Troubleshooting a Tool-Change Software Hang

Manually changing a tool can make some CNC machines stop working because of a software issue. Here's how to troubleshoot and fix. March 4, 2009

We just changed a tool that was in the spindle to a completely different tool. Now it won't start any programs, giving us an error that reads, "no free position in tool change" and "error in tool change parameters preset instructions." Has anyone come across this?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor M:
I have come across it thousands of times! Which model machine? Which control? What type of tool changer (revolver, fixed)?

From the original questioner:
Rover Br7.65RFT
XP600 control
Carousel changer

From contributor O:

It's pretty self-explanatory. There must be an "open" position in the tool changer that's assigned with the same tool name that's in the spindle. You may have to un-ring the spindle, both physically and in the datimacc. Then install the new tool, both physically and in the datimacc, for the desired changer position. Then run the program. It may give you an error message that it's not "tooled-up," but it should still be able to start anyway. I have never been able to install a new tool in the directly in the spindle and have the tool changer work. My Rover has a different controller than yours, but I'll bet they're similar.

From the original questioner:
Yep, not my preferred method either. But I can't say no to the boss, right? I tried the suggested action, but didn’t have better results. We've restored to older set-ups too, but to no avail. We've taken all the tools out and assigned the tool in the spindle to one of the slots. But we get the same errors. Tried running a program from Bworks to change them out, but when it goes to change it says there isn't room in the carousel. It’s very aggravating.

From contributor V:
As above I would suggest using your pendant in manual mode with the tooling key turned on and then go to unlock tool (make sure your down there holding it so it doesn't drop on the floor) then go into your setup and manually un-ring the tool from the spindle and toolchanger as well. Now you can load the tool in the toolchanger and continue, also make sure you do a cone test (the light will be flashing) so it can read the toolchanger.

From contributor D:
I have seen this on our Biesse with an older controller. When this has come up the best result I have had is taking the tool out of the spindle and placing it in the tool changer. Make sure in the software that the spindle does not have a tool in it and is empty. Good luck.

From the original questioner:
Therein lies the problem: the NC will not save the info when I tell it there is no tool in TP1. Constantly kicks the same tool back in there, regardless of how many times I change it.

From contributor V:
Since the old software should be installed on your machine as it is on our new Rover B, do a search for a program called datimacc.exe and run it, it will show your tooling and toolchange setup, try unringing the tool from there and then saving it. So from the start of this problem why did you manually load a tool in the spindle and not place it in the toolchanger in the first place?

1 more thing to add, if your machine is in automatic mode it will not allow you to save your changes, make sure you hit stop/reset on the machine before trying to save anything.

From the original questioner:
My boss stepped in and changed the tool before I could get over there, even though I suggested to change out a tool in the carousel. I use the Machine Configuration interface for changing the tooling. Is that the same as the datimacc?

From contributor V:
The machine configuration is the same as the older Datimacc. Our new Rover B came with Biesseworks but since our older Rover 24 was XNC and Biesseworks wouldn't work on that machine I still use the XNC editor and Datimacc, etc to run the new machine. Try to unring the tool from there.

From contributor J:
Most all Rovers starting from the XNC to now use DATIMAC you must go into the Datimacc and verify there is no tool in the router and verify all your tools are in the correct position in your revolver or chain magazine. At this point you should be able to do a cone test for tools in the changer and run your machine. If you attempt this in Biesseworks it will not update at times due to the interface. Let me know if this does not work as I have done this thousands of time via web ex.

From contributor S:
Other posters have provided the correct instructions:

In DATIMACC TP1 should be black (empty). No tool should be physically in the router spindle. Press STOP, RESET, CLEAR. Save DATIMACC. As contributor J posted, perform cone test.

When you run a program with a tool change, it will probably create a message that the spindle is empty and to tool it up. Ignore that and run the program. The programmed tool should load into the spindle. To be honest with you, I don't think the tool changer/spindle program in the DATIMACC is well written unless they changed it on newer machines, but those steps should work.

From contributor V:
While DATIMACC is on the newer machines not to many people are aware of it because the new machines with Biesseworks installed use a program called machine configuration which is part of Biesseworks to setup and manage tools and toolchange options. Personally I don't like the new stuff so I still use the XNC editor and good old DATIMACC on our new Rover B.

From the original questioner:
Stupid question #1: How do you save in Datimacc? Got everything else to go, I think.

From contributor V:
In the top left corner you click the EDIT tab, then the menu drops down, click SAVE and then click RELOAD all.

From the original questioner:
Indeed it was, thank you. A little overloaded with pressures to get it fixed ASAP.
It is finally fixed - the Datimacc route worked. Thank you everybody. I would have been swimming if not for WOODWEB!

From contributor V:
#1 If you read my post above you will see that the new machines use the Machine Configuration program, NOT Datimacc, it is still loaded onto the new machines though but does not open at startup so most new rover operators would not even know it is there, nor is there anything in the new manuals about it.

#2 I was trained on Rover 24 way back when and the Biesse tech told me to click SAVE, RELOAD ALL when changing stuff in DATIMACC.

From contributor D:
Actually if you go into DATIMACC and change the length of a tool to, let’s say 144mm and then press SAVE, the table still says 144, if you the nclick RELOAD ALL you will notice it will add the decimal point and the two 0's behind it as well, so it does kind of do something.

From contributor T:
The Reload Table/Reload All function corrects the syntax of all new entries (as pointed out by contributor V), as well as realphabetizes all tools described in the Datimacc. It essentially configures the table(s) to the syntax required or dictated by the software.

From contributor O:
The USE manual says:

"RELOAD TABLE (^t): cancels all changes made (after last save) to data on table displayed and restores old values."

"RELOAD ALL (^u): cancels all changes made (after last save) to all tables and restores old values"

As I originally posted, RELOAD, in effect, does nothing but UNDO.

P.S. The relevant point is, and I doubt that the techs teach this, is that the RELOAD function will allow you to reverse any changes made to the DATIMACC before you SAVE them.

From contributor T:

Key note - the "use" or user manuals circa XNC controls were not translated from Italian to English in the best of manners. The controls also suffered from this. On some versions of XNC the tool thickness field of the Tooling table was tool "thickness". In some versions the rectangular macro with connection and the rectangular macro with radius are reversed! And always remember when you talk about "XNC" control, there are about 60-70 different versions and upgrades of the XNC, or more.

There are alternate applications for some features. And often some features are not explained with the detail or applications orientation desired. For that reason most Biesse technicians made their own training material for several years.