Superior Alternative To Bladed Reamers

Are padded boring tools with blades proving problematic to your operation?

Causing long periods of down time in operation?

 Requiring a high level of skill to accurately set?

Costly to replace when damages occur? 

Where pads are applied to support the tool, this creates a significantly increased cutting pressure,  allowing chips to get between the pad and the component, often resulting in a poor surface finish.

Modern day manufacturing sees increasing pressure on companies to produce consistently accurate and concentric bores on high value components. In high volume operations, it is vital for organisations to minimise setting time in order to maximise production capabilities.

To continuously improve efficiency and effectiveness, organisations strive to apply superior tooling equipment to facilitate good operational processes. There is a much simpler and cost effective method to these boring operations, using systems developed by Rigibore.

Smartbore Technology

Rigibore’s forward thinking and innovative culture has allowed design and application of Smartbore Technology, combining the ease and simplicity in adjustment with unparalleled accuracy.

This manually-operated cutting edge tool adjuster guarantees micron-accurate diameter changes, simply by turning the Digital Smartbore Adjuster handle clockwise and anti-clockwise.

Changes can be made to a tools cutting edge without removal from the machine envelope, contributing to a dramatically reduced spindle downtime.

Smartbore combination boring bars can be designed and manufactured completely bespoke to a customer’s boring application. Multiple cutting edges can be integrated onto one bar, allowing critical diameters to be machined at the same pass, reducing cycle time.

Micron-Accurate changes to the cutting edges are clearly displayed on the LCD screen
Micron-Accurate changes to the cutting edges are clearly displayed on the LCD screen

Smartbore solutions have created success stories for leading organisations on a global scale, this blog explores how Smartbore Tooling has improved production capabilities for a well-known second tier automotive company.

Smartbore Industry Applications

Smartbore Technology combined with the latest insert geometry has created significant performance benefits for a second tier automotive company, producing gear housing components.

Previous tooling involved using carbide support pads to stabilize the bar and counteract deflection. The manufacturer was experiencing problems with accuracy resulting in high scrap rates and wasting up to an entire shift to set.

The implementation of Smartbore Technology has led to the following performance benefits for this company:

Scrap Rates:-Prior to introduction of Rigibore tooling, out of every 100 parts produced, 7 were rejected. Rigibore improved this figure with 100 parts being produced, just 1 part was rejected.

Finish Quality:-Whilst vastly increasing the surface speed from S1,800 to S6,000, Rigibore increased the feed rate from 600mm to just 1,000mmsignificantly improving surface finish.

Running Smartbore at high surface speeds, with lower feed rates reduces cutting pressure and therefore fewer deflections. This solution is a cheaper and more effective solution to carbide support pads.

Ease In Adjustment:- Smartbore technology allows simple, micron-accurate adjustments. It Guarantees precise and repeatable results for operators of all skill and experience levels.

CP Data:- Implementation of Smartbore tooling meant an improved process control performance, simplistic, micron-accuracy in adjustments meant now Cpk requirements are now met in operation.

The full version of this case study can be viewed online

You can learn more about Smartbore Technology, or our range of innovative boring solutions by visiting the Rigibore Website.

Smartbore No Clamping

NO clamping. NO Deflection. NO Problem 


Modern day manufacturing requires exceptionally critical tolerances to be set and maintained throughout the boring operation, especially for industries such as Aerospace where the thirst for absolute precision is unrivaled – scrap is simply not an option.

To achieve this micron accuracy on high-value components, organisations must be able to implement an accurate, consistent and repeatable manufacturing operation -The tool plays no small part in the pursuit of manufacturing excellence.


PROBLEM: – Clamping In Traditional Boring Operations

Traditionally boring bars are adjusted using vernier scale, the boring tool is clamped and unclamped  whilst the adjustment takes place. Even with the most advanced tool clamping technology available, some deflection will occur, subsequently offsetting the  preset size.

This time consuming process requires skilled and experienced operators to accurately compensate for these defections. This process is largely based on trial and error, risking accuracy of the component.


