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Machining For The Aerospace Industry

Machining for the Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is one of the most important driving factors for cutting tool development. Here are the recent tool developments to address the challenges in aerospace parts manufacturing. Article by Andrei Petrilin, ISCAR.

The aerospace industry is not only one of the largest consumers of cutting tools but also one of the most important driving factors for cutting tool development. The aerospace industry features continuous efforts aimed at improving aircraft component manufacturing efficiency, increasing flight safety, and reducing potential environmental damage.

To achieve these goals, the aerospace industry must constantly improve the design of aircraft engines and airframe structural elements, to increase the protection of the aircraft from the damaging action of such dangerous factors as lightening and icing. This, in turn, has resulted in a series of  industry demands, including the introduction of engineering materials that require new production technologies, developing appropriate machinery and cutting tools. The aircraft manufacturer has to deal with complex parts, which are produced from various materials with the use of different machining strategies. This is why the aerospace industry is considered as a powerful and leading force for progress in cutting tool development.

Many materials used for manufacturing aircraft components have poor machinability. Titanium with its impressive strength-to-weight ratio, high-temperature superalloys (HTSA) that do not lose their strength under high thermal load, and composites, are difficult-to-cut materials. In order to increase output rate and improve productivity, aerospace component manufacturers must use machine tools capable of implementing advanced machining operations. In such conditions, the role of cutting tools is significantly increased; however, cutting tools can represent the weakest link in the whole manufacturing system due to their low durability as a system element, which can decrease productivity. Customers from the aerospace sector expect higher levels of performance and reliability from cutting tools. Tool manufacturers now are being challenged and inspired, in terms of developing and integrating sometimes unconventional solutions into their products, to meet these expectations.

READ: Five Stars for Effective Chamfering

READ: ISCAR CTO Stresses On Productivity Improvement

Basic Materials

Figure 2: ISCAR’s F3S chipformer was designed specifically for finish turning high-temperature nickel-based alloys and exotic materials.

Most cutting tools continue to be manufactured from cemented carbide. Over recent years, ISCAR has introduced several carbide grades designed specifically for aerospace materials, including
IC 5820. The grade combines the advantages of a new submicron substrate, a progressive hard CVD coating, and a post-coating treatment to substantially increase impact strength and heat resistance. The inserts from this grade are intended mostly for milling titanium. Pinpointed wet cooling and especially high-pressure coolant (HPC) significantly improve grade performance.

Ceramics, another tool material, possess considerably higher hot hardness and chemical inertness than cemented carbides. This means that ceramics ensure much greater cutting speeds and eliminate diffusion wear. One of ISCAR’s recent developments, a family of solid ceramic endmills, is intended for machining HTSA. These endmills are made from SiAlON, a type of silicon-nitride-based ceramic comprising silicon (Si), aluminium (Al), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N). When compared with solid carbide tools, these endmills enable up to 50 times increase in cutting speed, which can drastically save machining hours.

For turning applications, the company expanded its line of indexable SiAlON inserts for machining HTSA materials. The new products (Figure 1) have already proven their effectiveness in turning aero engine parts from super alloys such as Waspaloy and different Inconel and Rene grades. In contrast to other silicon nitride ceramics, SiAlON possesses higher oxidation resistance but less toughness. Therefore, a key of a SiAlON insert reliability is additional edge preparation. ISCAR’s new TE edge geometry has been developed to increase tool life in heavy load conditions during rough operations and interrupted cuts.

Advanced Geometry

Figure 3: The recently launched modular drills for multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines combine the SUMOCHAM design with a FLEXFIT threaded connection.

Improving a cutting geometry is an important direction in the development of cutting tools. Cutting geometry is a subject of theoretical and experimental researches, and advances in science and technology have brought a new powerful instrument to aid in tool design: 3D computer modelling of chip formation. ISCAR’s R&D team actively uses modelling to find optimal cutting geometries and form the rake face of indexable inserts and exchangeable heads.

READ: Not A Small Challenge: Cutting Tools for Miniature Dental and Medical Parts

The F3S chipformer for the most popular ISO inserts, such as CNMG, WNMG and SNMG, was designed specifically for finish turning high-temperature nickel-based alloys and exotic materials (Figure 2). It ensures a smooth and easy cut with notable chip breaking results. The remarkable working capability of the designed cutting geometry is a direct result of chip flow modelling.

In hole making, applying modelling to the design process significantly contributed to creating a chip splitting geometry of SUMOCHAM exchangeable carbide heads for drilling holes with depth up to 12-hole diameters in hard-to-cut austenitic and duplex stainless steel.

Flexible Customisation

Figure 4: The need to increase productivity and boost metal removal rates for milling aluminium workpieces, especially large parts of aerospace structural components, has led machine tool builders to develop milling machines with a powerful main drive—up to 150 kW—with high spindle speeds of up to 33,000 rpm.

Aerospace products can vary immensely in material, dimensions, shape , complexity, and more. To make such a diverse range of products, the product manufacturer needs dozens of machine tools and technological processes. Not every standard cutting tool is optimal for performing certain machining operations with maximum productivity and, consequently, the aerospace industry is a leading consumer of customized tools.

READ: Addressing Temperature Effects In Turning

READ: High Speed Accurate Machining

A customer producing titanium parts might be interested in solutions comprising indexable shell mills and arbors from the standard line; while another customer producing similar parts might prefer special milling cutters with an integral body, for direct mounting in a machine spindle.

ISCAR developed the  MULTI-MASTER and SUMOCHAM families of rotating tools with exchangeable heads and different body configurations to ensure various tool assembly options that simplify customization and decrease the need for costly tailormade products.

A further example of simplified customisation can be found in ISCAR’s recently-launched modular drills for multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines. The drills combine the SUMOCHAM design with a FLEXFIT threaded connection (Figure 3). Multi-spindle and Swiss-type machines typically have a limited space for tooling, which means that the tools in operation need to be as short as possible to avoid collisions and facilitate easy set up. A wide range of FLEXFIT threaded adaptors and flatted shanks has been designed precisely to fit the drills and maximally shorten an overhang.

Responding to demands from the aerospace sector, the company also expanded the MULTI-MASTER family by introducing a new thread connection to increase the diameter range for the exchangeable endmill heads to 32 mm (1.25″).

Aluminium Machining

Although machining aluminium might appear to be an extremely simple process, effective cutting of aluminium actually represents a whole field of technology with its own laws and challenges.

The need to increase productivity and boost metal removal rates for milling aluminium workpieces, especially large parts of aerospace structural components, has led machine tool builders to develop milling machines with a powerful main drive—up to 150 kW—with high spindle speeds of up to 33,000 rpm. To meet this demand, ISCAR has expanded its family of 90° indexable milling cutters by introducing new tools carrying large-size inserts that enable up to 22 mm (.870″) depth of cut (Figure 4). The tools have been designed to eliminate insert radial displacement, which might occur due to high centrifugal forces during very high rotational speed. This concept facilitates reliable milling in a rotational speed range of up to 31,000 rpm.

In hole making, the company developed new inserts for drilling aluminium with indexable drills from the DR-TWIST drilling tool range. The inserts are peripherally ground and feature sharp cutting edges and polished rake face for light cut, preventing adhesion.

