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Cutting tool efficiency comes in stages

There is little argument when it comes to the natural capabilities of solid carbide as the core material of choice for the creation of exceptional performance cutting tools. Taking the basic physical properties of the carbide core and turning into an efficient method of machining metallic and non-metallic materials requires an in-depth knowledge of both the carbide and the raw material as well as extensive experience of grinding complex cutting surfaces and swarf management systems (flutes). Of course, for truly exceptional performance we must also consider the various enhanced coating options available to extend tool life, reduce coolant consumption and increase material removal rates.

As one of the leading innovators in this field Kyocera SGS states there are three distinct stages when it comes to achieving the very best when applying solid carbide cutting tools.

Bespoke Tooling

Bespoke Tooling

The first stage is known as ‘bespoke tooling’ and this is where process or customer-specific modifications are applied to standard cutting tools.

The changes could be as simple as a non-standard radius or chamfer preference size chosen by the customer. As you might expect the benefits and gains are important, but somewhat small as they often are at the first stage in any progressive improvement plan.

Special Tooling

Special tooling’ is the second stage. Generally, this is where cutting tools are produced specifically to suit the customers’ application requirements.

Advanced tool design and manufacturing processes are used to support the combination of cutting tool operations. For example, the individual tools and CNC operations required to drill, counter bore and finish ream a feature can be consolidated into a single tool.

This reduces the number of tool pockets needed in the machine’s carousel, and also keeps the non-cutting time to a minimum as the spindle stays in contact with the workpiece.

Efficiency gains are significant at the stage, typically above 80 per cent for the consolidated operations.

special tooling

Total Process Innovation

 

The final stage is holistic and it is where the most knowledgeable cutting tool specialist operate. Kyocera SGS call this Total Process Innovation, and it requires a team of experienced and capable engineers to look at the whole process, often from ‘outside the box’. Optimisation comes from detailed analysis of every element required, including the machine tool, fixture, toolholder and, of course, the cutting tool. The goals are to reduce time, both the set up and the machining cycle times, and improve quality and process reliability by making the whole sequence robust.

Total Process Innovation is usually driven by the customers’ requirements to meet difficult project challenges. These may be based on the materials being machined; tolerance, geometric form and surface finish required; cost savings as the result of process efficiency gains, or often a combination of all these factors. At this stage for Kyocera SGS it becomes a ‘turnkey partnership’ with the customer.

tool coating

HiPIMS Sputter Coating

 

So what is HiPIMS? This term stands for Hi Power Impulse Magnetron Sputter, Pretty confusing right? To put it simply HiPIMS technology allows us to create super smooth coatings, with superior adhesion, higher oxidization temps and improved wear resistance.

These coatings have relatively low compressive stress and the most beneficial characteristics of sputter coatings for cutting tools used for hard, high-speed and dry machining under elevated loads. Additionally, the development and improvement of materials will create ever new challenges for machining operations. In particular, aerospace materials such as titanium and high-temperature Superalloys that are common for power generation equipment require dense coatings with high thermal and oxidation stability.

Tool Remanufacture

Tool Remanufacture

Providing customers with an outstanding service is one of our values, therefore we offer a comprehensive regrinds package. This service guarantees that customers receive a tool that will generally deliver over 90% of the performance of a new tool for a fraction of the cost, which works towards impacting further our customers’ productivity.

Take advantage of our remanufacture service and do not risk damaging your parts or affecting your machining processes by using a tool that doesn’t meet our high and worldwide recognised quality standards.