SOLUTION :- Digital Adjustment With Smartbore Technology

Smartbore technology allows micron precision in boring operations without the need for clamping or unclamping.

The handheld digital adjuster can be inserted straight into the connection on the cartridge/ boring head, allowing positive or negative diameter changes without clamping or unclamping.

The video demonstration below outlines the problem with traditional boring operations, offsetting the preset size through clamping. The video then demonstrates the Smartbore Adjuster’s micron accurate adjustment capabilities without clamping.


BENEFITS: – The Digital Difference  

  • Precision adjustments can be made by operators of all skill and experience levels
  • No clamp system ensures the diameter you set is not risked with deflections in adjustment.
  • In process changes can be made without removing the tool from the machine carousel, reducing spindle downtime in operation.
  • Smartbore Technology is available on small hole boring operations through the Smartbore Nano.



Want to know more?  visit the website or contact Rigibore via email at



Improve Process Control With ActiveEdge

Whether your boring operation involves high volume production of the same part, or design and manufacture of a component bespoke to the customer’s application, achieving  good process control is essential to success in precision hole making operations like boring.

Good process control allows the desired size and finish on bores in an consistent and repeatable manner. In modern day manufacturing there is increasing pressure on organisations to conduct micron-precise adjustments, ensuring components are of certified quality with no undersized or oversized bores.

For many organisations,Process Control provides a clear indication of production efficiency, allowing assessment of how well the process is meeting the specifications set. Perhaps the most important value that outlines the success of a process is Cpk.

Cpk monitors the data sets between an upper and lower specification limit, analysing how central the mean is between these two pre-determined limits. The lower the standard deviation of the process, the greater the Cpk value and the greater the Cpk, the less defects in operation.

Rigibore’s ActiveEdge has been implemented by industry leading organisations on a global scale. Results have shown a consistent and measurable improvement in organisations process Control since the application of ActiveEdge.

What Is ActiveEdge?

ActiveEdge is an auto-compensating boring system whereby changes to the tools cutting edge are made via wireless technology, ensuring micron-accuracy in adjustment.

Adjustments are made via radio transmission with the tool remaining in the machine spindle throughout the duration of the process, ensuring spindle downtime is minimised.

ActiveEdge tooling can be successfully integrated with a gauging or probing device, allowing CNC programmes to monitor bore sizes and adjust accordingly as part of a closed loop process. This process is explained in greater detail below.

Closed Loop Manufacturing with ActiveEdge

Closed Loop Manufacturing process undergoes a continuous process of measuring, monitoring and if needs be, adjusting to ensure bore sizes remain between specification limits. Rigibore partner custom designed Statistical Process Control (SPC) macros with ActiveEdge tooling capabilities, to ensure micron-accuracy through a closed loop boring operation.

1)  Firstly, a hole is bored by the Rigibore ActiveEdge tool.

2)  This bore is then measured using a probing device, establishing the bore diameter. This measured value is then translated and saved in a variable in the CNC machine.

3) This bore measurement is assessed against a set of set of Statistical Process Control (SPC) macros supplied by Rigibore, calculating whether the bore sizes are within the required tolerance band, between a set of customisable upper and the lower warning limits.

4)  If the bore sizes are not within this user-defined parameter, an automatic compensation request is sent directly to the ActiveEdge tool, the cutting edges adjust within a matter of seconds to ensure the next machined bore is returned to nominal size.

Improving Cpk with ActiveEdge

Implementation of ActiveEdge technology can contribute to a profound improvement in Process Control capabilities. this is as demonstrated in the figures below.

 Fig 1. This first diagram outlines the structure of the adjustment process. An organisation’s main objective is to maintain bore sizes between the upper and lower control limit. The closer to nominal bore sizes are throughout the operation means greater accuracy and reliability of the process
Fig 1- This first diagram outlines the structure of the adjustment process. An organisation’s main objective is to maintain bore sizes between the upper and lower control limit.
The closer to nominal bore sizes are throughout the operation means greater accuracy and reliability of the process



Fig 2. This diagram simulates the process of manual adjustment in boring operations. There is a high deviation on bore sizes towards and sometimes outside the upper and lower control limits, creating high probabilities for oversized or undersized bores.
Fig 2- This diagram simulates the process of manual adjustment in boring operations.
There is a high deviation on bore sizes towards and sometimes outside the upper and lower control limits, creating high probabilities for oversized or undersized bores.



