The CERATIZIT Group’s Hard Material Solutions division will host the eCarbide online seminar week from 15 to 19 March. Covering a wide range of topics from carbide basics to expert knowledge, the series aims to give participants the edge they need in order to prevail.
Cemented carbide stands unrivalled in the fields of tool manufacturing, metal forming and many other industrial sectors. In an upcoming online seminar series, the experts of the CERATIZIT Group’s Hard Material Solutions will share their extensive knowledge free of charge, giving participants the competitive edge that is needed to prevail in today’s markets. The seminars are specifically designed to provide participants with first-hand knowledge and insider perspectives on applications, latest industry trends and the advantages of cemented carbide as compared with other hard materials.
In addition to the wealth of market-critical information, Q&A sessions after each seminar will give participants the opportunity to explore the topics even further. This free online seminar series will take place from 15 to 19 March 2021 in a remote online setting that offers participants an environment both convenient and safe.
The carmaker Henry Ford once said that, “Auto racing began five minutes after the second car was built.” Adaptability and automobiles go hand-in-hand, but precision parts manufacturer Don Schumacher Motorsports (DSM) has taken this idea into pole position. The company is winning on the racetrack, was awarded the ISO 9001:2015 and has expanded into industries as diverse as aerospace and defense — all within the last two years. But it needs the right machine tools to support these objectives, which is why it turned to Sandvik Coromant.
In September, Matt Hagan gave Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) its 350th victory in the final round of the Lucas Oil National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Summernationals at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana, US.
Hagan raced to victory in his drag racer, or Funny Car, which can race from zero to 330 miles per hour in less than 3.7 seconds. His win also happened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of company founder Don Schumacher’s own legendary victory at Indianapolis in 1970.
Today, DSR has cemented its position as one of motorsports’ elite teams. All four of DSR’s Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat drivers have claimed at least two victories throughout the nine races that have taken place in 2020, so far. DSR is the only team in NHRA history to have gone undefeated for 12 consecutive races in a single category, dating back to October 2019. Previously, DSR set the consecutive win record in a single class at 10 races during the 2017 season with the same line-up of drivers.
Meanwhile, DSR has also been notching-up victories behind the scenes, specifically at DSM Precision MFG, also located in Brownsburg. A recent milestone was awarded in 2018, when the company acquired the ISO 9001:2015 certification in recognition of its quality management and sustainability initiatives. The benchmark also demonstrates that the company’s operations fit-in with United Nations (UN) sustainability goals.
The shop’s other win has been a victory against the challenges of COVID-19, of sorts. In just two years, the machine shop — founded in 2005 solely to support the company’s drag race program — has successfully diversified into a range of new sectors. They include defense, aerospace and commercial applications.
Diversification is a real goal for manufacturers in 2020. Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ (PwC) recent COVID-19: What it means for industrial manufacturing recommends that companies expand into new industries, and take advantage of fresh revenue streams, either because they are forced to by defunct markets or because they simply spot an opportunity.
Now, says Chad Osier, Vice President at DSM, the Brownsburg machine shop is the only of its kind in the Midwest that offers such a high degree of precision engineering, for such a wide a range of sectors.
“We’re all racers at heart,” explains Osier. “Racers are engineers, and precision engineering extends to everything we do. This expertise and the right tools allow us to hit the required levels of precision and quality when building nitro blocks for drag racing that produce 11,000 horsepower.
“Now we can bring that same precision to bear on competitive quality and scalable solutions for the defence, aerospace, commercial, motorsports and automotive industries.”
Henry Ford would surely be proud. But how has DSM achieved all of this in such a short time, and what can other manufacturers learn from it? As it turns out, a large part of the answer lies in DSM’s choice of machine tools. The name of their chosen tooling partner has adorned the side of Hagan’s Funny Car since the 2017 racing season, and can now be seen on the Top Fuel dragster raced by Hagan’s teammate, Tony Schumacher — son of Don Schumacher. The sponsor is Sandvik Coromant, co-branded with the machine manufacturer Okuma America.
