Walter AG has launched new single-sided indexable inserts with HU5 geometry for ISO M and S materials, helping users produce more components using the same number of machines.
The HU5 has a larger contact surface to the tool holder, increasing the stability and allowing for greater cutting depths, feeds and a larger metal removal rate—specifically, in the practical test, this comes to 18.36l/h instead of 10.71l/h. In addition to the stable fit, the decisive factor behind this is the combination of the geometry and Walter Tiger·tec Silver cutting tool materials, which allows for increases in tool life of up to 75 per cent. The geometry itself has been specially developed for heavy roughing of stainless steels and high-temperature alloys. It is typically used for applications in the oil and gas industry, for instance, in large valves made from AISI 316 material, or in the aerospace industry with Inconel 718 or titanium materials.
The main cutting edge, which is protected by a negative chamfer, prevents fractures when machining hard edge zones and optimises the performance for hard scale, for example, of forged parts. Components with interrupted cuts and other demanding machining operations are equally feasible.
The curved cutting edge and a deep chip breaker groove produce low cutting forces with high feed rates, consequently reducing the machining temperature. The variable rake angle in the area of the corner radius allows for soft chip reforming and increases the tool life. Available in standard CNMM, DNMM and SNMM, Walter rounds off its vast product range in the areas ISO S and M with the HU5 geometry. Walter now offers a total of 12 geometries in six grades as well as tools with precision cooling and ceramic or CBN inserts.
Walter AG has expanded its range of threading tools with the release of the TC410 Advance HSS-E thread former with TiN coating and a new geometry, which can be used universally for blind and through-hole threads (metric, metric fine, UNC/UNF and G), all formable materials from the ISO material groups P, M and N as well as for ISO K and S as a secondary application.
The tool’s new geometry and special post-treatment help reduce the cutting time in the material—hence reducing friction and, consequently, the amount of heat generated, which in turn reduces wear and ultimately increases the edge life of the tool. Likewise, the post-treated, extremely smooth surface of the tool reduces the torque and increases the tool life as a result.
Walter’s TC410 Advance is available in two variants: without lubrication grooves or with lubrication grooves for deeper threads up to 3.5 × DN. The tool is suitable for users with medium to large batch sizes in particular, because it can produce more threads with the same tool.
Over 1,500 international visitors—including customers, experts and industry representatives—experienced new metalworking technologies and current trends in the manufacturing industry at the Grinding Symposium 2019, a three-day trade event held by the United Grinding Group in Thun, Switzerland.
Packed with technology presentations and lectures, the Grinding Symposium also featured FutureLAB—which highlighted the future technologies in the metalworking and manufacturing industries.
“Our aim in presenting these future technologies is to create a dialogue with our customers and to discover more about their individual expectations and requirements,” explained Christoph Plüss, chief technology officer at United Grinding Group.
Through the 16 lectures at the symposium, attendees were able to discuss opportunities and challenges in the cooperation of human and machine, the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the manufacturing industry, and practical production topics.
The 13 technology presentations provided opportunities for attendees to experience the latest machines and solutions—from the Mägerle MFP 30, an innovation in machining aircraft engine blades, to the European premiere of the Studer S31 for machining very long workpieces; and from the extensive services offered by the United Grinding Group’s Customer Care department through to the production of ultra-hard tools using laser on an EWAG LASER LINE ULTRA.
The United Grinding Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of precision machines for grinding, eroding, laser cutting, measuring and combination machining. Its corporate brands include Mägerle, Blohm, Jung, Studer, Schaudt, Mikrosa, Walter and EWAG.
Walter Celebrates 100 Years Of Innovation, a provider of machining tools for milling, turning, drilling and threading applications, celebrated the centenary of its foundation on May 14, 2019.
Guests included international customers and partners, as well as Klaus Tappeser, Chief Commissioner of the district of Tübingen; Joachim Walter, District Chief Executive of Tübingen; and Boris Palmer, Lord Mayor of the city of Tübingen.
“For 100 years now, Walter AG has been a synonym for high-calibre engineering with a strong commitment to innovation. The company is an extraordinary exponent and shining example for manufacturing precision tools, where it holds a leading role in Germany,” said Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Baden-Württemberg’s State Minister for Economy, Labour and Housing, during the foundation day celebration.
The celebration focused on the innovation, creativity and future potential of Walter. Prof Dr Peter Post, Member of the German Council of Science and Humanities as well as Head of Applied Research at Festo AG, spoke about the meaning of digitalisation and innovation for the German industry.
The event featured the grand opening of the new company museum.