 Fig 3. ActiveEdge tooling maintains a much tighter tolerance on bore sizes, setting a smaller tolerance band on the upper and lower control limits. This demonstrates a much lower deviation, with bore sizes always close to nominal diameter, and achieving a high Cpk value.

Fig 3- ActiveEdge tooling maintains a much tighter tolerance on bore sizes, setting a smaller tolerance band on the upper and lower control limits.
This demonstrates a much lower deviation, with bore sizes always close to nominal diameter, and achieving a high Cpk value.


Industry Applications

ActiveEdge tooling was recently applied to an industry leading heavy plant manufacturer to improve repeatability and accuracy of bore sizes.

A closed loop process was integrated, leading to significant and measurable performance benefits in a small period of time.

The full project including results can be viewed by following the link:-

ActiveEdge Hydraulic Pump Case Study


More information on  ActiveEdge tooling can be found on the Rigibore website, or contacting one of the following address‘.




ActiveEdge Solutions


Whether your operation involves high precision manufacturing of valuable parts, centered on achieving high accuracy and repeatability in finish or volume production of the same component. ActiveEdge tooling can be successfully integrated to achieve a number of measurable and sustainable performance benefits such as increased productivity and reducing non-productive time.

This innovative design provides a solution to some of the biggest issues in modern day machining, actively reducing scrap and re-work rates, minimising cycle-time and improving process control.


What is ActiveEdge?

ActiveEdge is an automatically compensating boring bar which allows micron-accurate changes to be made to a tool’s cutting edge without operator intervention.

Rigibore can design and manufacture tools specific to a customer’s application, with multiple independently adjustable cutting edges built into one tool.

ActiveEdge tooling is dynamic, offering flexibility with three different levels of integration, suitable for almost any boring operation. These solutions will be explained in greater detail below.


Level One- Remote Adjustment

This method of ActiveEdge integration uses remote adjustment, allowing micron-accurate changes to be made to the tools cutting edge at the push of a button.

This simple system eliminates the need for manual adjustments, creating a fast and simple process whilst reducing the reliance on skilled operators to make micron-accurate adjustments.

By allowing changes to be made from outside the machine envelope, remote adjustment also ensures a safer process, eliminating the risk of danger that manual adjustment carries.


ActiveEdge wireless blog

3T Adjustment Process

  1. Entering the tool’s unique ID and required diameter change into to 3T Adjuster actions an adjustment request.
  2. This request is transmitted to the ActiveEdge tool via wireless radio transmission.
  3. The tool’s cutting edge will subsequently adjust to the required diameter automatically, each ActiveEdge Cartridge is independently adjustable.


ActiveEdge tooling allows the capability for up to 5 cartridges to be built into one bar.


Level Two-Machine Integrated with ActiveEdge Network

This method requires a level of on-site integration in conjunction with the machine tool supplier, successfully partnering ActiveEdge tooling with an external gauging or probing device and allowing CNC programs to adjust and monitor the ActiveEdge boring bar on the machine.

A manufacturer can benefit from Rigibore designed operation cycles to produce operator-free adjustment to boring bars which is also known as closed-loop manufacturing (Learn More About Closed-Loop Manufacturing).

By maintaining a close tolerance band on bore sizes throughout the operation and ensuring a low standard deviation means that a manufacturer can benefit from a significantly improved Process Control (Learn about improving Cpk with ActiveEdge ).





Closed-Loop Process

  • Firstly, a probing or gauging device is used to measure the diameter of the initial hole bored by the ActiveEdge tool.
  • This data is then translated and saved in a variable in the CNC machine. Rigibore Statistical Process Control (SPC) macros in the CNC machine analyse the measured diameter against a set of pre-determined upper and lower control limits on bore sizes.
  • If an adjustment to the bore size is required, this is translated to the tool via the ActiveEdge interface, acting as a link between the CNC machine and the tool.
  • The request is communicated to the tool via wireless radio transmission, the required adjustments are made to the tools cutting edge.
  • The process of measuring, monitoring and adjusting then repeats throughout the process.