ISCAR’s cutting tool program for the aerospace sector is based on several principles: the complex needs of this industry, taking into consideration trends in metalworking, and the drive to strengthen partnerships with tool consumers. ISCAR believes that such a tri-pronged approach ensures the successful realization of innovative ideas for efficient machining of the difficult-to-cut materials that characterize this challenging and dynamic field.

 

Increase Your Productivity Through Knowledge

Connect to ISCAR WORLD is the virtual ‘one stop shop’ app that features all ISCAR’s online apps, interfaces, and product catalogues in a single space. Discover ISCAR WORLD and its added value in providing you a rich experience to review, compare, check, and select the tooling solutions that are right for your needs.

ISCAR WORLD is simple to use and can easily be downloaded for IOS and Android platforms from the online stores.

App Store (IOS)

Play Store (Android)

 

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ISCAR Launches Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys

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EOS Launches New P 810 Polymer Industrial 3D Printing Platform And HT-23 Material

The Metal Machining Versatility of Abrasive Waterjets

 

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Five Stars For Effective Chamfering

Five Stars for Effective Chamfering

Although seemingly simple, the design of effective chamfering tools needs to take into consideration various factors, including whether the chamfers are external or internal, breaking sharp edges and removing burrs, chamfers in holes, productivity, and versatility. Article by Andrei Petrilin, ISCAR.

Figure 1: MULTI MASTER HCD head.

Chamfering is perhaps the most common operation in metal cutting. It may be found practically in every machining process. Chamfers and, to a lesser degree, fillets feature on almost all external and internal corners of parts. Chamfers are simpler to manufacture than fillets, which explains why they prevail. We are so accustomed to the presence of chamfers at the edges of various products that sometimes we do not think about the importance of these relatively small sloped surfaces. They prevent hand injuries, make assembly easy, reduce stress concentration, and constitute necessary elements of a product design.

Traditionally, chamfering is considered as a simple operation. Usually, it is performed by different cutting tools, which are not very sophisticated. A straight-turning tool or a milling cutter featuring a 45-deg cutting edge angle or a drill with a 90-deg-point angle are typical representatives of such tools.

At the same time, the application field of rotating chamfering tools is not limited by typical operations but also includes deburring and bevelling, countersinking and undercutting, back chamfering in holes and along edges, undercutting and V-cutting, spot drilling and centre drilling. A rotating chamfering tool is extremely versatile and, in an ideal scenario, should be capable of performing all the mentioned machining operations effectively and efficiently.

However, various objective limitations, primarily dimensional, place serious obstacles in creating this perfect tool and the existing solutions tend to be far from ideal. Understanding the most preferable features of the tool from the customer’s point of view is critical for designing modern chamfering tools to overcome these challenges. Especially here, which seems so simple as to be sometimes disregarded, manufacturers look to cutting tool producers for a simple, productive, cost-effective, and versatile solution.

Such an approach resonates with ISCAR’s concept of advanced intelligent tools. Following this principle, the company has developed various rotating chamfering tools.

Figure 2: MULTI MASTER GRIT 28K-45D-6T10 ‎head

MULTI-MASTER, ISCAR’s family of assembled tools with exchangeable cutting heads, provides several options. The economical two-flute MM H heads and fully ground multi-flute MM E heads ensure effective chamfering and removing burrs, particularly when applied to cutting relatively small-size areas or workpieces. One of the heads, the multi-functional MM HCD (Figure 1), is suitable for efficient machining external and internal chamfers, burrs, centre- and spot-drilling, and countersinking. The secret of the head success is a cutting geometry that features combining negative and positive axial rakes. Together with a positive radial rake,  the design principle results in a strong cutting edge and excellent chip former to guarantee a smooth and light cut—even in hard machining conditions—and reliable chip flow.

The dovetail-shape heads (Figure 2), another MULTI-MASTER product, are available with 45 deg, 60 deg and 75 deg entering angles. They are capable of both generating dovetail groove or slots and perform back chamfering; the multi-tooth design of the heads ensures high productivity when performing this operation.

Drilling a hole with a chamfer by one single pass, for example in pre-thread drilling, is a preferable option for every manufacturer. The operation can be performed by applying a combined hole making tool that combines drilling and countersinking features (Figure 3).  However, an almost endless number of hole depths significantly limits tool capabilities and technically necessitates the manufacture of many special tool versions, each adapted to a specific hole size. This problem is overcome by mounting a chamfering ring in the body of a standard ISCAR CHAMDRILL drill, in the desired position according to the drill tip, to configure a tool that can perform drilling and chamfering in one operation.

Figure 3: DCNT combined drill

One tool design is intended especially for small manufacturers and maintenance departments. This is a versatile chamfering endmill with an adjustable cutting edge angle. The endmill features a rotatable cartridge that carries an indexable insert. Due to adjustability of the cutting edge, the tool enables milling chamfers with various angles and eliminates the need for different tools for different chamfer angles. The angle scale, engraved on the cartridge, makes adjusting simple and friendly. Nevertheless, the ‘cost’ of high versatility is a single chamfering edge—the multi-functional adjustable design provides only one cutting tooth.

ISCAR’s recently launched CHAMFMILL family of indexable milling cutters is designed for front and back chamfering (Figure 4), with applications including machining small outer and inner chamfers and removing burrs. The key element of the family is a pentagonal insert carried by the cutters. The star-like shape features 10 cutting edges: five for front and five for back chamfering.

Although seemingly simple, the design of effective chamfering tools needs to take into consideration various factors, including whether the chamfers are external or internal, breaking sharp edges and removing burrs, chamfers in holes, productivity, versatility, and more. To the question of which tool would be considered as a five-star product, one could answer that the best tool is the one that the customer has chosen according to their needs.

 

Increase Your Productivity Through Knowledge

Connect to ISCAR WORLD is the virtual ‘one stop shop’ app that features all ISCAR’s online apps, interfaces, and product catalogues in a single space. Discover ISCAR WORLD and its added value in providing you a rich experience to review, compare, check, and select the tooling solutions that are right for your needs.

ISCAR WORLD is simple to use and can easily be downloaded for IOS and Android platforms from the online stores.

App Store (IOS)

Play Store (Android)

 

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Looking Ahead Into 2020

Looking Ahead Into 2020

Market outlook 2020: The year 2019 has been quite a challenging year for the manufacturing industry, with geopolitical tensions impacting investment decisions and shifts in manufacturing centres, and trends such as e-mobility, Industry 4.0, and additive manufacturing creating industrial transformation. In this Outlook 2020 special, six industry leaders share their thoughts on what to expect in 2020, how the industry will develop, new opportunities and market drivers, and how to navigate through the challenges and issues from these dynamics.

HEXAGON MANUFACTURING INTELLIGENCE

Lim Boon Choon, President, Asia Pacific, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

The year 2019 was a time of economic uncertainty in global manufacturing. But the Asia Pacific region is well placed to capitalise on new opportunities in 2020, as increasing adoption of disruptive technologies shows organisations are facing market challenges by pursuing innovation-driven competitiveness. The growing recognition of the efficiency and operational excellence to be gained from digitised metrology offers long-term, sustainable investment and expansion in the Asia Pacific market.