“We’re obviously in the business of racing,” says Osier, “but we are also in the business of making profit. Tool wear is a big part of that. We want to make sure we’re minimising as much waste and scrap as possible. The tooling and equipment we use from Sandvik Coromant goes hand-in-hand with how we operate.”
Racing to precision
DSM’s relationship with Sandvik Coromant goes back to 2012. Successful projects include helping the customer to move its production of aluminum engine blocks in-house. This has enabled it to produce more precise and better-performing components that win victories at events like the Gatornationals.
DSM then sought help from Sandvik Coromant with its objective to become, what Osier describes as, a “full-on kind of general engineering machine shop.” That is, one that can build project products ranging from small specialty fasteners and the right-mass nitro engine blocks, to bespoke aluminum parts for defense and aerospace. From rapid prototyping all the way to mass production.
“When relying on an outside partner for anything, there is a question of trust,” says Osier. “Sandvik Coromant has consistent products that are high quality and long-lasting. It offers the engineering support to help us tackle any project.”
Brian Flores, Channel Manager for the Eastern United States at Sandvik Coromant, agrees: “We help DSM in several ways, from supporting the local sales engineers to helping DSM’s automotive specialists and process improvement experts. That includes working closely with its team of specialist programmers to develop precision parts like piston heads or engine blocks out of tough-to-machine solid aluminum billets.”
“These machining processes are very complex,” explains Flores. “Sandvik Coromant’s tooling is used in the lathes and mills we use, made by Okuma America, which allow us to get the machined parts up to the necessary quality standards. This is where harder-wearing tools prove critical.”
For these applications, DSM relies on tools like the CoroMill 390 shoulder milling cutters designed for versatility, with ramping capability for mixed production. With light-cutting insert geometries, the high-performance CoroMill 390 is designed for low cutting forces and vibration-free machining, for secure milling with all materials.
These properties are particularly advantageous when machining aluminum, which has a tendency to move if aggressive, deep radial cuts are used at high speeds — because of the high stress levels of the material. Sandvik Coromant works extensively with DSM’s CAD designers.
“It really comes down to quality and attention to detail, whether it’s a drawing for an engine block or an aerospace part,” says Osier. “That’s what ensures we have the engineering expertise to deliver the quality that the aerospace industry needs. We also need the right equipment and tools to do that.”
That’s the quality and precision taken care of, but what about sustainability? To meet the ISO 9001:2015 standard, a company must demonstrate its capabilities in two major areas. First, its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
Second is enhancing customer satisfaction by applying the system. For the shop floor, this is inherently linked to DSM’s quality management system, but it also equals sustainability.
For this, DSM also makes use of the CoroMill 790 cutter for ISO N materials, designed for high precision work. The CoroMill 790 cutter is a “super remover” for which effective chip removal is integral to machining product quality.
“We look for tools that will produce consistent and repeatable parts, and minimise our scrap and our cycle time,” explains Osier. “So, the biggest thing I get on sustainability is how we’re able to maximise our output and reduce our material scrap in automated processes.”
“This is a real challenge when manufacturing aluminum racing engines,” Flores adds. “The amount of material removed is really quite amazing. It requires very intense and specific programming
techniques and paths. That’s where I believe Sandvik Coromant really shines, in helping DSM to find the most productive way to approach these parts.”
As a high-tech machine shop, DSM understands that tool wear goes beyond the tools and includes effective monitoring to use them to their fullest.
To achieve this, DSM uses Sandvik Coromant’s CoroPlus Machining Insights platform, an expansion of the company’s CoroPlus suite of connectivity software. The platform is designed to give manufacturers greater visibility of CNC machine tools and machining processes. Furthermore, the shop was able to integrate the system seamlessly into its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
“We are able to track the performance of the tooling, which is also important,” said Osier. “The tooling and equipment work hand-in-hand with our automation and technology.
This high-tech approach doesn’t extend only to tooling but also to training. Since 2016, Sandvik Coromant has operated a 5,000 square foot dedicated training facility on DSM’s shop floor, which symbolises the relationship between the two companies. Trainees gain hands-on experience of modern machining, tools and techniques and DSM hosts Sandvik Coromant’s customers in the regional area.
