Sandvik Coromant has bolstered its digital machining offering by appointing Albert Waloni as Digital Machining Manager for Southeast Asia and Oceania (SEAO), a brand-new role for the region. From Sandvik Coromant’s facility in Jakarta, Indonesia, Waloni will be responsible for raising Sandvik Coromant’s profile as an expert in digital machining, supporting a core growth area for the business.
After graduating with a mechanical engineering degree from Atmajaya University in Jakarta in 2005, Waloni began a career at Sandvik Group, where he worked for Sandvik Machining Solutions division, helping factories to increase productivity and save costs.
In 2012, Waloni joined Sandvik’s Coromant division working in various roles such as Machine Investments, Distribution and recently as Regional Sales Manager in Indonesia. Now, Waloni has been appointed as Digital Machining Manager — a new job role created by Sandvik Coromant.
“Research and advances in technology have allowed us to expand into digital technology solutions”, said Waloni, Digital Machining Manager for SEAO at Sandvik Coromant. “Although Sandvik Coromant is recognised globally as a tooling company, we believe we can broaden our solutions by helping customers with our digital machining offering. Our solutions can be implemented in design and planning, tool preparation, in machining and post machining.
“My new role will involve communicating such solutions to customers in automotive, aerospace, oil and gas and general engineering industries across SEAO. Besides this, I will also educate our team and customers on the benefits and qualities of the digital machining solutions we offer. For instance, some customers aren’t aware that we offer software solutions related to cloud computing or that others can enhance the capabilities of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM),” he continued.
“Albert’s experience, both in and outside of Sandvik, has positioned him with superb machine tools knowledge”, said Melda Siregar, Senior Marketing Specialist for SEAO at Sandvik Coromant. “His engineering background and multiple managerial roles give him the skills to lead this new digital role at Sandvik Coromant, helping to equip both colleagues and customers with the tools required for a digital future.”
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.
James Thorpe of Sandvik Coromant explains how, by combining advanced software with the correct machine tools, manufacturers can digitalise profitably, and on their own terms.
The Industry 4.0 & Smart Manufacturing Adoption Report by IoT Analytics suggests that Industry 4.0 technology uptake is still low among manufacturers. Given that the advantages of Industry 4.0 are now so well-understood, why aren’t more manufacturers digitalising their processes?
One perception is that applying Industry 4.0 to existing production setups is expensive when, actually, it doesn’t have to be. Another reason for the slow uptake is that manufacturers see no reason to upgrade their existing tooling set-up and processes. If it isn’t broke, why change it? Manufacturers in this category may be unsure how Industry 4.0 fits into their established way of doing things.
The truth is, automated Industry 4.0 technologies can greatly benefit manufacturers’ bottom lines. For instance, Sandvik Coromant has found that a 20 percent increase in machine utilisation can provide a 10 percent higher gross profit margin and automated systems can massively increase machine uptime.
Automated equipment can also support the growing trend for machining with limited, or no, human supervision — particularly amid the pandemic. As stated in a recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) report, COVID-19: What It Means for Industrial Manufacturers, “For companies vulnerable to a viral outbreak within their ranks, this would be a critical time to explore a proactive deployment of automation technologies.”
Today’s Industry 4.0 technologies, including sensors and machine learning can also be beneficial in minimising the number of production stops. Again, increasing profit. This includes stops needed to replace worn tooling, like drills.
Previously, operators had to rely on manual monitoring to detect wear in machine tools. PwC’s report points towards the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as an alternative. An example of this is Sandvik Coromant’s latest CoroPlus Machining Insights platform, an expansion of the company’s CoroPlus suite of connectivity software.
Using Machining Insights, CNC machines can connect through Ethernet and transmit information at higher volume than they can currently. This includes manufacturing data to improve workshop efficiency and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). And this isn’t limited to new machinery.
Most machines are connectible to the network, and there are adapters for older machines to make them compatible. In other words, Industry 4.0 can be integrated easily, even with legacy hardware.
Machining Insights is designed to give manufacturers greater visibility of machining processes and provide information to identify and eliminate downtime and inefficiency. This includes during periods of largely or fully-automated processes.
