Metal Cutting Service relies on the KASTOwin for cutting demanding materials such as aluminium and titanium. Article by KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG.
Thanks to the new saws, MCS significantly increased its productivity and the quality of the sawn parts.
‘From a two-man company to a much sought-after service provider for industry and trade.’ This summarizes the success story of the California company Metal Cutting Service (MCS). In 1956, Milon Viel and his father-in-law, Ross Clarke, founded the company, which initially focused on the development and manufacture of aluminium window frames. Both men brought their aviation industry experience to the new company—and that would pay off later. MCS decided to specialize in cutting various materials exactly to customer specifications, especially for companies that did not have their own sawing capabilities, and this decision laid the foundation for the successful development of the company.
Today, MCS is a partner and supplier for many well-known manufacturers in the aerospace, defence, aluminium and steel distribution and semiconductor industries. The customers supply the materials to be cut, and they get them back exactly to their ordered specifications. Complex geometries and large dimensions are an MCS specialty: the company saws plate, bar, forging, and extrusions up to 50 inches (1,270 mm) thick and 700 inches (17,780 mm) long. The spectrum of materials ranges from plastics and acrylic materials to steel and special metals that are highly temperature-resistant.
Growing Demands – Also on Sawing Technology
The company has been based in the City of Industry, a suburb of Los Angeles, since 1975. Owner and president David Viel joined his father in 1977 and worked through college, coming on full time in 1981. David became president in 1993 when his father took semi-retirement to have more time for his hobbies. David’s expertise and industry knowledge first led him to research and purchase the first Kasto saw for MCS. But he was not alone in his desire to look for a new machine tool supplier.
“In the past, we mainly worked with multipurpose saws, so every machine basically did every job,” recalls plant manager Curt Steen, who has been with MCS since 1996. “As the requirements of our customers and the variety of their orders increased, however, we had to become more technically specialized, so we purchased different types of saws for the wide range of tasks we had to tackle.”
Steen also made a significant contribution to this development, since he worked with KASTO saws earlier in his career and greatly appreciated their performance. At MCS, he now played a decisive role in driving technological progress, relying on the machines of KASTO. In 2004, the company invested in the first KASTO saw, a KASTObloc U 5 log bandsaw. Five additional saws have been added since then. The latest additions to the MCS KASTO family are three bandsaws from the versatile KASTOwin line with cutting ranges of 18 and 22 inches (460 and 560 mm).
The KASTOwin line is designed for the serial and production sawing of solid materials, pipes and sections. With their broad range of standard equipment, these machines are suitable for a variety of tasks, and thanks to their sturdy construction, the saws are strong enough for their tough working life at MCS.
“We work up to six days a week, all year round in two shifts—and we have to process large and heavy parts,” says Steen. “So, I definitely say we are not known for being easy on our machines!”
The saws must also be suitable for operation with carbide blades to ensure a high level of productivity—and the KASTOwin also meets this requirement.
The growing additive manufacturing industry has demanded new requirements in the sawing process. Article by Behringer.
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has become more and more important in nearly all industries. 3D printing is a ground-breaking and innovative technology that has the potential to bring intermediate changes in manufacturing, society and business. As a crucial medium connecting the virtual and actual world, 3D printing enables the transformation of digital files into tangible objects.
According to market analyst firm Inkwood Research, the global 3D printing market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 percent from 2019 to 2027 and reach a value of US$ 44.39 billion at the end of the forecast period. While North America is the dominating region, Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for 3D printing.
One important and growing segment of the 3D printing market is the metal additive manufacturing industry. Metal additive manufacturing is increasingly becoming popular among automobile manufacturers across the world. This is because additive manufacturing helps automakers to build stronger and lighter parts within a short period. The technology is now widely adopted by various Formula 1 teams, including Scuderia Ferrari, Williams Martini Racing, and Mercedes-AMG Petronas to produce lighter components such as rear wings, gearbox assemblies, and bodywork to improve the performance of their cars. Many supercar manufacturers are also adopting metal additive manufacturing to reduce overall cost, lead time, and weight. The rising adoption of metal additive manufacturing in the automobile industry is expected to fuel the growth of the market. According to a report by market analyst Technavio, the metal additive manufacturing industry is expected to grow by $4.42 billion during 2020–2024.