The Growth of the Smart Factory

Increasingly connected enterprises will be a continuing trend throughout 2020 and beyond. The digital transformation of quality is a central part of this smart factory vision. Approaches to metrology data are maturing, and companies are focused on gaining actionable insights from real-time data. Growing demand for data analysis software is expected, and the adoption of platforms offering advanced big data and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) capabilities will enable far more predictive and proactive manufacturing.

Across the region, new business models will emerge with the prevalence of cloud computing, connecting quality systems to machines throughout end-to-end processes and across factories. Streamlining the analysis and communication of metrology data is essential to breakdown operational silos and drive growth by enhancing product customisation capabilities and throughput.

The trend of automating metrology operations will continue to grow with the increasing adoption of robotics, measuring cells, and automated part loading, enabling manufacturers to scale up their autonomous capabilities. And as manufacturers look to increase their application flexibility, demand for non-contact 3D scanning technology will increase.

Driving Additive Manufacturing Capabilities

Additive manufacturing, also known as industrial 3D printing, is still emerging in sectors such as medical, transportation and logistics, construction, aviation, automotive, and shipping. But according to research from Thyssenkrupp, 3D printing is expected to create $100 billion in value in the ASEAN region by 2025. Quality will play a central role in expanding this developing process, with technologies such as 3D scanning and computed tomography (CT) for measuring internal geometries. Additive manufacturing is a key area of strategic importance for Hexagon. The recent acquisition of CT software provider Volume Graphics adds advanced measurement capabilities to Hexagon’s already comprehensive solution portfolio in the additive space, which also includes software for generative design and additive process simulation.

The expected widespread adoption of smart technologies suggests 2020 will mark a major step forward on the industry 4.0 journey.

 

ISCAR

Meir Noybauer, Business Development Manager, ISCAR

Throughout the year 2020, the industry as we know it will shift towards smart factories with IoT (Internet of Things) cyber connectivity, and AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics technologies, that will most likely be developed in the main industrial hubs as part of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

3D Printing

Additive Manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing technologies will continue to grow and replace conventional methods for machining automotive, aerospace and energy parts, and facilitate new opportunities for complicated part designs that were previously unrealizable.

Clean Energy

The global search for clean energy and low-emission mobility is leaning towards newer and harder materials, which challenge ISCAR to develop advanced machining technologies, such as SiAlON ceramics and super alloy materials, while using high and ultra-high coolant pressure to boost productivities to higher levels never seen before.

Medical

The medical sector will be one of the emerging industry segments, with sophisticated implants using advanced materials and machining technologies jointly developed by ISCAR engineers and leading medical implant companies throughout Europe, the US and Eastern Asia.

Automotive

The automotive segment will continue to be a global industry leader, while transitioning from conventional combustion to small hybrid-high efficiency engines and electric e-drive cars and implementing other clean mobile technologies, specifically for electric charging infrastructures which have not yet been applied in many countries.

 

MARPOSS

Stefano Corradini, Group Director, Sales & Marketing, Marposs

The year 2020 appears to be one of the most challenging years of the last decade, both in the Asia Pacific and worldwide.

The combination of trade wars and their impact on several geographic areas and market sectors, social turmoil in various countries, and many technological changes as consequence of increased environmental concerns, may have a significant negative effect on the general economic situation.

Automotive Manufacturing Evolution

Being a significant part of Marposs business somehow related to the automotive sector, we see the evolution from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electromobility as one of the biggest driver of the economic uncertainty. We prefer, anyway, to see this as an opportunity to offer our existing and new customers an extended panel of solutions, which are moving from our traditional measuring sector to a broader concept including several type of testing equipment (mainly leak test using different type of tracer gas extended also to fuel cells), as well as inspection applications (non-destructive, vision, and similar), and control systems to monitor the whole manufacturing process of the core components of the NEVs/BEVs (new/battery energy vehicles), such as battery cells, modules and packs, battery trays, and electric drive units (EDU) including electric motors; and end of line testing.

We are willing to become a preferred partner of BEV manufacturers and suppliers as we have been for decades for traditional combustion engines, offering them our technical know-how, our innovation culture, and our worldwide organization for sales and after sales.

 

RENISHAW

Steve Bell, General Manager, ASEAN, Renishaw (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Smart manufacturing technologies increase visibility and transparency to manufacturing operations, allowing manufacturers to get the overall picture of their productivity and competitiveness, to make faster changes in response to market-based threats or opportunities. This requires a range of intelligent process control solutions throughout the factory, to ensure high standards of repeatability. The key is going digital—connecting physical manufacturing processes with the digital technology to make decisions about process improvement on the shop floor, or on mobile devices.

Flexible and Customised

Additive manufacturing plays a major role in the Industry 4.0 revolution, allowing manufacturers the flexibility to build highly customised parts. Renishaw’s additive manufacturing technologies continue to evolve, aiming to provide users the flexibility to use, change and manage different metal materials, enables users to adapt to meet market demand and configure processes to achieve optimal performance.

Focus on Automotive Industry

Ensuring businesses are equipped and ready to navigate the evolving automotive manufacturing landscape, Renishaw’s manufacturing solutions provide the speed, flexibility, and ease of use to help companies adapt their production capabilities for the evolving electric future. From multi-sensor rapid scanning of machined castings to material analysis of fuel cells, we will continue to support customers on the road from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric vehicles (EV).

 

SIEMENS DIGITAL INDUSTRIES SOFTWARE

Alex Teo, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Siemens Digital Industries Software

The maturity of manufacturing supply chains in Asia has undoubtedly exerted pressure on the metalworking industry to be more competitive than ever. Demand for steel in Asia is expected to rise by an average of 1.5 percent in 2020, and will likely see effects such as rising operating costs necessitating the move for businesses to look for technology driven solutions to relieve some of these operational strains. In particular, Southeast Asia is an exciting region for growth, with markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore making strides in realising their Industry 4.0 visions through digitalisation. In 2020, we also launched a Technical Competency Hub in Penang, the first in the region, which serves as a platform for Siemens to help companies, especially SMEs, begin their digitalisation journey in order to meet the needs of the new economy.

Digital Twins

Using digital twins, manufacturers will be able to explore more economical and structurally enhanced materials. By leveraging physics-based simulations, supported by data analytics in an entirely virtual environment, the expansion of production capacity in Asia can be further encouraged. This means that manufacturers can optimise their choice of materials by testing and analysing combinations of different metals and alloys digitally before using additive manufacturing technologies such as powder bed fusion to produce these components faster and more reliably, reducing the need and cost for real prototypes.

Additive Manufacturing

Siemens’ end-to-end additive manufacturing solutions cover CAD/CAM/CAE models that enable product design and simulation of production processes and planning, preparation, and verification of the print jobs. Simulation and 3D modelling allow for advanced complexity of design and quality, ultimately resulting in fewer distortions and errors. The goal is flawless execution when parts come out of a factory, ready for certification. The full additive challenge covers the entire value chain: product design, production process, and performance.

Using customisable solutions for pressing, transporting, positioning and press safety, in combination with simulation for the entire spectrum of metal forming, businesses can proactively advance with components working seamlessly together. This collaboration increases the cost-effectiveness of all production processes in all sectors, reducing energy costs.