Let’s face it, one of the biggest threats to production is unpredictable tool life. For a tool to properly support automated production, limiting continuous, controllable wear and eliminating discontinuous, uncontrollable wear are the keys to success.
Sandvik Coromant’s specialists had this in mind when developing the CoroDrill 860 with enhanced -GM geometry, a new design solid carbide drill that’s optimised for a wide range of materials and applications, across all industry sectors.
Experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along the way to recovery.
The year 2020 had been an extraordinary one, with the COVID-19 pandemic basically putting the global manufacturing industry on a standstill—at least except those essential industries that have scrambled to create medical equipment such as ventilators, and testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment including face masks and face shields.
The pandemic put into spotlight the agility and resiliency needed in every manufacturing industry, as supply chains get stuck and manufacturers are at a loss as to how to obtain their raw materials and parts.
Nevertheless, the show must go on. And as vaccines are now being developed, it won’t be long until we see light at the end of this tunnel. In this special feature, experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along our way to recovery.
Simon Côté, Product Manager
The metalworking industry will continue to undergo major transformations in 2021. As customers continue to require more complex and sophisticated parts, it is becoming even more crucial for metalworking firms to implement new strategies and technologies to monitor the quality and compliance of final products—all while accelerating throughput due to demanding timelines.
There is no doubt 2020 will be remembered by most as a year to forget due to the pandemic and the global uncertainty, but it will also be considered as a starting point by those that were able to adapt to the market challenges by implementing or accelerating innovation-focused plans.
The outlook for the global economy in 2020 deteriorated significantly primarily due to the massive economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, we nevertheless are expecting global GDP growth to return back to the level of 2019.
Metalworking companies across all industries have been facing increasing demands for years now—albeit some levelling was and is still visible in the current pandemic. To hold their own fortress against international competition, companies need versatile and efficient solutions for a wide variety of production tasks. One solution is the digitalization and networking of production and logistics processes—the basic technologies surrounding Industry 4.0.
Eran Salmon, Executive Head of Research and Development
“Business as Usual” is constantly being redefined at ISCAR to meet the varying needs of global metalworking industries. In such a reality, innovative technologies and business opportunities emerge to meet all the challenges ahead.
2020 has seen the COVID-19 pandemic act on top of the existing geopolitical factors and on the shift to e-mobility, with the result of accelerating the evolution of the manufacturing environment. The trend of focusing on production resilience is set to continue, resulting in a more localized supply chain and a higher concentration on global players.
Despite the restrictions predicted for 2021, most businesses have not stood still. In industries where exhibitions play a major role, it was more a question of how to bring innovations to market—especially with regard to communication. Many of the people I spoke to were initially very excited about the digital possibilities, and certainly rightly so.
Boon Choon Lim, President, Korea, ASEAN, Pacific, India
The year 2020 was characterized by virtual work and learning, as individuals and businesses reinvented themselves to maintain productivity. Optimising the digital landscape will continue in 2021, as companies embrace innovation to meet their needs.
To stay competitive, manufacturers need to rely more on digitized processes and less manual interaction. To meet the new requirements, we need to continue to drive the development and digitalization of the manufacturing industry. Sandvik Coromant have a unique venture with Microsoft, combining Sandvik Coromant’s expertise in machining with Microsoft’s technical solutions.
Alex Teo, Managing Director and Vice President for South East Asia
2020 underscored two important pillars of manufacturing: adaptability and resiliency. With COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, manufacturers need to inject their production chain with the agility to pivot and adapt to constantly changing market conditions.
“Change is the only constant in life” and this is characteristically so for 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Though businesses were disrupted, but in the same fast pace, opportunities arose for additive manufacturing (AM) in the medical frontline, responding quickly to severe restrictions in supply chains and traditional manufacturing bases.
Unusual times in 2020 have brough significant difficulties in all walks of life, and manufacturing is no exception. The downturn in industrial activity has been evident during these COVID-19 times—mandatory closures, disruptions to the supply chain, and the stringent social distancing regulations imposed a devastating impact worldwide including the ASEAN region.