“It’s an excellent partnership and mutually beneficial for both companies — including as we reach further into the aerospace, automotive and defense industries,” says Osier. “It has also exposed Sandvik Coromant to our own large Tier 1 customers so they can experience first-hand the benefits and value of Sandvik Coromant products.”
Osier estimates that DSM’s production is now divided roughly 50-50 between its racing obligations and its general precision engineering contracts. The manufacturer will continue to build on this going forward, including investing in 3D metal printers. It also plans to expand its training and education center into new industries beyond racing and automotive. This includes adapting its training facilities for COVID-19 and exploring the possibilities of Webex conferences or videos.
“We’re always looking for new ways to satisfy our customers and sponsors,” says Osier. “The ISO 9001:2015 accreditation has really opened doors for us and, going forward, we will take this further by acquiring the AS9100 standardised quality management system for the aerospace industry. This is very much an extension of the ISO 9001:2015, in terms of sustainability and is made possible by Sandvik Coromant’s continued support.”
“Sandvik Coromant has consistent products that are at the top of the market and it offers the engineering support to allow us to tackle any project,” says Osier.
“Precision and quality are critical in everything we do, and we use these Sandvik Coromant tools to meet those precision needs, both in the motorsports industry and the rest of the industries we work in,” explains Osier. “Their high quality and long-lasting tools and support deliver sustainability for us. Without that, we can’t meet our obligations to our customers.”
Auto racing may have begun five minutes after the second car was built. But, with its continuing entrepreneurial flair, the addition of ISO 9001:2005, and Sandvik Coromant’s tooling solutions, it looks as if DSM will continue leading the race in a range of industries for many years to come.
This article discusses a reliable, standardised and automated process for tool correction adjustment based on the calculation of statistical indicators, to sustainably increase product quality and to further optimise process stability. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.
With its expertise in machining and automation technology as well as process development, BOOSTER Precision Components (Schwanewede) GmbH produces compressor wheels in Germany, Mexico, and China, for the local markets. The compressor wheel is one of the core components in the turbocharger and compresses the supply air for the combustion process. This increases performance and improves emissions values.
BOOSTER Precision Components implements the highest quality requirements in the manufacture of compressor wheels. To monitor the required product quality, random samples are taken at defined intervals and measured in production at manual measuring stations as well as in the measuring room with automated measuring technology. A direct feedback in the production is done by means of visualization of the Measurement results at the production machines, in order to enable a corresponding small control loop and tool corrections.
In the large control loop, defined key figures are automatically reported, cause-and-effect relationships analysed, production anomalies automatically identified and communicated as well as visualized in the web control centre. Of course, previous qualification measures for equipment and processes form the basis of an automated monitoring system.
BOOSTER has continuously developed this system using Q-DAS statistical software products and optimised it over time.
One of the key points and potential weak points identified in the process, especially in the small control loop on site (shop floor), was the individual tool correction adjustment based on Q-DAS statistics. This happened due to personal, and thus, individual decisions made by the respective employee. As a result, this led to differing procedures and thus different process behaviour and tool management within the different shifts.
The objective of the project was to introduce Q-DAS IMC (Intelligent Machine Control) to achieve a reliable, standardised and automated process for tool correction adjustment based on the calculation of statistical indicators, to sustainably increase product quality and to further optimise process stability. Furthermore, Q-DAS IMC allows tool corrections to be traced back.
The already implemented Q-DAS system for continuous qualification and monitoring of the running production has already laid the important basis for the application of Q-DAS IMC: A clean data structure for the transmission of the Measurement results with relevant trace information (line, machine, tool, spindle, measuring system, …) to a direct assignment of relevant feedback information for Q-DAS IMC. Immediate online visualisation of measurement results for over 40 machine tools has been implemented since many years now and is thus the basis for further development.
The larger the series of parts to be produced, the more important cycle times and tool costs are. And the properties of both the machine tool and the tool itself need to be optimally suited to each other—and to the chosen manufacturing process. This article discusses the benefits of having a collaborative development partnership between a machine manufacturer and a tool manufacturer. Article by MAPAL.