Richard Harris, president of Walter, said, “Walter employees have not only further developed the numerous inventions of company founder Richard Walter, but also created new tools, coatings and production methods. Our new company museum is a testimony to the Walter spirit of innovation, and it will be an inspiration to new generations of Walter engineers and technicians. Today, we celebrate their inventiveness and creativity.”
For the high requirements in the automotive sector in particular, Walter AG is introducing new boring tools with tangentially arranged indexable inserts. The usually high feeds for tangential systems are therefore transferred from the milling to the holemaking. In contrast to radial tools, tangential tools can work without good chip clearance.
Walter combines the extremely stable tool core that results from this with a separate indexable-insert geometry – and therefore not only improves the surface quality: A second clearance angle reduces the effective clearance angle, which is otherwise high for tangential tools, and reduces “chattering”. The square-shaped indexable insert can be installed at any angle. At 72° and 90°, a face chamfer (wiper) also works. This also guides the tool and keeps it quiet. Boring conditions of 4 × Dc can therefore be achieved. Even small diameters (from 24 mm) can be machined with three teeth (z3).
The objective of combining roughing and finishing in a single roughing/finishing machining process is achieved in many cases thanks to the tangential boring tools. Multiple steps and high feeds shorten the machining time here. Other arguments put forward by Walter in favour of the concept include high precision thanks to stability as well as the cost-effectiveness of the indexable inserts with 4 plus 4 cutting edges. A wide range of inserts make the special tools particularly advantageous for users who manufacture components made of cast iron, chrome-nickel materials or steel and aluminium, such as turbine or gearbox housings, gears, cylinder bores and steering knuckles. This is especially the case if they want large machining allowances of 2 to 7 mm.
Richard Harris will become the new President of the Management Board on 4 February 2019. He follows Mirko Merlo, who has been President of Walter AG since 2012 and decided at the end of 2018 to leave the company at his own request.
Richard Harris brings with him to Tübingen many years of experience in tool production and in strategic supply management. The new Walter President has held various management positions for the parent company Sandvik since 2002. Most recently, Richard Harris led the Powder and Blanks Technology division within Sandvik Machining Solutions, which has been trading under the name SMS Supply since 2018. While there, he has made decisive advances in the strategic and operative development of supply management.
The 49-year-old from Britain said of his new position as President of Walter AG, “Walter has an outstanding reputation in the machining industry: The company is a pioneer for technology in many areas. The digitalisation strategy, started by Mirko Merlo, puts the company in an ideal position for the future. Together with the Walter Team, I want to further develop this successful business strategy so that we can continue to grow globally in a demanding and ever-changing market environment.”
Walter AG would like to thank Mirko Merlo for 35 years of very successful work for the company. In his time as President, he set Walter AG on a path of growth and profitability. “Walter has performed extremely well over the last six years. Now is the right time to enable change at the highest level of management and to lead the company strategically into the future,” Mirko Merlo explained with regards to his decision. “I wish Richard Harris great success in his future tasks and positive challenges.”
Walter AG supports its customers with high-quality product data, which is available from tool data management systems and online libraries such as MachiningCloud. Article by Walter AG.
A focus on the needs of customers sets machining specialist Walter apart, including when it comes to providing digital product data. Konstantinos Bountolas, Product Data Solutions Manager at Walter, summarises the company’s data philosophy as follows: “Product data that is ready to use enables our users to find, choose and assemble tools more quickly when it comes to designing, planning, NC programming and purchasing, as well as on the shop floor.”
Walter’s strategy of focussing on its customers is also geared towards the customers’ procurement preferences. “We leave it to our customers to choose where they would like to access the product data for our tools. Everyone has their own preferred channels for obtaining this data. All that matters is making sure that we provide our data exactly where our customers are looking for it,” he explains. Walter mainly relies on the “channels” of MachiningCloud, the e-catalogue for TDM and Tools United.
Walter On MachiningCloud
Customers around the world can access more than 40,000 Walter tool elements on MachiningCloud. “MachiningCloud is perfect for us,” underlines Konstantinos Bountolas. “There, we present our tools in virtually the same way as in our catalogue. Thanks to Walter’s standardised product designations, the way in which the products are presented and the logos that customers are familiar with, users will find our products without fail on MachiningCloud.”
Walter E-Catalogue For TDM
MachiningCloud and the Walter e-catalogue for TDM have similar functions, such as product specification lists (cutting diameter, projection length, length of cutting edge, the direction of rotation, etc.), 2D drawings, 3D models, photos and descriptions. But the Walter e-catalogue for TDM goes into even greater detail. With an average of 20 parameters, it contains all the information that is required by a CAD/CAM system. The e-catalogue can also be linked to ERP software via TDM. Konstantinos Bountolas confirms: “It’s not good when customers have to manually re-measure missing properties, such as lengths and diameters and have to manually enter parameters. Customers want product data at the touch of a button.”