The coronavirus pandemic is leaving deep scars in the German and international machine tool industry. For 2020, the VDW expects a decline in production of 30 percent. After economic data and economic indicators showed an upward trend in the third quarter, uncertainty in the economy is currently increasing in view of the second wave of the pandemic.
Sandvik Coromant has partnered with Autodesk—developers of software for design and manufacturing, which will deliver significant benefits to the future of Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and help customers stay competitive.
The first step of the collaboration will tackle one of the most widespread challenges in CAM; the complex task of specifying cutting tools to determine the most effective way to use them.
“Today’s manufacturing world is increasingly competitive,” explained Jonas Ström, Product Manager at Sandvik Coromant. “Materials are lighter, harder and stronger, machines are more advanced, batch sizes are smaller and component design is increasingly complex — all of this leads to an increased need for CAM programming and skilled CAM users.
“As engineers, CAM users love seeking new technologies and testing solutions, but they are often limited by the time constraints associated with CNC machining. By providing them access to tool information, recommendations and knowledge of unique machining methods at the click of a button, we hope to simplify their process,” concluded Ström.
Typically, CAM users rely on manually transferring data from tooling catalogues and inputting the parameters into CAM software. This process is often laborious and can increase time-to-market expectations.
“Manufacturing and metal cutting are already complex processes, and they’re often made more difficult by manually managing tooling information resulting in delayed setup times and increased room for machining error,” said Srinath Jonnalagadda, Vice President of Business Strategy for Design and Manufacturing at Autodesk. “By pairing our CAM software solutions with Sandvik Coromant’s deep tooling knowledge and expertise, we’re helping customers reduce time and improve efficiency in the preparation phase.”
The Autodesk partnership is part of a long-term vision for Sandvik Coromant. The two companies have similar goals — to help customers stay competitive with new technologies and to provide digital design and manufacturing solutions.
The first step in this new partnership will remove the time-consuming nature of data selection by providing Autodesk customers with access to the Sandvik Coromant tool data.
British luxury watch manufacturer Bremont made the most of Sandvik Coromant and DMG MORI’s strategic partnership as it introduced a turnkey manufacturing cell to double capacity at its factory.
The NTX 1000, a state-of-the-art 5-axis machining center from DMG MORI, was is equipped with tool packages from Sandvik Coromant.
Luxury watchmaker Bremont Watch Company is a true British manufacturing success story. Founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002, the company specialises in the manufacture of certified chronometers for the aviation sector. These watches are assembled, as well as shock and quality tested, at the manufacturer’s dedicated headquarters in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK. Production of the main components, such as stainless steel backs and casings, takes place just a few minutes’ drive away.
High demand and the launch of six new watch designs meant that Bremont’s production capacity had to be increased. To achieve this, the company purchased an NTX 1000, a state-of-the-art 5-axis machining centre from DMG MORI, which is equipped with tool packages from Sandvik Coromant.
The project was six months in the making, explains Mathew Bates, a machine tool investment specialist from Sandvik Coromant’s UK Machine Tool Solutions team. “From the beginning, the objective was to deliver a ‘right first time’ solution,” explains Bates. “We wanted Bremont to be able to use the new system straight away.”
Close collaboration with application technicians from DMG MORI was needed, with regard to the selection of suitable tools.
“We knew that we had to produce six new watches,” says Bates. “As soon as the drawings were ready we met with specialists from DMG MORI to compile a list of standard tools and to determine which special tools would be needed.”
Integrated Automation for 24/7 Operation
The DMG MORI NTX 1000 is equipped with a magazine for 38 Coromant Capto tools, with the option of expanding the capacity up to 76 tools. The turn and mill machine is suitable for turning and high-speed milling in five axes, simultaneously.
Thanks to the bar loader, the machine produces the different stainless steel components around the clock without any operator intervention.
Everything from a Single Source—Tools, Machine, Automation and Programming
Even before the installation of the machine, Frederick Shortt, application technician at DMG MORI, and his development team created and simulated the numerical control (NC) programs with the Vericut computer-aided manufacture (CAM) system.
“Together with Sandvik Coromant we optimised all programs in such a way that as few tools as possible are needed,” says Shortt.
In other words, Bremont only bought what they really needed. As this all took place before the installation, so Bremont was able to start producing from day one.