 

VDW (GERMAN MACHINE TOOL MANUFACTURERS’ ASSOCIATION)

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director, VDW (German Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association)

The economic environment for the international and German machine tool industry remains difficult now and in the coming months. After eight years of high economic activity in the international machine tool industry, global demand for capital goods has calmed considerably after the fourth quarter of 2018. The reasons for this have already been identified and discussed many times. The economic distortions, in particular the trade war between the United States and China, are boosting the already sharp drop in demand. The increasing protectionism at all levels is affecting world trade and international supply chains. Finally, the structural shift in the automotive industry towards new drive technologies is causing further problems. It is still questionable at what pace and extent development is progressing and which technologies will be used in the future. The entire scenario is unsettling the industry worldwide. Companies have become very cautious, and they are shifting their investments.

Because of these, incoming orders in the international machine tool industry fell sharply in all regions in the first nine months of 2019. According to initial estimates, orders worldwide fell by 21 percent. Asia declined by 24 percent, while Europe lost 19 percent of its orders. Contracts in America, which is particularly the United States, held up best, if we can say so. They went down 18 percent in comparison to the previous year. In Germany, with its high dependence on exports, incoming orders fell by 23 percent by October in 2019, the most recent available data. This applies equally to domestic and foreign orders.

Markets to Stabilise

Oxford Economics, the VDW’s forecasting partner, expects this trend to stabilise in the best case scenario for 2020. At 2.5 percent, global economic output is expected to be slightly below the increase in 2019. With 2.1 percent, industrial production will grow more strongly than the current year. This also applies to investments. Stabilisation is also expected for the whole German economy. Industrial production, which is expected to shrink in 2019, is likely to turn slightly up again. This means that incoming orders in the machine tool industry will probably go through the bottom in the course of the coming year.

Machine tool consumption, a late indicator, will remain negative in all regions. Asia is the exception. Manufacturers can draw new hope from the fact that the election results in Great Britain have now provided certainty about the island’s exit date from the European Union. Then, the negotiations on a tariff agreement can begin and hopefully lead to a good end. There is also movement in the trade conflict between the United States and China. Should a consensus be reached, the world economy will reach new momentum as well.

 

Check these articles out:

Market Outlook 2019: An Insight Into This Year’s Industry Megatrends

RS Components Discuses Metalworking Industry Trends

Driving For A Better Tomorrow Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

Hexagon Releases Complete Solution For Laser Scanning On The Machine Tool

Siemens Addresses Overheating Challenges in Additive Manufacturing

Hypertherm Implements Strategies to Enhance Preventive Maintenance Program In Asia

Industry 4.0: Is The Italian Machine Tool Industry Ready For The Challenge

 

 

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ISCAR CTO Stresses On Productivity Improvement

ISCAR CTO Stresses On Productivity Improvement

Erich Timons, CTO of ISCAR Germany GmbH, speaks with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about tooling trends and challenges, and how the industry should move forward by improving productivity. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Erich Timons

From its humble establishment in 1952, ISCAR has grown to become one of the biggest tool manufacturers in the world, operating in more than 50 countries and having over 50 global subsidiaries. Based in Israel, the company—a part of the IMC Group—provides innovative cutting tools for the metalworking industry.

At the recent EMO Hannover 2019 event in Germany, Erich Timons, CTO of ISCAR Germany GmbH, the second biggest subsidiary of ISCAR worldwide, speaks with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about tooling trends and challenges, and how ISCAR is helping their customers improve their productivity.

What are the biggest tooling challenges for your customers?

Erich Timons (ET): Our customers are always asking for more productivity; how they can produce as quickly as possible. They are also concerned with how they can make their manufacturing process safer and more efficient.

Where does ISCAR come in? How are you helping your customers in their manufacturing challenges?

ET: What we do is analyse the company’s processes. What we like to do is not just to look for one tool, but to build up a new and complete process—finding out how we can save time by increasing the speed or the feed, or using a combination of tools, to reduce the number of total tools and to make the production faster.

What industries are driving the tool market right now?

ET: Germany is driven by the automotive industry. Overall in Europe, I think it is nearly the same. Fifty percent of our total revenue comes from the automotive industry, so we are highly driven by the changes in the automotive sector. Having said that, we see that automotive customers are going to be even more flexible because they must deal with a wide variety of engines right now, unlike in the past where we had only one kind. Some automotive OEMs in Germany even have four of five different engines that they are producing in one line—therefore our tooling needs to be more flexible than in the past.

Asia is quite similar to Europe. Looking at markets like China, for example, you will see a big automotive industry. Volkswagen, for instance, had opened a lot of subsidiaries and a lot of plants in China; and we are working really closely with them. I think this is one of our biggest advantages, because we are in close contact with our partners in China.

Meanwhile, Thailand is a big and growing market; the same as Vietnam, which is also growing. We also see the Philippines as a potential market. We are really strong in South Korea, not only with ISCAR but another IMC partner, Taegutec, where we have a big production unit there. Overall, we are supporting all of Asia from Germany.

ISCAR CTO Stresses On Productivity ImprovementAs much as you want the tools to be long lasting, you still have to sell a lot of it. how do you manage that compromise, ensuring tool life but selling more?

ET: Sometimes, what I tell the customer is that we are providing a long tool life, but at the end, you have to break a tool to make some money. Besides productivity on the machine, we also see a big change in the tool setup. This is a big issue in a lot of companies—they have to invest a lot of time in making the tool setup. The reason for this is to not only to see what happens inside the machine, but also to ensure that the customer can make changes easily with the inserts or the drill, for example. So, it is really important to make the setup not too complicated.

What are some of your product highlights at the show?

ET: ISCAR is well known in parting because our roots come from this application. We have a brand-new tool here, the MULTIFGRIP. Parting is still the bottleneck in the production, so with this tool, the customer can go each feed they want in parting. With this tool, we can also measure the forces and the vibration, you can connect it to the machine, and you can adapt the influence of the feed and the speed to have a production without any vibration at all.

What is your strategy towards Industry 4.0?

ET: There are different ways to support Industry 4.0. First of all, we have an app, ISCAR World, which includes many features. For example, you can go to the electronic catalogue and build a 3D model of the assembly of the tools to use in your CAM system. You can have a recommendation on the cutting speed and feed for your application by using the ITA (ISCAR Tool Advisor). With Industry 4.0, it is not only the hardware but also the digital twin of the tool. That is one point.

Another Tool is our MATRIX System. MATRIX is not only a vending machine. Its connected to any ERP System at our customer and help to balance inventories to an optimum ratio.

With these solutions including intelligent tools we support our customers in all areas of their production.

Industry 4.0 is not one feature—it is everything working together, from the beginning until the end of production.

Latest technologies from ISCAR on display at EMO Hannover 2019.What is your outlook for the metalworking industry over the next year?

ET: In the automotive side, we will see a lot of changes within five to 10 years because everybody is talking about e-mobility. But I think we also have to look on new materials, as well as develop tools that are more user friendly. We also have to look for production and productivity improvement, as well as flexibility. There are a lot of things we have to cover. It will also be very interesting to see the development of Industry 4.0. Overall, it will be a challenge.

Do you have any final comments?

