Kurt Machining Utilizes Live Tool Speed Increaser, Realizes 9x Tool Cost Savings in Less Than a Year
Minnesota CNC shop, and manufacturer of Kurt Vises, uses Heimatec speed increaser to up RPM and feed rate; significantly reduces cycle time on aluminum engraving application.
Kurt Machining (Minneapolis, Minnesota) specializes in providing precision CNC machined parts, using state-of-the-art technologies and up to 5-axis machining. Since 1952, this 110,000 sq. ft. shop has provided its customers in a variety of high-quality demand markets with components and welded assemblies. These include aerospace, defense, semiconductor, energy, automotive and more.
Eisenshank turned to his local tooling distributor, Abrasive Specialists, Inc. (ASI) and their tooling partner, Platinum Tooling, for suggestions. Leigh Kinnan of ASI worked with the local Platinum Tooling representative, Cody Papenfus, to test run a Heimatec speed increaser, with the goal of increasing RPM on the machine and decrease part cycle time, with a documentation of the potential savings.
After performing the calculations in consultation with Preben Hansen, president of Platinum Tooling and exclusive importer for Heimatec products in North America, it was determined a significant savings could be realized.
Detailing the application, ASI demonstrated that a 1:3 speeder, increased the spindle RPM enough that when coupled with the nearly 3X increase in the feed rate on the machine, would produce a significant improvement to the current machining cycle.
Calculating the reduction in machining cost per part and factoring the cost of the speed increaser, it was determined the use of the Heimatec product onboard the Hwacheon turning center would result in a 9X cost saving for the customer, in the first year’s production run on this engraved aluminum component.
As Shawn Eisenshank notes, “This is one of those classic scenarios, where the theoretical has proven out in practice, as we’ve seen exactly the results ASI and Platinum Tooling proposed in their test calculations.”
Cody Papenfus of Hexis in Plymouth, Minnesota, who is the area rep for Platinum Tooling adds, “We say we put our expertise to work at the spindle of the machine and, in this case, that’s exactly what happened. The speed increaser performed as expected, the customer got the results promised and it was a win-win, for all. We serve our customers for the long haul and successes like this one are the big reason.”
Kurt Machining performs both vertical and horizontal milling and turning, complex assemblies and weldments, delivering with rapid lead times. CAD compatibility is offered for web-based communications and fully interactive manufacturing engagement for its customers.
The company performs contract manufacturing in high quantity as well as prototyping for new designs. Kurt also performs impact extrusion, heat treating and cleanroom operations including ultrasonic cleaning of stainless steel and aluminum components and assemblies, with cleaning to Class 1000 with 100 protocol.
The company is ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D plus NADCAP Certified. Kurt Machining is quality certified by the U.S. Government to MIL-Q-9858 and MIL-I-45208.
Accu is the message that is displayed when the battery needs to be changed.
This message does not mean there is an error or accuracy malfunction with the boring head. The head should still continue to function for a few more adjustments. If this message appears on the EWE heads, the wireless connectivity to the App and history functions are deactivated until the battery is replaced.
NTK offers an extensive line of high precision boring tooling designed for Swiss machines. One of these produce lines is called “Mogul Bar”. The Mogul Bar system provides the user outstanding chip control and higher rigidity than most conventional tooling on the market.
Outstanding chip evacuationThe most notable characteristics of the Mogul Bar is excellent chip evacuation and chip control. Mogul Bars outfitted with NTK’s “F” or “FG” chipbreaker inserts will evacuate chips backwards.
This means that when a Mogul Bar machines an I.D. bore, chips comes out towards the bore entrance. The major-ity of boring processes on Swiss machines are done on the main spindle side and thus the bore itself is a blind hole. This machining process creates many issues if you use conventional boring bars designed for CnC lathes.
Typical difficulties incurred during a boring process on Swiss machines are either chips remaining in the bore and rough surfaces caused by inconsistent chip control. However, Mogul Bars equipped with nTK uniquely designed chipbreakers, evacuate chips straight backwards and solves both of these problems at once.
Another important feature of the Mogul Bar series is high rigidity. Mogul Bars increased rigidity is a result of a newly designed bar head configuration and a minimal flat width on the bar.
Steel shank Mogul Bars can machine as deep as L/D=5, a depth which nor-mally requires expensive carbide shank boring bars.
NTK carbide shank Mogul Bars can machine up to L/D=7 depth and this gives users flexibility of machin-ing deeper bores in a single process. rigidly and mini-mal flat widths reduce vibration.