“This joint optimisation meant that any teething problems were reduced to a minimum and the investment quickly paid off for Bremont,” explains James Rhys-Davies, Strategic Relations Director, Northern Europe at Sandvik Coromant.
“The call for such turnkey solutions will increase steadily. Although the preliminary costs are sometimes a little higher, the benefits of a fast return on investment (ROI) and maximisation of machine availability make such turnkey production cells a very attractive option, as cost per part is generally much lower.”
Sandvik Coromant has announced Helen Blomqvist as its new President, succeeding Nadine Crauwels.
As president, Helen will be responsible for enhancing Sandvik Coromant’s leading position in manufacturing tools and machining solutions and sharing the knowledge that drives the manufacturing industry forward. Helen will report to the newly appointed President of Sandvik Machining Solutions, Nadine Crauwels, and will be a member of the Sandvik Machining Solutions Management Team. She starts her new position on 1 December 2020.
Blomqvist has a solid background with Sandvik Coromant and joined the company in 2003 as a research engineer. In her 17 years, she has held various managerial positions in Product Management and R&D, as well as in sales — having been the General Manager for Sales Area North Europe. She holds two patents and in 2018, she was awarded Sandvik Coromant Leader of the Year.
Blomqvist is a Swedish national and holds a PhD in Structural Chemistry from Stockholm University.
“I am pleased and honoured to have the opportunity to lead Sandvik Coromant, a company with a fantastic position for products and solutions that are adding value to our customers. I look forward to working with Sandvik Coromant’s management team, employees and partners to continue to develop our offering, our innovation power and to implement our strategy to lead the industry forward and shape the future of the manufacturing industry. My focus will be to strengthen our role as market leader.” says Blomqvist.
Sandvik Coromant owns over 3,100 patents worldwide, employs 7,00 members of staff and is represented in 150 countries. For more information on Sandvik Coromant, please visit the Sandvik Coromant website for the latest news.
Milling 101: What are the considerations when it comes to milling operations, and how can operators reduce vibration in milling? Read on. Article by Sandvik Coromant.
Milling has been evolved into a method that machines a very broad range of operations. In addition to all the conventional applications, milling is a strong alternative for producing holes, threads, cavities and surfaces that used to be turned, drilled or tapped.
There are different types of milling operations. They are:
Groove milling and parting off
Holes and cavities/ pocketing
The following are the initial considerations for milling operations:
The milled configuration
The features to be milled have to be carefully considered. These can be located deep, requiring extended tooling, or contain interruptions and inclusions.
Workpiece surfaces can be demanding, with cast skin or forging scale. In cases of bad rigidity, caused by thin sections or weak clamping, dedicated tooling and strategies have to be used. The workpiece material and its machinability must also be analyzed to establish optimal cutting data.
The choice of milling method will determine the type of machine needed. Face/shoulder or slot milling can be performed in 3-axis machines, while milling 3D profiles require alternatively 4- or 5-axis machines.
Turning centres today often have milling capability due to driven tools, and machining centres often have turning capability. CAM developments mean that 5-axis machines are increasingly common. They offer increased flexibility, but stability can be a limitation.
How to Reduce Vibration in Milling
Milling vibration can arise due to limitations in the cutting tool, the holding tool, the machine, the workpiece or the fixture. To reduce vibration, there are some strategies to consider.
It’s said that life is a marathon, not a sprint. For automotive manufacturers, longer lasting tooling solutions are integral to more profitable production—but, often, manufacturers see little reason to change their existing tool set-up. In this article, James Thorpe, global product manager at Sandvik Coromant, explains why the benefits of longer-lasting tools shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly for reducing costs-per-part or increasing overall output.
Unpredictable tool life is one of the biggest threats in mass automotive production, particularly as its operations are so highly-automated and use some of the world’s most advanced robotics and automation systems. Downtime is time-consuming, disrupts production and is also expensive, so it goes without saying that tool failures should be avoided at all costs.
In some instances, manufacturers set the tool change interval to less than the maximum tool life. This approach is normally preferred because material variations in automotive components are minimal. It follows that the tool changes should be predictable, and safer, than trying to extend the tool life to manufacture a few more components.