ET: I am very excited to see what will happen at EMO because we’ve seen a slowdown in the industry. Everybody is looking at the negative trends, but I am looking to the positive side, because I believe the metalworking industry is not going to die. Don’t look at the bad side. I think this is the year of positive things, because now, the customers have time to evaluate their production. Now is the time to be really agile, to be fast and flexible, and to look how to improve.

Don’t wait for the industry to get better; now is the time to start improving your production.

 

Check these articles out:

Bosch Rexroth, Siemens Joins Sodick, PBA Group in JID’s Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem

Making Use of Big Data

Sandvik Coromant To Showcase Digital Solutions For Machining Processes At EMO 2019

ITAP 2019: Stay Ahead, Stay Relevant

Marposs Supports The DIGIMAN Project

 

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High Speed Accurate Machining

High Speed Accurate Machining

High cutting speed is a natural attribute of high-speed machining. Understandably, a tool should be also precise; it is required not only by machining accuracy but also by the mechanics of a fast-rotating body. However, in the last years, the issue of tool accuracy has become an additional point to consider. What is the reason? Why is high speed machining penetrating more and more into rough processing? How do cutting tool producers formulate their solutions to meet these new industrial demands? Read on to find out. Article by Andrei Petrilin.

The metalworking industry adopted high speed machining (HSM) in the 1990s. This method was engrained in various industrial branches and caused serious changes in technology and machine tool engineering. The well-known advantages of HSM are repeatedly cited in various books, guides, magazines and other sources of information. Recently, there has been a significant interest in accurate HSM and, more specifically, in precision and other characteristics of cutting tools and toolholding devices intended for this purpose.

Accurate (or precise) machining means maintaining repeatable strict tolerances during cutting operations. The level of such a “strictness” depends on the machining method, for example: milling, turning, or drilling, and the type of operation: rough, semi-finish or finish. Technological advances, especially in producing workpieces that are preformed half-finished products, place special emphasis on accurate HSM.

Precise casting, metal injection molding and 3D printing ensure that the production of workpieces is very close to the final shape of a part. As a result, the need to remove a high volume of material by means of rough cutting decreases. In die and mold making, utilizing HSM as a means of reducing production time has brought a real alternative to traditional methods. In the aerospace industry, machining difficult-to-cut heat-resisting superalloys by ceramic tools at extremely high cutting speeds, in combination with a small stock to be removed, is now common. As for manufacturing aluminum components, here HSM has simply become a daily reality.

Machining operations with low stocks per pass have distinct advantages such as lower power consumption, less heat generation, and better surface finish. Accurate HSM, which features low stock removal, is a logical extension of producing workpieces by precise modern methods. Usually, HSM relates to cutting by rotating tools—mainly milling cutters. In many cases, when a part featuring complex profiles and slots is produced from a solid material, HSM provides productive low-loaded roughing by trochoidal milling. According to this technique, a rapidly rotating milling cutter moves along a complicated trajectory and slices thin but wide layers of the material. This results in pre-shaping the part very close to a final form. The remaining small allowance is removed in the next stage: high speed finish milling. Producing blisks (bladed discs) and impellers is a typical example of the mentioned process that may be defined by the rather oxymoronic term: “accurate roughing”.

Successful HSM relies on a key element chain comprising a machine tool, an effective machining strategy, proper toolholding, and a cutting tool. The low-power multi-axis machine tools designed especially for HSM feature high-torque characteristics, high-velocity drives, effective controllers and intelligent software. They are capable of realizing various machining strategies which were developed for ensuring maximum efficiency. Today, metalworking has in its arsenal highly reliable tool holders designed for secure tool mounting in an expanded range of rotational speeds. Under such conditions the cutting tool—the element that directly contacts a machined part during a cutting operation – can be a limiting factor in maximizing the potential of advanced machine tools. This element is much smaller and less complicated compared to machine tools and holders. Each improvement in the last chain element—the cutting tool—may be crucial. The cutting tool industry is far from stagnation; the branch is on the constant move in developing new solutions to meet the demands of changing metalworking technologies.

Time has not radically changed principal tool requirements: it is expected to be more durable and more efficient when cutting at considerably increased cutting speeds and feed rates. Lowering machining allowances leads to additional tightening tool accuracy parameters. An ideal product is a precise and high-balanced tool that ensures high performance in combination with excellent tool life when cutting at high rotational speeds. ISCAR, staying true to its motto “Where innovation never stops!”, has developed a range of solutions that give new momentum to HSM concepts, and many proposed designs relate to the field of solid carbide tools.

More Flutes, Less Vibrations

Multi-flute solid carbide endmills from ISCAR’s “CHATTERFREE” line were developed especially for vibration-free HSM operations. Their design features a varying helix angle, variable tooth pitch and a specially shaped chip gullet, intended for applications such as semi-finish and finish high speed milling, as well as roughing by trochoidal technique. The CHATTERFREE range comprises several endmill families for different applications. Seven-flute endmills, produced from an ultra-fine carbide grade, are designed for machining hard materials and finish operations. General-purpose multi-flute endmills incorporate an interesting concept, according to which the number of teeth is equal to a nominal diameter in mm.  Seven- and nine-flute endmills were designed originally for trochoidal milling complex parts from titanium and today they form the Ti-TURBO family—this name reflects a real “turbo” metal removal rate when milling titanium.

The latest step of the line development integrates chip-splitting grooves (Figure 1) in the endmill design. The new geometry has an unusual appearance because HSM forms thin chips that do not appear to need an additional chip-splitting action. However, the grooves increase vibration resistance and reduce cutting forces, significantly improving trochoidal milling and machining performance at high overhangs. In trochoidal milling, the produced chips are thin but wide. Splitting the chips into narrower segments contributes to better chip evacuation and surface finish, which increases accuracy and effectiveness in rough HSM.

Ceramics that Cut Fast

Milling difficult-to-cut high temperature superalloys (HTSA) by carbide tools necessitates low cutting speeds, normally 20-40 m/min (65-130 sfm). HSM with a small radial engagement, when the width of cut is up to 10 percent of a mill diameter, usually features cutting speeds of 70-80 m/min (230-265 sfm). The metalworking industry is always seeking ways to increase productivity when manufacturing parts from HTSA; and low cutting speed is one of the existing barriers to this goal. A solution may be found in applying cutting ceramics as a tool material for HSM. ISCAR has developed solid ceramic endmills that enable a dramatic increase in cutting speeds of up to 1000 m/min (3280 sfm) when compared to tools made from cemented carbide. The new endmills have a diameter range of 6-20 mm (0.236-0.787 in) and are designed with 3 or 7 flutes. (Fig. 2). Introducing the ceramic endmills in rough milling operations has proved to decrease machining time drastically and to enable fast pre-shaping of a part for further finish operations.

High Speed Master

Long-reach high speed milling operations require tools with long overall length. A solid tool concept is not an economically attractive option. An assembled cutter comprising a body carrying a carbide cutting head is a solution that makes economic sense. Such an approach is at the core of ISCAR MULTI-MASTER—a family of tools with exchangeable heads. A rich variety of tool bodies, heads, extensions and reducers ensures various tool configurations and fundamentally reduces a need for special tools. An important advantage of the MULTI-MASTER line is its no setup time principle, whereby replacing a worn head does not require additional tool measuring or appropriate CNC program adjustment—the insert can be replaced without withdrawing the tool from a machine spindle.

