Seco Tools has introduced a modular toolholder system for manufacturers seeking to improve their productivity with Swiss-style machining. The system enables fast, easy and repeatable insert indexing and tool changes outside of tight machine work envelopes. The QC Toolholders also feature Seco Jetstream Tooling and Jetstream Tooling Duo technology for optimal chip control, high-quality surface finishes and extended tool life.
For ease of use, the Seco QC Modular Toolholder allows users to remove both cutting heads and inserts as a single assembly, quickly index them and reinstall. Manufacturers may also use this system to exchange cutting heads and inserts with a second set for even greater efficiency. The QC cutting head also features double carbide pins for accurate, consistent and secure insert mounting and indexing.
Seco Jetstream Tooling technology precisely directs high-pressure coolant through the QC Toolholder to the cutting zone. Seco Jetstream Tooling Duo, available on a selection of cutting heads, adds a second coolant channel to the underside of the holder. The second coolant channel can be switched off if needed for even more versatile machining.
The new QC Toolholders include cutting heads for general ISO turning, MDT, threading and parting-off. Shank are available in metric sizes of 1010 mm, 1212 mm and 1616 mm, and inch sizes of 0375″, 050″ and 0635″. For more information on the QC Modular Toolholders, please contact your local Seco representative or visit our QC Toolholder product page.
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.
ARNO Werkzeuge presents the AWL direct mount for STAR Swiss type machines.
The tool holder system for turning or grooving tools (patent pending) has an integrated adjustable high-pressure coolant supply of up to 130 bar. When combined with the AFC quick-change system, users can increase productivity for Swiss type machines since the system significantly cuts set-up and non-productive times.
“After Citizen, the new AWL direct mount are available for CNC Swiss type machines from Star Micronics,” says Werner Meditz, Head of Technology at ARNO Werkzeuge. The AWL tool holder system (patent pending) works for the Star machine series SR 20R II, III and IV with immediate effect. The system has two separate cooling channels which can be selectively opened or closed. The various connection options make it adaptable to several machine types. Depending on the machine and execution, the new AWL direct mount can fit two to six tools. Each chamber has an integrated coolant supply to allow the simultaneous use of several tools, whether they have internal cooling or not.
Permits Free Tool Choice
Since the direct mount is designed with integrated cooling, it dispenses with the time-consuming connection of external and cost-intensive tubes. In addition, there are no interfering contours inside the machine. Users can operate with targeted high-pressure cooling pressures up to 130 bar and stable wedged clamping of holders during machining operations to achieve longer tool lives by over 25 percent.
It now takes only a few steps to remove and fit the tools. When turned, an integrated counter nut raises the wedge slightly to permit quick and easy tool removal and fitting. According to Meditz, “The tool system allows fast, simple tool changes with enormous change precision and high process reliability.” The direct mount can also hold the tools of other manufacturers. The freedom of tool choice is one of the greatest benefits of our AWL direct mount,” stresses Meditz, “since users are not forced to depend on only one system.”
No Calibration Required With AFC
“Users have the best benefits when they combine the AWL direct mount with the AFC quick-change system from ARNO,” assures Simon Storf, Marketing Manager. To change a tool, only the front part of the two-part holder needs to be removed and a new tool is then fitted with a different holder. This dispenses with the need for recalibration in many cases. The AWL direct mount and AFC quick-change system back the manufacturer’s claim of increasing productivity at user production locations by developing customised solutions.