High Sawing Precision
The additive manufacturing processes make it possible to produce simple as well as complex parts in different materials. 3D printing offers many advantages, such as higher design flexibility, and the individualization of the products (a batch size of one). From a process perspective, the additively manufactured parts are printed on a base plate via a supporting structure. To use and process the 3D printed parts, they have to be detached from the base plate.
To address this trend, and in line with the 100th anniversary of Behringer, the company expanded its product portfolio with the release of its 3D-Series of sawing machines. Available in two models—the two models HBE320-523 3D and LPS-T 3D—the high-performance sawing machines were developed for cutting additively manufactured parts in different sizes and shapes.
The reputation of the Japanese for being hardworking and quality-conscious is not just a cliché. This is proved by the family-run company Daisan Kouki. The job shop processes sheet metal for the automotive industry and relies on technology made in Switzerland. The machines run around the clock—this is the only way to guarantee the highest quality while meeting the ever shorter lead times. We take a glimpse behind the scenes. Article by Stefan Jermann, Bystronic Group.
The ByTrans Extended automation system (on the left) facilitates the loading and unloading of the cutting machines.
Tokyo Central Railway Station. It stands there like an arrow in a taut bow, the rolling legend: the Shinkansen. The interior of the fastest train in the world reflects much of that has made Japan what it is today: a high-tech nation that visitors experience almost like a journey into the future. Everywhere one looks, there is state-of-the-art technology and innovative design. Also inside the Shinkansen. One example of this are the rotating seats, which can be turned against the direction of travel if required.
Travelling to Nagoya with closed eyes, you hardly notice the tremendous speed of more than 320 kilometers per hour. It’s only when you look out of the window that you realize how fast you are actually tearing through the countryside. In addition to technical perfection, the Shinkansen also demonstrates the exeptional service mentality in Japan: Hungry or thirsty travelers need only wait a short while before one of the super-friendly staff comes by to offer snacks.
At the focal point of the automotive industry
The 366 kilometres to Nagoya take virtually no time at all. The journey to the city with a population of 2.5 million, the coal point of the Japanese car industry, takes just one and three-quarter hours. This is where all the major Japanese car manufacturers have their factories: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mazda. Nagoya generates approximately the same gross domestic product (GDP) as all of Norway. The cargo port and the well-developed land routes facilitate smooth logistics; over the years many suppliers have settled in the vicinity of the renowned car manufacturers. One of the companies that produce here is the family enterprise Daisan Kouki.
The company has been firmly in the family for 70 years. “In the 1960s, Daisan Kouki was a pure family business,” says Noriyuki Wakahara, the managing director of the company, which today has 104 employees. The core business of the company founder, his grandfather-in-law, was trading sheet metal. “One day, when a customer asked why we don’t also process sheet metal, we saw the light,” Wakahara recalls.
In 2004, Daisan Kouki, took its first step into the world of sheet metal processing and purchased a 2 kilowatt laser cutting system. In the years that followed, the factory was continuously expanded – among other things to comply with increasingly strict earthquake safety standards.
“We have always attached great value to reliably meeting even the highest quality requirements and have thus made a good name for ourselves on the industry,” says Wakahara. Most of his customers are active in the automotive sector. The parts that Daisan Kouki manufacturers support the production, above all in creating the production chain.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the global manufacturing supply chain. For instance, factory shutdowns have drastically impacted the metalworking supply chain around the car and auto parts manufacturing industries. While the medical equipment sector is experiencing massive demand, the grounding of airline fleets is expected to put a dent in the MRO industry—at least those segments involving metalworks.
In line with our continuing coverage of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, we at Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) are conducting the following brief survey regarding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak to your business. Your participation in this survey is greatly appreciated and will help ensure we are providing you and the industry with the best content possible.
ISCAR is upgrading the ISCARMILL F75 family of 75 deg indexable face milling cutters, which carry single-sided square inserts SP , by introducing new milling cutters that are intended for mounting the same inserts
The new cutters, designated as F75…-M, are available in a shell mill configuration and feature an advanced design for better productivity. In accordance with the new design, the inserts that are mounted in the cutters F75…-M are clamped with the use of a wedge system, providing high clamping reliability and high repeatability for positioning an insert active cutting edge. In addition, the wedge clamping principle enables quick and easy mounting of the inserts and their indexing.