Closed-Loop manufacturing allows machining to continue without operators even being present on site, this is known as Lights-Out Manufacturing.


Level Three- Machine Integrated with ActiveEdge Network

This advanced design incorporates the benefits of the level 1 and level 2 methods, however level 3 capabilities allow customers to gather and store real time data from the boring operation.

A Rigibore industrial computer running the sophisticated software ‘ActiveNet’ allows multi-machine cell operations to be controlled from one central location.

ActiveNet stores the complete adjustment history of individual tools, providing a comprehensive overview of the entire production process.  This function enables a company to successfully analyse it’s manufacturing operation.


Fig 3.



This diagram outlines how multiple tools running ActiveEdge can be easily monitored using the ‘ActiveNet’ software.

Having one centralised location monitoring every ActiveEdge tools simplifies the operation, highlighting any inconsistencies in performance and leading to continuous improvement.


Why ActiveEdge?

ActiveEdge tooling has been implemented on a global scale in a wide variety of industries including: – Automotive, Marine, Heavy Plant, Agricultural and Aerospace.

Results have shown consistent and repeatable performance helping manufacturers maximise production capabilities and gain a competitive advantage.

To find out more about how ActiveEdge tooling can improve your operation, or indeed any of the additional innovative boring solutions available, visit


Lights-Out Manufacturing With ActiveEdge

In modern day manufacturing, increasing pressure to meet productivity targets combined with the rapidly rising cost of materials, utilities and labour, places organisations under constant strain.

Developments in technology and continuous advancements in creating the most efficient and effective operations allows organisations to stay competitive and gain an increase market share.

Rigibore understand the importance of creating and sustaining competitive advantage. Our innovative ActiveEdge boring system has met and exceeded expectations in this respect across all industries on a global scale.

The ability to produce increased quantities of high tolerance manufactured parts without increasing human capital on the shopfloor is clearly an appealing proposition for organisations.

The ActiveEdge boring system assists production machines to run for 2 or 3 continuous shifts without the requirement for operator intervention, significantly increasing profitability. This process is sometimes called lights-out manufacturing.


What is Lights-Out Manufacturing?

CNC tools do not require a continuous operator’s intervention in order to run successfully, most models can operate completely independently whilst still maintaining the same level of efficiency and accuracy in production.

However, skilled operator intervention is still required when boring tools need to be adjusted to compensate for wear.

Lights-out manufacturing in boring operations is a method whereby bore sizes are maintained fully automatically, allowing an accurate and repeatable operation to run without operator intervention on site. This allows the manufacturing process to continue when staff are gone for the day or the weekend, workpieces are machined in a continuous run.

The advanced capabilities of Rigibore’s ActiveEdge boring tools allow organisations to get a big step closer towards successfully implementing lights-out manufacturing.


Rigibore’s Closed-Loop Manufacturing

Rigibore’s ActiveEdge is an automatically adjustable boring tool, providing an unrivaled combination of ease of use and accuracy, enabling micron-adjustment of multiple cutting edges via remote radio link. When linked with in-process gauging, it allows for high precision machining without the need for an operators intervention.


ActiveEdge Tooling- Provides efficiency and productivity through automation
ActiveEdge Tooling- Provides efficiency and productivity through automation


But how does this cycle work? The succinct and repeatable process is outlined below. (See Figure 1. below for visual representation)

  • A probing or gauging device is used to measure the diameter of the bored hole.
  • The probe then sends bore data directly to the CNC machine. The data is analysed using a Rigibore Statistical Process Control macro to determine if an adjustment is required.
  • The macro compares the size measurement against customisable upper and lower control limits, if bore sizes stray outside of this tolerance band, an automatic compensation request is sent directly to the ActiveEdge tool.
  • The ActiveEdge tool will subsequently adjust, ensuring that the next bore is machined at nominal size. Intelligent hardware in the ActiveEdge yoke allows the cutting edges to be adjusted automatically, with no operator intervention necessary.