More than 900,000 tool components from 36 different manufacturers, including Walter, are stored on the Tools United tool platform. The platform provides NC programmers, buyers, tool managers, project managers and design engineers with product data based on their requirements in standardised formats and common export interfaces for tool management systems and CAM systems.
Optimising Processes With Apps From Walter
Optimally prepared digital product data, which the company provides to its customers across different platforms, is just one part of the digital product range. Walter offers a whole host of apps for various applications in the machining process. These include apps for wear optimisation, for ascertaining the ideal indexable inserts, for calculating starting values and for configuring special tools.
The Walter eLibrary app provides access to all printed catalogues and brochures in 17 languages. PDFs can be printed out as individual pages. The app is optimised for use on all devices.
The Walter GPS machining navigation system is another way of finding the right tool without fail. It supplies tool and cutting data recommendations perfectly adapted to the machining task at hand, along with information on the machining strategy, cost-efficiency calculations and more. Konstantinos Bountolas is certain that “with Walter GPS, we definitely have one of the best applications for tool recommendations currently available on the market.”
Walter Machining Calculator
The Walter Machining Calculator supplies cutting data for milling, drilling and turning machining operations. For example, torque, drive power and machining volume, as well as the main operating time, main cutting force and chip thickness. In addition, a simple cost comparison of two tool solutions is possible with the integrated profitability calculator.
Wear Optimisation app
This helps increase the tool life by visualising forms of wear and illustrating the causes of wear.
Walter Insert Converter app
The Insert Converter specifies exactly which Walter indexable insert is compatible with the solution that is currently in use.
Feeds & Speeds app
Walter Feeds & Speeds calculates starting values and the cutting speed and feed for turning, drilling, threading and milling.
Walter Xpress configures special tools using an interactive online form and is available for around 10,000 defined variants.
Konstantinos Bountolas summarises: “We are convinced that high-quality data is the basis for optimising customers’ processes. With our digital solutions, we are paving the way towards Industry 4.0 for our customers.”
Industry 4.0, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), digitalisation, networked production – these topics seem to be everywhere. So much so that the mere mention of the buzzword “Industry 4.0” causes uncertainty among many technicians in medium-sized companies. This is because they are unsure what “Industry 4.0” will actually mean for their own day-to-day work and their future-proof production strategy and production planning. By Florian Böpple, Digital Manufacturing Manager at Walter.
WPV10 and WPV20 are the latest insert grades that Walter USA has introduced to its Perform line of turning tools. Designed for versatility and cost-effectiveness, they cater to users whose machines are limited in cutting parameters. These resourceful inserts can handle different materials, as well as machines that come in small or medium sizes.
Both grades have chemical vapour deposition coating and gold colour for easy wear detection. In field testing, the inserts demonstrated superior process reliability and good chip control with tool life increases of up to 100 percent when compared to their counterparts.
Dirk Masur, aerospace component manager and specialist in titanium machining, Walter AG, tells APMEN how Walter is improving methods in which this difficult element is fabricated with the aid of special tools.
Tübingen-based specialist Walter’s Xpress range is made to measure for the exacting requirements of the aerospace industry. In particular, their solid carbide tools with customer-specific dimensions are available for delivery within two to a maximum of three weeks. An innovative and new tool coating and tool technology ensure that tool life is more than doubled in some cases.
In the aerospace industry, things are done a little differently in comparison to other sectors. Weight plays a pivotal role, and every gram less counts. It is ultimately a product’s weight that determines its profitability, rather than part and component prices. It’s no wonder then that titanium is enjoying considerable growth and popularity in this sector. This is the case especially for structural components for which high strength also matters. Typical examples are doors and door frame surroundings, landing gear supports, undercarriage struts or landing flap tracks. Titanium is also corrosion- and temperature-resistant.
However, manufacturers of aircraft for civil aviation in particular are finding themselves increasingly subject to the pressures of a series manufacturer, as is familiar for example from the automotive industry. Up until now, Boeing, Airbus, and to a lesser extent Bombardier, have mainly shared the market between themselves. Meanwhile, new competitors from China and Russia are preparing to enter the market. The pressure for manufacturing to become as cost-effective as possible is therefore increasing.