The main features of the new cutters are as follows:
50 – 125 mm cutter diameter range
Shell mill design configuration
Clamping inserts by wedge for reliable, quick and easy securing of the inserts and their indexing
Coolant holes directed to each active cutting edge of the mounted inserts for effective coolant supply through the cutter body
Silver-grayish protective plating is applied to the cutter bodies, ensuring increased body tool life due to improved anti-scratch and abrasive-resistance properties and high anti-corrosion protection
Machining main engineering materials such as carbon and alloy steel, cast iron and stainless steel
Wide range of face milling operations
Broad range of usage in various industrial branches
How to say no to vibrations in machining? Find out more in this article by Andrei Petrilin, Technical Manager at ISCAR.
Figure 2: The FINISHRED series of solid carbide endmills features chip-splitting geometry coupled with variable pitch flutes.
Vibrations in machining are generally an unavoidable part of the metal cutting process. They have a forced or self-excited nature and always accompany a cutting action. Machining vibrations are referred to as “chatter,” highlighting their specific nature, which inheres in every processing where chips are formed. Even if cutting is considered as stable, it does not mean that vibrations do not take place. In this case, the vibrations simply remain on a level that provides the required machining results, and is considered as a “no vibration” operation.
In fact, vibrations in cutting are a damaging factor that reduces performance. Manufacturers make every effort to diminish vibration and, ideally, bring them to a level that does not affect machining results. Chatter is a subject of serious research that has already provided manufacturers with ways to model vibrations in machining which, despite their complexity, can be very effective in finding a way to reduce chatter. However, this modelling takes time and requires various input data, including sometimes additional measurements. In most cases, when manufacturers face vibrations during machining, they only have a few tools at their disposal for a real-time response to decrease the chatter. The most common practice is to vary cutting speed and feed, which usually leads to productivity reduction. Therefore, any effective method of diminishing vibrations that does not adversely affect machining operation productivity will be attractive to manufacturers.
Vibration reduction in machining requires consideration of a manufacturing unit as a system comprising the following interrelated elements: a machine, a workpiece, a work-holding device, and a cutting tool. While the influence of each element on total vibration reduction is different, improving a vibration characteristic of one element may have a significant impact on the system’s overall dynamic behaviour. Most efforts to protect against vibrations focus on developing more rigid machines with intelligent sensors and computer control, and advanced vibration-dampening tooling. Can a cutting tool, the smallest – and probably the simplest – system component, dramatically change the vibration strength of a manufacturing unit? Even though producers might not have great hopes for the role of cutting tools in decreasing chatter, in certain cases a correctly selected tool can simply stop vibration without any adverse effect on productivity.
Figure 3: The SUMOCHAM-IQ family of HCP exchangeable carbide heads.
The right tool geometry makes cutting action smooth and stable. The geometry strongly influences cutting force fluctuations, chip evacuation and other factors, which are connected directly with vibration modes. ISCAR’s tool design engineers believe that the cutting geometry can considerably strengthen vibration dampening of a tool and have developed interesting solutions accordingly.
ISCAR’s various indexable inserts, exchangeable heads, and solid carbide tools feature chip-splitting cutting edges. Such an edge may be serrated or have chip-splitting grooves. The chip splitting action causes a wide chip to be divided into small segments, resulting in better dynamic behaviour of a tool during machining, and vibration is stabilised. In rough machining, extended flute milling cutters remove a large material stock and work in heavy conditions. Significant cutting forces acting cyclically generate vibration problems. When using chip-splitting indexable inserts, it is possible to tackle these difficulties. Mills with round inserts, a real workhorse in machining cavities and pockets, particularly in die and mold making, are often operated at high overhang that affects rigidity and vibration resistance of a tool. Problems with cutting stability occur when the overhang already exceeds 3 tool diameters. Applying serrated round inserts with a chip-splitting effect redresses this situation and substantially improves robustness (Figure 1).
A skilfully defined tooth pitch is an effective way of taking the dynamic behaviour of a cutting tool to the next level. ISCAR’s CHATTERFREE family of solid carbide endmills (SCEM) was designed on the basis of a pitch control method. The family features a variable angle pitch in combination with a different helix angle. This concept ensures chatter free milling in a broad range of applications.
The FINISHRED series of solid carbide endmills features chip-splitting geometry coupled with variable pitch flutes (Figure 2) that provide surface finish when machined according to rough machining data.
The principles of vibration-proof cutting geometry, which demonstrated their effectiveness in solid carbide endmills , have been applied to the design of exchangeable multi-flute milling heads made from cemented carbides in the MULTI-MASTER family.
Figure 4: ISCAR’s ISOTURN WHISPERLINE family of anti-vibration cylindrical bars.