“We have a unique approach when we receive customer inquiries,” says Meinolf Wolke, Sales Team Leader at Elha-Maschinenbau Liemke KG in Hövelhof. The special machine construction company places the workpiece and its machining at the centre of development and devises an optimal solution perfectly designed for the process sequence.
“In doing so, we take all the technical and economic requirements into account,” clarifies Wolke. Only then do those responsible decide whether an existing machining concept can be used for the process or whether an individual, application-specific construction is required. Wolke explains, “As well as providing the machine, we offer services that stretch from process development and the construction of fixtures all the way through to complete, ready-to-operate solutions with automation and production support.”
Special Tools for Low Total Costs
“The machining tasks are often as unique as the parts themselves – including in terms of the workpiece materials,” adds Alexander Wiesner, Technical Advisor at MAPAL. “Of course, a lot of machining work on complex parts can be achieved with standard tools. But that often comes with significant drawbacks in terms of cycle times, quality, and cost-effectiveness, particularly when large quantities are being produced.” In these cases, special tools that are precisely calibrated by MAPAL for the machining task in question are preferred.
“During the tool design phase, it’s essential to determine the necessary parameters for the machining process,” says Wiesner, “particularly in the case of challenging geometries.” In order to design the process in the best possible way, MAPAL often makes prototype tools. These are then used to carry out extensive tests with the part to be machined.
“That, in turn, helps the equipment manufacturers design the machine with the values identified during testing,” continues Wiesner. He says that MAPAL has had a long-standing partnership with ELHA in this area. The following three examples demonstrate the resulting benefits to customers:
Solid Drills for the Machining of Suspension Arms
“We were dissatisfied with the solution that we had been using for drilling from solid in aluminium when machining a suspension arm, which included creating a fitting,” remembers ELHA Project Leader Friedhelm Dresmann.
At the time, the company was using tools with brazed PCD cutting edges. In order to keep the machining time as low as possible, these drills were being used with very high feed rates. The disadvantages of this solution were the high drive power required and the insufficient durability of the PCD cutting edges on the solid drill step.
With “Walter Innotime”, Walter is introducing the world’s first digital design wizard for accelerating the consulting and ordering process.
Engineers in Walter Engineering are working with a new digital wizard: Walter Innotime. This web application links existing Walter systems to the Engineering Kompetenz of Walter employees. Based on a 3D model of the component drag-and-drop uploaded to the Walter website by the customer, Walter Innotime analyses which cutting operations are required and suggests to the engineer dealing with the enquiry (in future versions, directly to the customer) the appropriate machining tools with cutting data and prices from the Walter portfolio. This digital search at component level is currently unique in the market.
The engineer checks the proposal and optimises it, if necessary, according to the customer’s needs. As a result, the design process for complex enquiries is fast-tracked considerably – and the customer receives the most economical tailored tooling solution and a valid quote in the shortest time. Walter field service employees and engineers benefit from the preliminary work done by the system: in the physical design and the development of the optimum machining strategy for the customer component. “For our engineers and technical distributors, but primarily for our customers, Walter Innotime represents a milestone.
We deliberate intensively over the component and can deal with enquiries so much faster – for our customers, that’s something directly tangible,” explains Dr. Michael Hepp, Vice President Digital Business at Walter. “By combining the Engineering Kompetenz of our employees with the virtual intelligence of our software systems, we can assist our customers in quickly and easily finding, purchasing and employing the most economical tooling solution for them. In future, our customers will have to do nothing more than upload their 3D component – quick and easy.”
The main driver of business sustainability goals is to make an impact on the wider world. Another benefit that is often overlooked is the economic value of implementing sustainable actions. Can businesses save money, while helping to protect the planet? Here, Sachin Pimpalnerkar, global segment manager for renewable energy at global engineering group, Sandvik, explains how Sandvik Machining Solutions (SMS) has optimised two crucial toolmaking technologies to achieve just that.
Almost everything made of metal is machined with an insert. The insert has to withstand extreme heat and force, so is made of some of the hardest materials in the world. Typically, an insert is made using 80 per cent tungsten carbide, renowned for its superior durability, and a metal matrix that binds the carbide grains together, where cobalt is the most common.