High assembly rigidity, a balanced structure and high geometrical accuracy make MULTI-MASTER suitable for HSM. A typical example of this application is finish milling 3D surfaces of parts produced from hard materials. ISCAR’s “MM HBR” bulb-shape head (Figure 3), featuring a 240°-spherical cutting edge, center cutting ability and strict ISO h7 grade tolerance limits for the head diameter, was developed for this type of operation.

Reliable Toolholding

HSM is impossible to perform without the use of reliable, high-grade balanced and accurate tool holders. Thermal shrink chucks are one of the most popular types of tool holder. ISCAR’s line of SHRINKIN chucks includes the X-STREAM family of thermal chucks, featuring coolant jet channels along the shank bore. The new design provides coolant flow directed to the tool’s cutting edges. In the high-speed milling of aerospace components (the aforementioned blisks, for example), a well-directed coolant significantly enhances performance. For deep pockets and cavities, the new chucks with pin-pointed coolant flow have resulted in preventing re-cutting, thereby improving chip evacuation and increasing tool life.

A wet coolant may be a means for upgrading machine tools from low velocity to high speed. SPINJET, a family of compact coolant-driven high-speed spindles (Figure 4), is capable of maintaining rotational velocity up to 55,000rpm and facilitate high speed machining even on the low-speed machines that are still so common in the shop floor.

Changing technologies require new machining concepts: more productive, more economical, more sustainable. High speed machining has already proved itself as a method that meets today’s industrial needs. The progress in producing workpieces by non-machining processes brings in focus low-power high speed roughing. Accordingly, cutting tool manufacturers already feel the growing demands for appropriate products. It is a definite trend, which, no doubt, should be considered.

 

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Addressing Temperature Effects In Turning

Addressing Temperature Effects In Turning

One of the most serious enemies of carbide inserts is the high temperature of the materials that results from the machining process. Here’s how high temperatures in machining are being addressed through the latest insert technologies. Article by ISCAR.

Cooling is essential to the machining world, where appropriate cooling can significantly increase insert life and reduce manufacturing costs, due to the changes in chip shape and the resulting temperature during the machining process.

In the last few years, the concept and implementation of cooling solutions for cutting tools has enjoyed a surge of popularity and enthusiasm as if it had never existed before. CNC machine manufacturers throughout the world have invested time and resources to develop solutions that can supply coolant at high pressures and today all new machines are supplied with a high-pressure coolant option.

Manufacturers from industries such as aerospace, automotive, and large part production appreciate the immense advantage of supplying coolant directly to the cutting edge and are only ordering machines for milling centers or turning centers with high pressure coolant capabilities—minimum 70 bar and up to 300 bar. Mass production manufacturers are also benefiting from the integration of ISCAR’s JETCUT tools into their processes.

One of the most serious enemies of carbide inserts is the high temperature of the materials that results from the machining process. Temperatures vary, depending both on the properties of the metal that is being machined and on environmental work conditions. The average temperature during machining can range from 300 deg C to 900 deg C.

As the temperature rises, the lifespan of the inserts is shortened. Increased wear can damage workpiece quality and negatively affect machining properties: the heat generated between the insert and the workpiece can cause a change in chip shape and plastic deformation of the insert.

High pressure starting at 70 bar can be effective in breaking chips and, in cases when it is difficult to break chips and the chip formed is long and curled, coolant applied correctly and under high pressure can solve this problem.

Judicious application of coolant can prevent the workpiece materials from deformation and can act as protectant for the machine. In many cases, effective and efficient cooling can actually mean the difference between profit and loss.

Cooling Technology

Cooling has a major influence on machining exotic materials such as Inconel, Titanium, Hastelloy, Monel and other alloys, which are all used in the aerospace industry. These workpiece materials are difficult to machine as they have a very high nickel level and possess a tendency to stick to cutter edges due to their elastic, sticky and ductile properties – which is one of the reasons that parts for the aerospace industry are extremely expensive. Machining these types of materials without coolant is almost impossible, as the high temperatures and stickiness cause instantaneous wear and premature failure for carbide inserts.

In addition to reducing temperatures for exotic metals, the use of coolant creates a shielded area between the insert and the workpiece material, so preventing material from sticking to the cutting edge – which is a major factor in premature failure for inserts.

In groove turn operations, it is particularly important to select the right grade for chip breaking. An incorrect choice of grade or chip breaker can spell disaster for the manufacturer. In addition, cooling has a significant effect on chip breaking effectiveness and correct coolant application can mean the difference between success and failure.

After researching and studying the influence of coolant on its inserts, ISCAR applied the scientific knowledge acquired to the successful implementation of new and groundbreaking cooling technologies in turning operations. The company developed and integrated external and internal tools to deliver coolant directly to the cutting edge, including the JETCUT range. This has succeeded in increasing tool lifespan and productivity and, even at low pressures such as 10 or 20 bar, the advantages of directing coolant flow straight at the cutting edge can be seen in the reduction of temperature during machining.

Manufacturers engaging in high volume machining have noted a substantial increase in tool life and productivity after integrating JETCUT tools to pinpoint coolant directly to the cutting zone. This is because lowering the temperature in this way facilitates longer tool life, increasing cutting conditions such as speed and feed.

Manufacturers who work with problematic exotic materials such as Inconel, titanium and stainless steels have also managed to achieve higher productivity by incorporating JETCUT tools. Pinpointing high pressure coolant straight onto the cutting zone prevents a sticky edge, consequently extending tool life.

In response to the growing demands of many industry sectors, ISCAR expanded its jet high pressure line by adding turning tools fitted with the JET-R-TURN hollow rigid clamp, which also acts as a coolant nozzle. Until now, ISCAR’s ISOTURN range of tools featuring a jet high pressure cooling option were designed with a lever clamping mechanism, as an upper clamp would obstruct the coolant jet from reaching the cutting edge.
The new design enables jet high pressure coolant to reach the cutting edge without any obstacles.

ISCAR offers tools with JET-R-TURN Rigid Clamp mechanism for the most popular standard CNMG, WNMG and DNMG insert geometries. It features strong and reliable clamping mechanism, which prolongs tool life; directs the coolant jet directed to the cutting edge; and has excellent corner location repeatability and performance in heavy cut machining.

The new external tools feature three coolant connection options: rear threaded inlet, bottom threaded inlet, and bottom inlet for adjustable shank overhang, as in ISCAR’s JHP-MC tools.

All external tools are equipped also with a frontal bottom coolant outlet directed to the insert flank, which enhances the cooling effect. The through-tool coolant provides improved tool life, chip control and productivity advantages when high pressure coolant is induced. In addition, the 10–15 bar standard pressure provides better performance when compared to external cooling results.

Every Second Counts

What is a second in our life? Every second can be multiplied and translated to millions of seconds when considering mass production of standard parts. Saving a single second times a million parts is equivalent to a whole working month, which represents a major savings and is the dream of every mass production manufacturer.

And ISCAR’s wide range of JETCUT tools for a variety of applications, from turning and grooving to parting, helps manufacturers achieve this, and more.