Chatter in drilling leads to poor surface finish and accuracy problems. In ISCAR’s SUMOCHAM family of assembled drills with exchangeable carbide heads, the double margin design of QCP/ICP-2M heads substantially increases tool dynamic stability.
If vibration occurs when a drill enters material, it may cause serious damage and even breakage of the drill. The SUMOCHAM-IQ family of HCP exchangeable carbide heads (Figure 3), intended for mounting in the bodies of standard SUMOCHAM tools, can ensure reliable self-centring capabilities. The key is an unusual concave profile for the head cutting edge reminiscent of a pagoda shape. This original cutting geometry enables high-quality drilling holes of depths of up to twelve hole diameters, directly into solid material without pre-drilling a pilot hole.
The “magic pagoda” features another ISCAR innovation: the LOGIQ3CHAM family of latest-generation drills carrying exchangeable carbide heads with 3 teeth to ensure higher productivity. The steel drill bodies have 3 helical flute that weaken the body structure when compared with a 2-flute assembled drill of the same diameter. In order to improve the dynamic rigidity, the flute helix angle is variable. This design principle in combination with the pagoda-shaped cutting edge provides a durable chatter-proof solution for stable high-efficiency drilling.
Tool Body Material
An assembled cutting tool comprises a body with mounted cutting elements such as indexable inserts or exchangeable heads. Choosing the right body material presents an additional option for forming a chatter-free tool structure. Most tool bodies are made from high-quality tool steel grades, for which the material stress-strain behavior is similar. However, in some cases tool design engineers have identified successful material alternatives to improve vibration strength.
The MULTI-MASTER, an ISCAR family of rotating tools with exchangeable heads, provides a range of tool bodies, referred to as shanks, produced from steel, tungsten carbide or heavy metal. A steel shank is the most versatile. Tungsten carbide with its substantial Young’s modulus provides an extremely rigid design, so carbide shanks are used mainly when milling at high overhang and machining internal circumferential grooves. Heavy metal, an alloy containing around 90 percent tungsten, is characterised by its vibration-absorbing properties, and heavy metal shanks are most advantageous for light to medium cutting operations in unstable conditions.
Anti-vibration Tools for Deep Turning
A typical tool for internal turning or boring operations comprises a boring bar with a mounted insert or a cartridge carrying an insert. The bar is the main factor in the dynamic behaviour of a tool. Stiffness of a bar is the function of the bar overhang to diameter ratio, and large ratios may be a reason of tool deflection and vibrations, affecting dimensional accuracy and surface finish during machining.
ISCAR has developed three types of boring bar to cover a wide range of boring applications: two integral (from steel and solid carbide) and one assembled, having a vibration dampening system inside.
The steel bars enable stable machining with the overhang up to four diameters. Exceeding this value can induce vibrations due to steel’s elasticity characteristics. Changing the bar material from steel to a more rigid solid carbide ensures efficient vibration-free boring with the overhang of up to seven diameters. However, further increasing the boring depth is also limited by the material stress-strain behaviour. In order to clear this overhang barrier, ISCAR developed the ISOTURN WHISPERLINE family of anti-vibration cylindrical bars. The bars carry interchangeable boring heads for indexable inserts of different geometries and have inner coolant supply capability. The main element of the bar design is a built-in vibration-dampening mechanism to provide “live” vibration damping during machining. This enables effective boring with the overhang from seven to 14 diameters (Figure 4).
A vibration-dampening unit is used also in ISCAR deep grooving and parting tools. The unit is in a tool blade under the insert pocket. Each blade is pre-calibrated by ISCAR for optimal performance for a wide range of overhangs, but end-users can complete fine tuning calibration themselves if needed.
Cutting tool manufacturers have a limited choice of means in the abatement of machining vibrations, with only tool cutting geometry, tool body material, and maybe a cutting tool with built-in vibration-damping device at their disposition. Considerable skill and ingenuity are required to make a chatter-free tool with these limited resources. It is feasible, however, and ISCAR’s solutions highlighted in the above examples affirm the possibilities.
Amolak Preet Singh, Managing Director of Haimer talks about how the company is helping its customers move towards process improvement and automation. Article by Stephen Las Marias.
Amolak Preet Singh
Haimer is a family owned company based in Igenhausen, Bavaria in Germany. Established more than 40 years ago, the company designs and produces high-precision products for metal cutting as well as for other branches including automotive, aerospace, energy, rail, and general machining.