Once the measurement data has been reviewed, Rigibore’s innovative technology allow adjustments to be made to the tool anywhere in the machine, thereby minimising spindle downtime.


Figure 1. Outlines the continuous process the closed-loop process undertakes
Figure 1. Outlines the continuous process the closed-loop process undertakes


Benefits of Lights-Out Manufacturing

Increased Productivity: ActiveEdge tooling can revolutionise boring operations, perhaps most importantly its ability to run for longer periods of time allows organisations to consistently meet critical productivity targets.

Reduced Costings: Another major advantage associated with this method is its ability to increase productivity rates, whilst having a minimal impact on labour costs. The accuracy and repeatability of the process also contributes to significantly reduced scrap and re-work.

Reduced Spindle Downtime: In a lights-out environment only a single operator is required to set up one or more runs, this can be done while another process is in operation, minimising spindle downtime and creating a streamlined and efficient process.

Skilled Labour: An increasingly major issue in modern day manufacturing is its reliance on skilled operators to set up and provide adjustments throughout the operation. Often skilled operators are tied to one or two machines, resetting after each run. Automation of bore sizing removes this reliance on skilled operators to be present in making adjustments.

To find out more about how ActiveEdge tooling can deliver benefits to your organisation please visit the Rigibore Website.





Small Hole Boring Solutions Available at Rigibore


Having trouble maintain accuracy in adjustment when it comes to small hole boring operations?

 Does the process of making micron-accurate adjustment waste valuable operation time?

Rigibore’s Smartbore Nano is the solution to revolutionize your operation.


What is the Smartbore Nano?

This manually-operated system allows micron-accurate changes to be made to the tool, ranging from 0.5- 16mm in diameter, whilst the tool is still in the machine spindle.

Before discussing some of the important features and benefits the Smartbore Nano can deliver to your operation, this text will firstly outline the process of adjustment


How does it work?

The Smartbore Nano allows ease of adjustment, making micron-accurate changes to the cutting edge quickly and simply using the handheld Smartbore Adjuster, which is similar in design to a digital torx wrench.

  • Firstly, the Smartbore Adjuster is inserted into the connection located on the side of the boring head.
  • Once engaged, the Adjuster handle can be turned both clockwise and anti-clockwise to make positive and negative micron adjustments. These changes are clearly displayed on the Smartbore Adjuster Screen.
  • Once the desired adjustment has been made, the Adjuster is simply withdrawn from the head, completing the process and allowing the machining to continue.



This Diagram outlines the major functions of the Smartbore Nano.
This Diagram outlines the major functions of the Smartbore Nano.


Features of Smartbore Nano

Smartbore Nano’s unique capabilities create and sustain real life organisational benefits, allowing for a faster and more efficient small hole boring operation. Some of these key features are outlined below.

*Micron-Accuracy In adjustment: – The Smartbore Nano solution provides organisations with micron-precise adjustments down to just 1 micron on diameter, implementing sensor technology that ensures critical diameters are met.

This innovative sensor technology is stored inside the boring head. When the Adjuster engages with the Nano head, the sensor monitors positive and negative adjustments made on the cutting tool. These micron-accurate changes are communicated directly and instantaneously back to the user, displayed clearly on the Adjuster screen.

*No Spindle Downtime: – In an increasingly competitive business environment, organisations must exploit advantages by increasing output and reducing non-productive time. Implementation of Rigibore’s patented Smartbore technology can significantly contribute to an improved process.

The handheld Smartbore Adjuster allows micron-accurate adjustments to be made to the tool, reducing the need for presetting, or for it to be removed from the machine spindle at all. This significantly decreases ‘non-productive’ time in the operation, creating a more streamlined process for organisations.

*Electronics Displayed Outside of the Boring Head: – Competitor products incorporate fragile electronics and a digital display in the head itself, which increases the possibility of expensive damage when in use.