 

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Iscar F3S Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys And Exotic Materials

Iscar F3S Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys And Exotic Materials

Iscar F3S Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys And Exotic Materials Intended mainly for aerospace industries as well as for the oil & gas market, the new efficient chip breaker for finishing operations is designed for working with unique and tough to machine nickel based alloys (Inconel, Waspaloy, etc.), as well as other exotic materials such as titanium based alloys.

The new F3S chipformer has a remarkable positive rake angle to ensure a smooth and easy cut, with significant reduction in cutting forces and notable chip breaking results.

The F3S chipformer has been designed with geometric features to improve tool life, with a reinforced cutting edge at the area where VG (notch wear) wear tends to occur when machining superalloys and exotic materials, which causes poor surface finish and risk of edge breakage.

The chipformer is available on the most popular inserts – CNMG, WNMG and SNMG – in two main grades, IC806 and IC804, and will be available in the future also on VNMG, DNMG, and TNMG inserts.

 

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ISCAR Launches Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys

ISCAR Launches Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys

Intended mainly for aerospace industries as well as for the oil and gas market, the F3S chipformer—the new efficient chip breaker from Iscar—is designed for working with unique and tough-to-machine nickel-based alloys, such as Inconel, Waspaloy, etc., as well as other exotic materials such as titanium-based alloys.

The new F3S chipformer from Iscar has a positive rake angle to ensure a smooth and easy cut, with significant reduction in cutting forces and notable chip breaking results. The F3S chipformer has been designed with geometric features to improve tool life, with a reinforced cutting edge at the area where VG (notch wear) wear tends to occur when machining superalloys and exotic materials, which causes poor surface finish and risk of edge breakage.

The chipformer is available on the most popular inserts – CNMG, WNMG and SNMG – in two main grades, IC806 and IC804, and will be available in the future also on VNMG, DNMG, and TNMG inserts.

 

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Not A Small Challenge: Cutting Tools For Miniature Dental And Medical Parts

Not A Small Challenge: Cutting Tools for Miniature Dental and Medical Parts

Successful development of innovative and dynamic parts in today’s miniature dental and medical components industry presents a formidable and equally dynamic challenge to cutting tool manufacturers. Article by ISCAR.

Successful development of innovative and dynamic parts in today’s miniature dental and medical components industry presents a formidable and equally dynamic challenge to cutting tool manufacturers.

The fast-growing field is driven by enterprising orthopaedic surgeons and dental professionals together with medical screw and implant companies, who work in close cooperation with  computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software developers and dedicated machine and tool manufacturers to transform their inventions into parts that are revolutionizing medical and dental procedures. Each new component demands correspondingly advanced tools and geometries to create the new and complex shapes, and to ensure extreme precision and consistently excellent surfaces.

The materials used for producing medical screws and implants are titanium superalloys, although stainless steel hard materials are used when a special ratio of depth of cut to chip thickness is required. These materials are gummy and cause built-up edge (BUE), which tends to wear down edge sharpness, while the high temperatures generated during chip breaking shorten tool life and damage surface quality.

ISCAR, a manufacturer of cutting tools for metalworking, invested time and resources to develop optimal machining solutions for the medical sector, applying unique geometries, tools, and grades. Utilizing CAD/CAM systems to create custom tool assemblies according to the ISO 13399 standard, ISCAR developed cutting tools for machining miniature medical parts—specifically dental screws and four components for hip joint replacement implants: femoral head, acetabular shell, femoral stem, and bone plate.

Dental Screws

ISCAR provides dedicated cutting tools for each of the main operations involved in machining dental screws. The company developed two options for rough OD (outer dimension) turning. The SwissCut compact tool is designed for Swiss-type automatics and CNC lathes, and enables reduced setup time and easy indexing without having to remove the toolholder from the machine, while the inserts are equipped with chip deflectors designed specifically for machining small parts. The second option features SwissTurn toolholders, with a unique clamping mechanism to optimize insert clamping and replacement on Swiss-type machines, and JETCUT high pressure coolant tools. SwissCut tools are used for the turn threading operation.

CHATTERFREE endmills are utilized for the slot milling stage to maximize stock removal rate, eliminate vibration and reduce cycle time. The unique ground geometry provides excellent surface and tool life, while machining at high material removal rates.

PENTACUT parting and grooving inserts perform the cut-off operations. With five cutting edges and very rigid insert clamping, PENTACUT is a stronger insert for higher machining parameters particularly on soft materials, parting of tubes, small and thin-walled parts.

SwissCut tools are used in the face and OD turning (screw head turning) operation, while the drilling operation is performed by SOLIDDRILL solid carbide drills with 3xD and 5xD drilling depths and right-hand cut. The drills feature coolant holes.

The thread milling operation features SOLIDTHREAD thread mills, whose short three-tooth cutting zone with three flutes and released neck between the cutting zone and the shank enable precise profiles and high performance. The extremely short profile exerts a low force which minimizes tool bending, facilitating parallel and high thread precision for the entire length. The solid carbide SolidMill endmills perform the key head milling operation.

Hip Joint Replacement

Complex operations are involved in machining components for hip joint replacement, which demand high accuracy, pristine surface quality, and absolute reliability. ISCAR provides products for each operation to maximize their precision and efficiency.

Femoral Head

The machining required for a femoral head involves rough turning or rough grooving, semi-finish profile turning, rough drilling, semi-finish milling, semi-finish internal turning, internal grooving (undercut), cut-off, rough turning, and semi-finish turning.

The ISOTURN turning tools may be used for rough turning. The ISO standard tools perform most of the industry’s chip removal in applications ranging from finishing to roughing. Offered in all standard geometries, the trigon (semi-triangular) turning inserts for axial and face turning features six 80° corner cutting edges. For profile machining, ISCAR provides intricate and precise V-LOCK V-shaped special profile grooving inserts for the range of 10–36mm.

SUMOCHAM drilling tools perform the rough drilling operation, offering fast metal removal and economical indexing with no setup time. SUMOCHAM integrates a clamping system that enables improved productivity output rates and a shank designed with twisted nozzles, and a durable and stable body.

The CHATTERFREE 4-flute endmills are utilized for the semi-finish milling operation. CHAMGROOVE internal grooving inserts are applied for semi-finish grooving. The inserts possess extremely small bore diameters starting at just 8mm and incorporate internal coolant.

Semi-finish internal turning is performed by ISOTURN inserts with SWISSTURN toolholders, while the cut-off operation uses DO-GRIP twisted double-sided parting inserts which feature double-ended twisted geometry for no depth of cut limitation.

For rough turning, the SWISSTURN ISO standard insert range with small shank sizes is used. Also available for this operation are standard geometry inserts with precision ground cutting-edges and small radii for manufacturing small and thin parts. The semi-finish turning operation is performed by using CUT-GRIP inserts.

Acetabular Shell

Machining of the acetabular shell component consists of rough internal turning, finish profile milling, shouldering, upper and bottom chamfering, drilling, thread milling, external rough turning, and external grooving operations.

HELI-GRIP double-ended inserts are used for the rough internal turning operation, as the twisted design allows them to groove deeper than the insert length. Internal finish milling is performed by SolidMill 3-flute, 30 deg helix short solid carbide ball nose endmills. SolidMill endmills with 4 flutes, 38° helix perform the finish shouldering operations, as well as the special-shaped endmill which performs the upper and bottom chamfering operations that follow the drilling stage. The SOLIDDRILL solid carbide drills are used for the drilling operation.