Tough components created to withstand some of the most intense working environments require manufacturing processes that are equally strenuous.
One of the most intense steps in tool insert manufacturing is the sintering process. After the carefully selected metal powders are milled and then pressed into shape, the inserts are very fragile. It is at this stage that the inserts are fused, or sintered, into solid pieces.
Sintering is not a quick process — but time is money. Keeping powerful furnaces in operation for many hours at a time uses up immense amounts of energy, but cutting corners and producing fragile inserts would be even more wasteful. If a reduction in energy consumption is to be made possible, it would require a reduction in cycle times without compromising product quality.
Teams at Dormer Pramet, part of the Sandvik Group, have successfully reduced the cycle time of their sintering process by almost 100 minutes. To achieve this reduction, Dormer Pramet engineers worked in close collaboration with research and development specialists from Sandvik Materials Technology (SMT) in Pune, India to redesign the gas flow passing through the charge of the sintering furnaces.
When machining ferrous materials such as cast iron or stainless steel, a coated insert is the favoured tool of choice. CVD coating involves placing tools into a chamber, which is pumped with gases at 950-1100 deg C. These gases react inside the heated chamber, depositing a thin layer onto each tool that reinforces its strength.
High temperatures are key to effective CVD coating, but maintaining them is an energy intensive process. How do we keep heat inside a building? We insulate it. To prevent heat from escaping CVD coating chambers, Dormer Pramet added new insulation onto the furnace’s coating. Trapping heat inside the chamber has shortened the cycle times of CVD reactors, and is estimated to lower emissions by 25 tonnes every year.
Combined, these two actions are calculated to not only reduce annual emissions by around 40 tonnes, but also save around 230,000 euros every year. Sustainable action will always focus on environmental improvement, but by implementing simple changes, manufacturers may also enjoy the business benefits that process evaluation can bring.
Fitted with an intelligent punching head and the right tool, your punching machine will also demonstrate its talent for forming. Article by Vincent Tan, TRUMPF.
Your punching machine can do more than just punch. Fitted with an intelligent punching head and the right tool, your machine will also demonstrate its talent for forming. This allows you to fully process a great diversity of sophisticated components on one machine—and even burr-free if required. It is also efficient for small quantities as tool costs are low and setup times are short.
The ability to produce burr-free sheet-metal parts directly on punching or punch laser machines saves you the time-consuming process of retrospectively removing the punching burr. This considerably reduces the throughput time, in particular for coated sheet metal and formed parts. Furthermore, the improved edge quality lowers the risk of injury when further processing the parts.
Roller Deburring Tool
The roller deburring tool is mainly used for simple, large-surface contours. The punched edges are thus perfectly rounded off, which is a decisive advantage for visible edges in particular. A high-quality result is obtained with all of the sheet thickness ranges by adapting the roller contour to the modified burr and to the width of the separation gap.
Ball Deburring Tool
You can get an even better edge quality if you use the MultiShear slitting tool in addition. For shapes with contour radii of less than 20 mm, the deburring MultiTool is to be used. The ball deburring tool is suitable for smaller contours, holes and workpiece corners. Specially hardened balls press the punching burr into the base metal. In doing so, a chamfer is produced on the upper side of the part. Thanks to the tapered punch head, deburring near formed areas is also possible.
TRUMPF’s deburring MultiTool, with its three embossing inserts in the die, excels on radii of less than 0.8 in in particular. The tool presses burrs flat in a single stroke or in nibbling mode, even in corners and small contours.
The MultiTool makes your machine more productive by integrating up to 10 different punches and dies into one tool. The strengths of the MultiTool are particularly notable in processing sheet metal parts with small punches of different sizes.
Shorter production times through complete processing on one machine
Lower risk of injury
Deburring of all geometries, whether simple, complex, small or large.
Also for coated sheets and for parts with formed areas
Bruker Alicona is hosting a webinar on 25 June 2020 to demonstrate applications of the company’s measuring system solutions. Attendees will learn more about current applications in selected key markets such as medical technology, tooling and aerospace. Speakers include Dr. Martin Koller from the Clinical Department of Dental Medicine at the Medical University of Graz to explain how and why the InfiniteFocus optical measuring system is used.
