secure them in place. Cut the end of the air line if necessary and connect the fitting to the end. Connect to your air supply.

Caution: Make sure the power to the control box is disconnected before starting the next section.

Control Module Hook Up
Route the cables from the Tool Changer Control Module and the Solenoid Control Module to your control box. Leave about 6” extra and cut the cables. Make sure you label the cables before cutting. Refer to your control box manufacturer’s documentation and connect the red wires of both cables to a +12 volt source. This can usually be found on one of the unused cable harnesses in the box. The wire is almost always a yellow wire. To be sure, cut one of the unused yellow and one of the unused black wires. Strip the wire ends about ¼”. Put the red lead of a volt meter on the yellow wire and the black lead of the volt meter on the black wire. Power up the box. If you see 11.2 to 12.8 volts DC, these wires will work fine.

TURN THE POWER TO THE BOX OFF ONCE YOU HAVE VERIFIED A 12 Volt SOURCE.

  •  Connect the white wire of the Tool Changer Control Module to Output Switch #1.  This will control the on/off state of the router
  •  Connect the white wire of the Solenoid Control Module to Output Switch #2.
  •  Connect the green wires from the Modules to a ground point on the box.
  •  Connect the red wires of the modules to the yellow wire measured above in the control box harness.
  •  Connect the black wires to the black wire measured above in the control box harness.

Tool Changer Alignment
The Tool Changer must be mounted perpendicular to the table in both the X and Y axis. Again, there are several methods to do this. One is shown below.

Tools Required

  •  Telescopic hole gage or similar – McMaster Carr (www.mcmaster.com) has a Starret gage for $26 – PN 2081A2 or Grizzly (www.grizzly.com) has a set for 17$ PN G5656
  •  Measuring plate w/ arbor
  •  Calipers
  •  Shims

DISCONNECT THE POWER TO THE Tool Changer TO DO THIS ALIGNMENT.

Make a measuring plate similar to the one shown in the pictures below using shaft with a diameter of an available collet.  The longer the measuring plate, the more accurate the alignment will be.  Mark one end of the plate.  Perform the measurements described below using only this side of the plate to minimize the effect of any height difference between the two ends of the plate.

Insert the arbor into a Tool Holder using the collet and load the Tool Holder into the Tool Changer.  Lower the Tool Changer till the marked end of the plate is within the range of the telescopic gage.  Rotate the measure plate till it is in line with the Y-axis. Measure and record the distance between the marked end of the plate and the table. Rotate the measuring plate 180°. Measure and record the reading. Loosen the Tool Changer retaining screws and adjust the Tool Changer till the two values are as close as possible. The difference should be within .005" of each other. Repeat for the X axis direction. Recheck both Y and X axis to make sure they have not moved while adjusting the other axis.

 

Mounting the Tool Pallet
The Tool Pallet comes assembled with the Tool Bays attached to the base plate.  The rear mounting brackets need to be mounted to the Base using the flat head screws provided. It is recommended that the Tool Pallet be mounted on the end of the table toward the 0,0 point rather than the sides of the table. This maximizes the amount of table space available for routing. The programs are written using this position for the Tool Pallet. Other configurations are possible but the programs will have to be modified accordingly. Contact Customer Support for additional information.

It is also recommended that the Tool Pallet be mounted as high as possible to allow the thickest material to be used. To do this, raise the Tool Changer as high as possible.  Lower by 4.5 inches.  The Tool Pallet should be mounted so the Zero Plate on the Tool Pallet is no higher than this point. This will give the Tool Changer room to raise the longest tool bit above the Zero Plate in order to zero the tool. The Tool Pallet may be mounted lower than this but may reduce the length of tool bit able to be used in automatic tool changes due to table clearance.

Once a height has been chosen, the Tool Pallet needs to be attached to the table.  To maximize the table space available for routing, the Tool Pallet should be mounted as far from the table as possible.  This will be determined by the reach of the Tool Changer.  Move the Tool Changer as far in the –X direction as possible.  Move back in the positive X direction 1-1/2”. The Tool Changer should be mounted so the center of the Tool Holder is no further in the –X direction than this point.

There are several methods of mounting the Fixed Tool Platform to the table.  Since there are many different table configurations and materials, mounting hardware is not included.  The following installation shows the Fixed Tool Platform being mounted to a wood table using lag screws. The Mounting Brackets are made of 1/4" phenolic to provide the flex needed when automatically changing tool holders.

Place the Fixed Tool Platform on the table at the required height with two spacers of equal size under each end of the Platform.  This will make the hole marking and platform leveling much easier. Make sure the Mounting Brackets are in contact with the table edge.

Mark the locations for the clamping screw holes. Do not use the extreme bottom or top of any slot in the Mounting Bracket as you will need some adjustment to level the top of the Platform later.

It is very important that the Fixed Tool Platform be level in both the x and y directions otherwise the Tool Changer may not be able to pickup and replace the Tool Holders properly.  1/4x20 tapped holes have been provided in the Rear Support Plates for adjusting screws to make leveling in the X direction much easier.  Lightly snug the bottom bolts.  Put a level in the X direction and level the Fixed Tool Platform by tightening the adjustment screws.  If this makes the condition worse, back out the adjustment screws, loosen the clamping screws, and put a spacer below the clamping screw on the bottom of the mounting bracket so the bracket leans slightly in toward the Tool Changer.  Retighten the clamping screws and level with the adjustment screws. If the adjusting screws are resting against a non metal surface, it is recommended to put a piece of hardened shim stock between the adjusting screw and the material so the screw will not dig into the material over time.

To level the Fixed Tool Platform in the Y direction, use a zero plate with the Tool Changer and zero out the Tool Changer on tool bay 1.  Move to tool bay 8 and adjust the height till there is as little difference as possible (no more than .010” difference).  This may require several re-zeros at each end.

When finished with the Y axis go back and adjust the X axis level if necessary. Secure all mounting bolts and recheck for level in both directions. Adjust as necessary.

 

 

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