Thread milling is performed by SolidMill solid carbide internal threading endmills, which integrate coolant holes for ISO thread profiles. ISO standard inserts with SwissTurn toolholders are used for rough turning, and external grooving is performed with CUT-GRIP precision inserts.

SolidMill endmills with four flutes, 38° helix and SolidMill three flute, 30° helix short solid carbide ball nose endmills perform the final milling operations.

Femoral Stem

Machining the femoral stem involves slotting, spot milling, drilling, chamfer milling, turning, face and profile milling operations.

MULTI-MASTER endmills with indexable solid carbide heads in the diameter range of 12.7–25mm are used for the slotting operation. Spot milling is performed by means of SolidMill endmills with four flutes, 38° helix and variable pitch for chatter dampening with 3xD relieved necks. The drilling operation uses SOLIDDRILL solid carbide drills, while chamfer milling is performed using MULTI-MASTER endmills with indexable solid carbide heads. ISO standard geometry inserts with precision ground cutting edges are used with SWISSTURN toolholders for the turning operation.

SolidMill three-flute, 30 deg helix short solid carbide ball nose endmills are employed for the profile milling operation, and SolidMill endmills with four flutes, 38 deg helix and variable pitch for chatter dampening with 3xD relieved necks are utilized for face milling.

Bone Plate

The machining required to manufacture a bone plate involves rough and finish milling, shouldering, drilling, and mill threading. For rough milling, the FINISHRED endmill geometries allow the tool to perform roughing and finishing operations at the same time. The result is the ability to apply roughing machining conditions, while obtaining excellent surface finish. MULTI-MASTER interchangeable solid carbide tapered heads are applied to the finish milling operation, whereby the curved surfaces can be machined by tilting the tool and applying a large corner radius at small cutting depths. Shouldering is performed with CHATTERFREE endmills, which enable high material removal rates, eliminate vibration, and reduce cycle time.

For the final milling stage, MULTI-MASTER four flute, 30 deg helix short solid carbide ball nose endmills in the 5–25mm range are employed, while SOLIDDRILL solid carbide drills are used to ensure stable and accurate drilling. SOLIDTHREAD 55 deg or 60 deg profile solid carbide taper thread mills are used for the mill threading operation.

Grades

Grades specifically designed for machining applications on stainless steel and super alloys such as IC900, IC907, IC806, IC908, IC328, and IC928 are ideal for milling and turning titanium and nickel-based alloys, such as Nitinol, commonly found in medical components. These grades are available for ISCAR standard tools with specially designed positive and sharp edged chipformers.

It is no small challenge to manufacture miniature parts for dental and medical devices but ISCAR has succeeded in developing highly effective cutting tools for this field that adhere to the stringent standards of quality and precision essential for medical industry applications.

 

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Round Tool Concepts: Indexable, Solid Or Both

Round Tool Concepts: Indexable, Solid or Both

Indexable or solid—which round tool concept is better? As in many subjects of technology, there is no absolute answer to this question. However, a definite answer does exist if the advantages and disadvantages of both concepts are considered according to specific conditions.

An assembled tool carrying removable indexable inserts, a concept that has become common in industry since the 1960’s, requires cutting capabilities only from one of its components—the insert. The cutter body acts as a holder for inserts of a specific shape produced from different hard-to-machine tool materials (for example, various cemented carbide grades, cubic boron nitride or CBN, cermet, etc.), while the body itself is made mainly from steel.

The inserts can differ in their chip forming surface, to generate the necessary cutting geometry. Clamping the insert, which features the geometry and material suitable for cutting the workpiece, in the body results in an optimal cutting tool for the workpiece. The insert possesses several cutting edges. If one edge is worn, it is simply replaced by indexing the insert by means of rotation or reversing. The indexable principle ensures cost-beneficial utilisation of the tool material.

The insert is formed by powder metallurgy technology to produce the unique shape of the chip forming surfaces, whereas obtaining this shape by other technology methods is extremely difficult or even impossible, and an exceptionally strong cutting edge capable of standing up to heavy loading.

At the same time, an indexable round tool has definite disadvantages. Firstly, accuracy is lower compared with a solid cutter. Secondly, the tool diameter cannot be relatively small (for example, less than 8–10mm). Reducing the diameter leads to diminishing the size of all assembly components, including the insert and its clamping elements (usually a screw), which have a natural dimensional barrier. In addition, the insert cutting edge is strong but not as sharp as that of a solid tool. For machining soft materials, like copper, commercially pure titanium or aluminium, which require a sharp edge, additional edge grinding needs to be performed.

The main advantage of a ground solid round tool is its high precision: in average one quality grade higher than that of an indexable cutter. A solid tool cannot be indexed but it is suitable for regrinding.

Ceramic endmill.

Ceramic endmill.

Like an indexable cutter, a solid tool also has dimensional limitations that relate to the tool cost. As opposed to the indexable concept, the solid tool cannot be relatively large in diameter; usually the diameter of the solid tool does not exceed 25mm or 1in in overall length. This type of tool demands significantly more tool material and it takes more time to manufacture such a tool by grinding. These constraints lead to a substantially higher tool cost. By contrast to the indexable tool, the cutting edge of the solid tool is sharper but less strong.

The machined surface dimensions may dictate which concept should be applied to an operation. For example, for drilling a hole of 3mm in diameter, a solid drill will be used. Aside from this dimensional aspect, the following principles characterise correct tool selection.

For heavy cuts (usually rough or semi rough), featuring significant cutting force and power consumption, an indexable tool is the preferred solution. If an operation features light cuts and demands high accuracy and surface finish, a solid tool is required.

Drill with exchangeable carbide head (tool shown in centre).

Drill with exchangeable carbide head (tool shown in centre).

The past few years have seen a dramatic change in this logical—and traditional—concept. The search for new solutions to improve productivity, combined with advances in machine tool engineering, has engendered efficient cutting strategies and appropriate machines. A significant number of modern machines have less power but far higher speed drives and advanced computer numerical control units for high speed machining, performed by a small-diameter tool moving at optimal trajectory for constant tool loading. This step, together with progress in regrinding and recoating technologies, represented a second wind for solid tool use by opening up new options in rough machining. Advances in tool materials have increased the hardness level of machine workpieces. Today, for example, solid carbide endmills, operated by high speed milling technique, are capable of successfully cutting hard steel up to HRC 65.

Tool manufacturers recognised the advantages of combining both solid and indexable concepts into a single design to meet the latest developments. ISCAR’s popular MULTI-MASTER and CHAMDRILL round tool families are representative of this beneficial combination. Both lines feature tools with exchangeable cutting heads made from solid carbide. In the MULTI-MASTER tool range, which was introduced in 2001, a cutting head can be mounted in different bodies, and a body can carry different heads. This “indexable solid” principle enables over 40,000 possible tool configurations.

So, which concept is better? The industry requires both types of cutting tool, depending on technology processes. The ratio of indexable tools to solid and “indexable solid” tools in today’s market is estimated at 1:1, which indicates how cutting tool development is progressing in both directions. But technology advances and improvements in processing will make tool requirements—whether solid or indexable round tools—more and more demanding.

 

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