Other applications that will be addressed are:
Medical technology: A customer from the medical technology sector uses the optical µCMMnot only for the measurement of high-gloss knee implants but also for the lateral probing of vertical surfaces (Vertical Focus Probing)
Tooling industry: IMCO, manufacturer of high-performance cutting tools, uses the Bruker Alicona EdgeMaster to measureshape and contour accuracy, rake angle, undercuts, chipping and roughness. Especially the easy handling of the system is an enormous advantage for IMCO.
Aerospace: MTU Aero Engines already has three Cobotsystems in operation for break edge measurement. For MTU, the automatic measurement and evaluation of radii, chamfers and break edge on turbine engine components is a criterion of modern quality assurance.
Walter TC470 Supreme thread former with HiPIMS coating. With the TC470 Supreme, Walter is introducing a thread former especially for the requirements of series manufacturers – longer tool life, higher productivity and better process reliability.
Its geometry has more forming edges than comparable thread formers. The HiPIMS coating and the new type of tool pre- and post-treatment reduce edge wear and increase tool edge life. This enables higher machining parameters and increases productivity. The very smooth yet hard HiPIMS coating significantly reduces the torque. This, in turn, has a positive impact on the surface quality.
The TC470 Supreme has been developed for machining steel materials (ISO P). In practice, it has also produced similarly good results in aluminium (ISO N). A long tool life, high machining parameters and very good process reliability make the thread former appealing to mass producers such as those in the automotive industry. Users can choose from a large product range. Walter is offering the TC470 Supreme in four variants: With or without lubrication grooves and/or internal coolant, as well as with radial or axial coolant outlet, optimised for long and short threads. Dimension range (metric) M3–M10 or (metric fine) M10 × 1–M16 × 1.5 and for thread depths up to 3.5 × DN.
A multinational automotive component manufacturer was experiencing inconsistent tool life at one of its Chinese plants. Sutton Tool’s Jeff Boyd describes the custom solution developed to help significantly extend tool life and reliability.
The initial approach to our local technical sales manager came from one of our local Chinese partners. Their customer operated one of several plants producing OEM brake system components for a German multinational manufacturer.
The plant was using a German brand of tool – but it was proving unreliable on quality and service. Simply, the existing taps being used weren’t taking advantage of the high-end CNC machines on offer. Could Sutton Tools look at the problem and help by developing and testing an improved solution?
Tough Material, Tough Environment
The process challenging the capability of the existing cutting tools involved high-speed thread tapping at surface speeds of 30m per minute. The material in question wasn’t helping: GGG50 is a highly abrasive ductile cast iron used in the automotive industry. We could immediately see that higher-specification tools were needed to meet this particular application requirements and environment.
Our first step was to reduce the run-out by eliminating the traditional collet-based tool holding, replacing it with a more precise shrink-fit type tool holding. This meant moving from the typical h9 tolerance to a h6 shank to suit the shrink-fit system, which resulted in less run-out and higher concentricity. Under intensive testing, we could demonstrate reduced run-out and almost no deviation. The tap could consistently produce threads at the required and elevated speed of 30m/min –one of the keys to longer tool life.
Our engineers worked on a prototype tool – especially designed for our customer’s exacting demands. Apart from changing the tool holding, we also changed the tool’s coating from Titanium Carbo-Nitride (TiCN) to the current generation Futura-Nano coating, Titanium Aluminium Nitride (TiAlN). This provides a higher resistance to abrasion than TiCN. Similarly, we changed the substrate from a conventional high speed steel (HSSE) to a Powder Metallurgy grade (HSS-PM). The finer grain size of HSS-PM material allows for a higher hardness tool, while still maintaining the toughness associated with HSS.
Finally, we included internal coolant ducts to the tap to utilise the transfer lines high pressure through-spindle-coolant capabilities which would help blast out the chips produced from the tapping operation efficiently & consistently, as well reduce the heat generated and thus make it more resilient than the previous solid tool.