In addition to its large offering of tool holders, shrinking and balancing machines, as well as 3D sensors, Haimer is now also offering tool presetting machines. On top of that, the company has an entire tool management program, and solid carbide end milling program for machining centres.
Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News recently sat down with Amolak Preet Singh, Managing Director, SEA, NZ and India, Haimer, to talk about the company’s Thailand market, how they are helping customers improve their processes, and the company’s strategy towards Industry 4.0.
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE YOU SEEING IN THAILAND?
Amolak Preet Singh (AS): Thailand has been a great market for us in the past two years since we started to revamp our operations here. The business has grown three times in the last 2 years. We are seeing great opportunity not only in the aerospace industry, which has been growing here, but also the die and mould sectors, and the automotive sector. Worldwide, there is a greater push that is happening now towards Industry 4.0, and Thailand has started to take the first steps towards the direction moving towards it. We can see a lot of companies who are really talking about it.
There is also the emphasis being given now on improving machine efficiencies. That opens completely new doors for us from a business point of view. And I think the requirement for reducing the cost and improving machine efficiency is growing tremendously, so we are trying to partner with the industry on their overall processes to reduce their manufacturing costs.
Although the automotive industry is not growing in a big way, from a Haimer perspective, it is a great opportunity because the customers are still looking at major process improvements to reduce their costs. That’s where we are coming in as a partner—so from our perspective, the opportunity for us to grow in the automotive sector is massive here.
WHAT MANUFACTURING CHALLENGES ARE CUSTOMERS COMING TO YOU FOR?
AS: Most of the customers still look at Haimer as a supplier of world class tool holders and 3D sensors. That’s a perception that we are trying to change, especially in the past two years. And honestly, that’s our challenge—to change customers’ perceptions, from looking at Haimer not just as a company that supplies world’s best quality tool holders, but as an integrated supplier for all requirements around the machine. That’s where we are adding a lot of value to our customers.
And we are already seeing great success with the customers we are working with, in that once they start to use one Haimer product, they invariably start to use the other one because, at the end of the day, it is helping them reduce their costs.
We have made good inroads into our customers, especially in the aerospace, automotive sectors, and die and mould sector, when it comes to improving their throughputs and production, or reducing their throughput costs. And we have unique products which, keeping everything constant, can help them either improve their productivity or reduce their consumable costs by 30 to 50 percent.
HOW DO YOU HELP CUSTOMERS MOVE TOWARDS INDUSTRY 4.0?
AS: Industry 4.0 is a very big subject. Sometimes a little bit vague, I would say. It means different things to different people. But to put it in a very simple way where the manufacturing process is concerned—I would say, can we help them reduce their dependence on people, improve their processes, and in that process, improve their machine efficiency, so that costs could come down? That’s where we are trying to focus at the initial level.
A very simple example is our shrink machine. A lot of people have huge issues in operating shrink machines—they need to train their people, the same as with the pre-setting machines.
Now, our new machines come with a QR code and RFID, so you don’t even need an trained operator to be running those machines. You just scan it, and the machine does everything automatically.
We are looking at Industry 4.0 more on automating the process, reducing the dependence on people, because getting skilled operators is becoming a huge challenge. We also have high-end software to link different machines, but I would say that’s at a second stage right now.
YOUR TOOLS ARE QUITE ADVANCED. ARE THEY SUITABLE FOR THE MARKETS HERE IN SEASIA?
AS: That’s a very good question, and that’s where I think we, being the technology leaders and worldwide leaders in most of the fields we operate in, have a bigger responsibility as regards helping the industry transit into the new mode.
When we started this new concept, this journey of moving towards the process for improvements last year, the response for the first six to 12 months was very slow. But we are really feeling that traction building up towards the last half of the previous year and continuing into last year, that people are very much interested in improving their processes and reducing their costs, because as the world becomes more globalised, or I would say, as the world shrinks, the only way to reduce your costs is to have strong processes, which will help you reduce your manufacturing costs on a continuous basis year in and year out. Those are the challenges that the industry is facing right now. And I think we are a very big catalyst to a lot of our customers, helping them in their journey towards automation—towards better quality, better processes, and cost reduction.
WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR 2020?