For Sandvik Coromant’s specialists, the key to longer tool life is not limited to the amount of time a tool spends in use, but also the drill design itself. This approach led to the development of the CoroDrill 860 with enhanced -GM geometry, a new design solid carbide drill that’s optimized for a wide range of materials and applications, across all industry sectors.
For the CoroDrill 860-GM, Sandvik Coromant applied its machine tooling and metal cutting expertise to develop a new grade, a unique fine-grained carbide substrate known as X1BM. The fine-grained carbide is imbued with increased hardness while maintaining toughness.
Furthermore, the drill is tip-coated with a multi-layer physical vapor deposition (PVD) thin film coating. This is key to improving the drill’s productivity and delivering a consistent tool life across a variety of materials. The result is a tool with excellent stability, machining security and improved tool life when machining cast iron, steel, stainless steel, hardened steels and non-ferrous metals.
Assessing Tool Life
A better way to assess tool life is by measuring the amount of material removed. To aid productivity, the CoroDrill 860-GM has an innovative, polished flute design that improves the evacuation of chips and yields greater hole quality. This also helps to reduce heat build-up in the tool, and further benefits are high core strength and reduced cutting forces while drilling.
The 860-GM forms part of Sandvik Coromant’s CoroDrill range of solid carbide drills. They are designed not only for optimized performance but also versatility, which means they can be deployed in a variety of applications and materials across multiple industries.
This includes use with the following material groups: ISO-P, the largest material group in metal cutting that ranges from unalloyed to high-alloyed material; ISO-M that includes difficult-to-cut stainless steels, austenitic steels and duplex steels; ISO-K grey, nodular and compacted graphite cast iron; ISO-H steels with a Rockwell hardness of between 45-65 HRc; and ISO-N for softer, non-ferrous materials such as aluminium, copper and brass.
As mentioned, the CoroDrill 860-GM has an enhanced design, but what exactly does this entail? Much of this relates to the design of the drill itself that includes an advanced optimized point and flute geometry, reinforced core and corner chamfers, edge preparation to remove cutting edge micro defects, and a double margin to enhance drilling stability. The drill’s point is also designed with refined clearance angles and improved surface quality.
Overall, these design features stabilise the drill, reduce entry and exit burr and improve the hole tolerance, finish and straightness. The drill also gives stable wear progression and delivers excellent hole accuracy.
Sandvik Coromant has embarked on a unique venture with Microsoft to drive forward the development and digitalisation of the manufacturing industry. Combining Sandvik Coromant’s expertise in machining with technical solutions from Microsoft, the collaboration will seek to link up parts of the production chain to create solutions for the next generation of manufacturing. The contract also includes an acceleration of the internal digitalisation network for Sandvik Coromant.
Sandvik Coromant’s CoroPlus offering, developed in part with Microsoft, is based on Azure IoT Suite, Cortana Intelligence Suite and Dynamics 365 for Field Service. Among other things, the offering connects people, machines, tools and data on a single platform to offer Sandvik Coromant’s customers a better basis for decision making, and provides an overview of the various developments in the manufacturing process. This can enable savings, for example, by reducing machine downtimes.
“We see this collaboration with Microsoft as key to the success of our digital strategy. We have a historic relationship with them and look forward to continuing our journey, creating value by working together to develop and implement solutions for the manufacturing industry to guarantee efficiency, sustainability and growth. This unique partnership represents a new way for our companies to work together more closely to develop our competence,” explained Nadine Crauwels, President of Sandvik Coromant.
One unique aspect of Sandvik Coromant’s CoroPlus offering is that data is not only gathered at machine level to adjust equipment, notify technicians about maintenance requirements and warn managers about potential problems. Data is also gathered at tool level, which means that the customer’s industrial tool becomes “smart” and can be adapted and adjusted at any time for efficient use and to prevent production stoppages.
The partnership with Microsoft adopts an integrated approach to digitising the data, expertise and experience used on a daily basis by Sandvik Coromant to guide their customers, and will serve as an additional tool to facilitate streamlining of production.
The new joint venture between Sandvik Coromant and Microsoft gets under way in the first quarter of 2020 and will involve operations both in Sweden and abroad.