Whilst the boring operation takes place, chips and coolant can collide with important electronics inside the boring head, leading to significant damage and subsequently scrappage of high value materials.

Rigibore’s superior solution houses electronic components such as the digital read out and batteries are located in the handheld Smartbore Adjuster, keeping all electronics outside of the boring head and subsequently away from danger.

Not only does the patented design mean that the risk of damage is greatly reduced, but also allows organisations to exploit cost saving advantages on multiple boring heads. The Smartbore Adjuster only needs to be purchased once. Additional boring heads can be ordered separately, as one Adjuster can be used on any number of heads.

*No Clamping or Unclamping: – The Smartbore Adjuster can be inserted and removed from the tool simply, performing micron-accurate adjustments to the boring head without the need for clamping or unclamping.

The pre-loaded zero backlash Nano head design means that operators can trust the accuracy of adjustment, without having to compensate for inaccuracies due to clamping



smartbore nano picture


The Smartbore Nano offers users an unrivaled combination of accuracy and simplicity in adjustment, making it the ultimate tool for small hole boring operations.

You can learn more about the Smartbore Nano and our range of extensive boring solutions at the Rigibore website.


Rigibore Partner with Zoller to showcase benefits of Automatic Presetting

On the 3rd and 4th of February 2016 Zoller UK are hosting an open day to showcase their product range, demonstrating how their innovative systems have provided solutions for organisations on a global scale.

Included in this showcase is the Zoller  »pilot 3.0«  Presetter, which can be integrated with Rigibore’s ActiveEdge tooling to deliver automatic presetting of rotating boring bars for machining centers.

The process of presetting can be vital to organisations conducting high-value operations that require a tight tolerance bored diameter, bars that are not accurately set can lead to scrapage of high value materials.

Rigibore and Zoller partner their advanced designs to offer a simpler, quicker and more accurate presetting process, ensuring maximum performance whilst minimizing time to set the bar.

Operational Requirements

  • ActiveEdge Boring Bar
  • One ActiveEdge Interface (AEI) per Zoller tool presetter and measuring machine
  • Zoller pilot 3.0 software version 1.10

Process of Presetting

Firstly, the ActiveEdge boring bar is placed on the presetter, inserts are replaced and the process can begin. The Zoller Tool Presetter and measuring machine performs a fully automatic measurement of the ActiveEdge tool, comparing the current cutting edges to the desired diameter.

If a compensation is required, the Zoller Presetter applies an integrated Rigibore signature function, which sends this compensation request directly to the ActiveEdge Interface. The ActiveEdge Interface sends this request to the ActiveEdge tool, and provides a wireless link between the Presetter and the ActiveEdge Tool

Once the Zoller Presetter has received confirmation that the ActiveEdge tool is set to nominal it performs an additional tolerance check before the data is written onto a tool ID chip or directly to the CNC machine. The tool is hereby ready to use.

Another feature of the Zoller »pilot 3.0« software is the possibility to easily adjust tools afterwards on the machine (e.g wear compensation) fully automatically via radio signal.



ActiveEdge can be successfully integrated with Zoller Presetter to create advantage through automation
ActiveEdge can be successfully integrated with Zoller Presetter to create advantage through automation.

Benefits of Automatic Setting

This section will now explore the benefits of partnering Zoller and ActiveEdge’s products.

-Reduced Operator Intervention- By allowing compensations to be made fully automatically the need for operator’s involvement is significantly reduced. This function successfully reduces the reliance on skilled operators to make adjustments manually, and releases staff members to participate in other shopfloor activities.

-Quality In Operation- Automation in setting allows guaranteed micron-precise changes to the ActiveEdge tool. This capability to adjust to nominal diameter means for an accurate operation achieving the desired tolerance requirements.

Process Efficiency- By creating a faster and more streamlined presetting process, cycle time in the operation is greatly reduced- cutting away the non-productive time in operation.

Standardization resulting in efficient serial production- Applying automation to set the bar leads to an accurate and repeatable process, which can be especially important when conducting high-volume operations.