AS: The market continues to be challenging, especially in Singapore and Malaysia for the semiconductor industry; though we are seeing some early green shoots coming in that indicates that the market might have bottomed out. If you look at Thailand, the automotive industry has been a little bit challenged, but our general feeling is that the worse may be over. I think we have seen the bottoming out of the worst phase of this industry, so we are hopeful that the end of the first quarter, things will be much better.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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″).
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.
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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.
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Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News sat down with Jeff Boyd of Sutton Tools to talk about trends and opportunities in the cutting tools market, and some of the product innovations at the company. Article by Stephen Las Marias.
Established in 1917, Sutton Tools is a family owned company manufacturing cutting tools for the metal cutting industry. The company supplies tools to end-user markets including automotive, medical, mining, power generation, aerospace, defence, and the oil and gas industries. Founded by William Henry Sutton, the company is currently managed by the fourth-generation Sutton family.
At the recent EMO Hannover 2019 trade fair in Germany, Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News sat down with Jeff Boyd, export manager at Sutton Tools, to talk about trends and opportunities in the cutting tools market, and some of the product innovations at the company.
Tells us about yourself and your role in the company.
Jeff Boyd (JB): I have a background in product engineering and technical R&D. That kind of matured into a more of a technical role in the field. In 2011, I headed up to Singapore, where I ran the company’s operation and distribution centre. I was there for nearly five years, running the Asian markets. Currently, my role is to support our teams globally, and bring the necessary market information back to our head office to support our production facility.
We offer a wide range of solutions for the metal cutting industry. We have a division in Europe, based in the Netherlands, which supplies the European region; and then from our Melbourne, Australia headquarters, we are very focused on the Asian market, where we supply various engineered cutting tools, to increase the end-users’ productivity. We have salespeople located in all the major markets in Europe and Asia. And for a company our size, that’s probably where we mainly focus on. In these markets, we have a particular focus on aerospace machining of difficult high strength materials and automotive tapping.
What challenges are you seeing in the industry?
JB: Every market has a different challenge. If I bring it down to one thing, it is finding the right people in those markets. People that are engaged in the market, and have very good relationships, because, we know we have a very good, very stable product at a competitive price and the right quality. But at the end of the day, you really need the right people that you can trust to be able to really find the right solution to offer the customer, to bring the benefit to the customer; to bring these products to them.
What opportunities are you seeing in southeast asia?
JB: I would say Southeast Asia has a very strong aerospace/aviation market. Our experiences and successes in the machining of titaniums and Inconels, particularly in the French aerospace markets over the past few years, have allowed us to leverage this knowledge and open up a number of new opportunities for Sutton Tools in Southeast Asia. That said, automotive tapping applications in Thailand and Indonesia is also of particular interest, when it comes to thread forming of forged steel components.
JB: We have a number of customers, particularly in China, for electric vehicles (EVs), and, you know, a lot of materials there are silicon-based aluminium. We have very good solutions for producing threads when it comes to forming taps for those materials. As the internal combustion engine is seeing a demise, we are focusing on EVs, and diversifying our offer; focusing from an engineering point of view on those materials necessary to produce the electric vehicles.
What products are you highlighting here at the show?
JB: We are highlighting industry-based solutions here, so we have a program for super alloy materials for the aerospace industry. In terms of machining, we have a very good carbide grade and geometry ideal for high metal removal rates with dynamic type machining strategies. We have done a lot of independent testing with our tools, and we have about three sales guys in south of France supporting the market there for the subcontractors to Airbus, which is really seeing a lot of growth in the market, particularly this year. That’s a very important area for this exhibition for us.
But we are also showcasing some new products ready for 2020. We’ve recently purchased some new equipment to produce extra-long series carbides drills. We’re releasing a range of 15xD, 20xD and 30xD carbide drills in 2020, as well as a lot of our taps for automotive tapping applications.
The cutting tools market is very competitive. what makes your products unique in the market?
JB: Sutton Tools is flexible in the way we go about our business. We really like to work with the customers, and the end-users. We are very focused on talking to the end user, understanding what their challenges are, and we try to be flexible enough to offer a solution in that way.
You mentioned you were in philippines recently. what are the opportunities you are seeing in that market?
JB: I was in the Philippines for the PDMEX 2019 event, to support our distributor there. We have a couple of aerospace customers and a few automotive customers in the Philippines. It is kind of similar, the aerospace companies based there are very much machining exotic materials including titanium; and we have a very good relationship with them for many years. There are also quite a few automotive customers, again for tapping. And they are our two strengths, really. We like to do things really well, and we put a lot of our resources into supporting the brand.