Further Development Of The Tooling Systems
The challenge lies in titanium being more difficult to machine than aluminium, which has largely been used until now. Its high chemical reactivity leads to chips becoming fused at the cutting edge during machining. The poor thermal conductivity of the material allows temperatures at the cutting edge to rise significantly. The resulting chips are often extremely tough and abrasive. The minimal modulus of elasticity leads easily to the workpiece bending. Together with material solidification in the edge zone, this reduces the tool edge life even at low cutting speeds.
The tool costs also significantly depend on the demands placed on the component and the material, as well as on the process. Decreasing the wall thickness can cause the parts to become extremely unstable, thus an important focus is the stability of the machine and the clamping. Using the right coolant strategy also has a significant influence on tool life. Walter is continually developing its tooling systems with the aim of reducing machining times. Carbide substrates, new coating technologies and macro- and micro-geometries of the cutting tools play an important role here. The machining strategy can, however, also be further optimised in collaboration with CAD/CAM specialists.
This all makes high-performance cutting (HPC) and high-dynamic cutting (HDC) for finishing and roughing titanium possible today. Dynamic milling with the Walter Prototyp Ti38 Z6-10 and innovative new coating enables cutting speeds of up to 140 m/min to be achieved. Multi-tooth solutions with up to ten teeth allow the feed to be increased by up to 50 percent at low contact widths. These solid carbide tool solutions can ultimately achieve an increase in metal removal rate of up to 50 percent in comparison to conventional solutions.
Coating Determines Tool Life
An example of the newly developed substrate and coating technologies is the PVD-based coating (physical vapour deposition) for solid carbide tools in the Walter Prototyp Ti range. This coating substantially increases tool life in comparison to the conventional aluminium chromium nitride coating— by up to 100 percent and more.
This means that the tool life of a window frame made of 3.7164 titanium with a tensile strength of 1250 N/mm² when semi-finishing and finishing using a Prototyp HPC Ti40 has been able to be raised by 154 percent from 175 minutes to 444 minutes. Using a Prototyp HDC Ti38 L for finishing the outer contour has extended tool life by 116 percent. The speed has been increased by 25 percent and the machining volume by 23 percent.
A further innovation is CVD coating technology for the indexable insert cutting tool material WSM45X, which is used for example for the Walter BLAXX M3255 porcupine milling cutter. The coating functions as a heat protection shield, facilitating high cutting speeds of up to 65 m/min and extending tool edge life to up to 130 minutes. This makes it possible to double the tool life of titanium structural components, which are typically made using a mixture of full slotting and climb milling at a cutting speed of 45 m/min and a feed of 0.12 mm. A further option is to increase the cutting speed to 65 m/min with a constant tool life of around 60 minutes. Finish-milling can also be carried out with PCD (polycrystalline diamond) cutting edges, which are amongst the hardest materials known.
An appropriate coolant strategy must be implemented in this case, however, in order to keep the machining temperature at the cutting edge under 600 deg C. In general, the cutting fluid and the concentration of the cooling medium have a significant influence, especially on tool life. It is most important to introduce the cooling medium as directly as possible into the working zone. This is facilitated by special coolant-throughs in the tools. High-pressure cooling at up to 70 bar is very advanced for new machine tools. Special tool solutions for cryogenic machining go even further, working with liquid carbon dioxide or nitrogen, which is even colder.
From Tool Supplier To Technology Partner
Walter considers itself to be a digital process partner and is therefore developing tools which are ever more closely related to applications in the sense of “component solutions”. This requires an entire team of specialists. Appropriate CAD/CAM skills are a key prerequisite for complete evaluation of the processes. Walter caters to its customers’ needs and offers tools, solutions and services throughout the entire process.
With regard to this development, Walter developed the “Component Solutions” project in collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield some time ago. In the course of the project, special machining strategies were developed for all pocket shapes occurring for structural components, using the CAM programs commonly used in the aviation and aerospace industries. This “toolbox” enables a suitable machining process to be quickly and efficiently derived from a 3D model of a customer component.
Highest Quality In The Shortest Time
“Good things come to those who wait” no longer rings true today. Even high-performance tools with special, customer-specific dimensions are subject to immense time pressure. Since the beginning of the year, Walter has therefore been offering the Walter Xpress service especially for the aerospace sector too. Xpress tool solutions are available for delivery within two to a maximum of three weeks. The speed starts from the ordering process itself. The my.Walter software solution enables the customer to design the tool online themselves or together with a trained field service employee.
With “Walter Online Xpress”, the customer receives a binding quotation including a 2D drawing and 3D model by e-mail within a maximum of one hour. The order itself, which is frequently a bottleneck within the company, is also significantly accelerated using Walter tool management.