Variety of Insert Grades
NTK offers both coated carbide grades and cermet insert grades for Mogul Bars. As most tooling engineers know, cermet grades can machine at faster speeds with higher productivity, provide better sur-face finishes and can achieve more accurate dimen-sion control, than carbide grades. These benefits come from the fact that the primary substrate of cermet grades, Tin /TiC, are chemically stable compared with WC of carbide grades and have better adhesion resistance.
Mogul Bars are available from a minimum machining diameter of 5mm. With the combination of NTK unique chipbreakers, you can enjoy better chip control and highly rigid boring bars. In comparison with solid carbide boring tools, Mogul Bars has cost advantage as well.
If you are facing chip control or chattering issues, NTK believes that Mogul Bars can be the answer to your problems.
Over the years, many of our customers have come to us because they were regularly breaking taps.
This meant that the holes had to go from a depth of .150" to .190". The 2-56UN thread’s major diameter was .086", and the drill diameter .070".
Repeatability was nearly impossible on his CNC equipment, and he literally came in every Saturday to tap the holes by hand. When he started talking with us, he was breaking his taps after only 20 holes — an extraordinarily short tool life.
By re-examining his technology, and switching to Carmex Precision thread milling, he was able to accomplish the threading of 683 holes with a single thread-mill on his CNC equipment.
Despite the number of passes, the wear factor between the first and the last holes could only be measured in tenths, and the customer was able to get the thread detail back to its original .150" full thread depth. Perhaps just as important, his Saturdays are now “tap-free.”
Ohio manufacturer of oil field equipment saves 184 hours on one high-precision cutting tool head made of Nitralloy®
PMC-Colinet has a long history in the pipe and tube market, having started in 1912 and introduced the world’s first carbide-tooled pipe threading machine in 1958. Today, the company is established as a primary supplier of machines to the OCTG sector. Its customers include integrated steel mills that sell finished pipe and couplings to the oil and gas industries, specifically using the company’s machines for threading products for downhole drilling applications. PMC-Colinet also supplies cutting tools, consumable tooling, aftermarket parts and field service to the industry.
Recently, PMC-Colinet did an assessment on one very challenging job, namely, cutting keyways into large sections on a high-precision cutting tool head made of Nitralloy. For many years, the production had involved the use of a shaper to produce the keyway in the bore of the die head. Typically, the bore ranged from 6” to 13” in diameter and more than 12’ in length. These keyways have extremely tight tolerances, with location at +/- 0.0005”, width at +/- 0.001” and depth to +/- 0.0025”.
One style of cut is a 3-step keyway that does not run all the way through the bore, stopping at a window that is milled from the outside diameter. This situation prevented the PMC machining department from using a ram EDM to produce the keyway. The only options previously used were to rough the keyway on an old shaping machine, then send it out for ram EDM. This process required 50 hours on the shaper, plus approximately a week for the ram EDM. Another option was to do the job entirely on the shaping machine. Roughing the keyway had to be much more precise and usually required about 61 hours. Plus, an additional 145 hours were required to finish the part, normally. These times included 10-12 hours for set-up.
The team at PMC, led by Milling Foreman Rick Kokish, decided to explore other methods to produce this part on its Monarch 175B VMC. They conducted an exhaustive search on the Internet, turning up over 133,000 hits for 90º angle heads. After more than 30 hours of gleaning out the unsuitable products, they narrowed the search to just two vendors. Both manufacturers visited the facility and brought out their standard angle head designs. One of the companies, Heimatec, quickly realized this job would require a custom 90º head design to satisfy all the requirements.
One competitor brought a standard 40 taper tool, while Heimatec presented a larger, heavier 50 taper unit.
A week later, Preben Hansen, Heimatec’s president, supplied a drawing for the proposed custom product. PMC engineering reviewed both the standard and custom designs and awarded the project to Heimatec.
The angle head supplied was designed to perform a wide variety of cutting tasks on the various end products produced by PMC. On the keyway in a bore 6” in diameter and 12” in length, using the Heimatec 90º head, PMC spent 6 hours in setup, 3 for roughing and 3 for finishing, plus 12 to 16 hours of actual cutting time. This represented a total savings of 184 hours on a single part. Though the head appeared too slender to remain rigid during the entire cutting cycle, according to PMC sources, the performance was deemed very successful.
Heimatec’s head design for this custom radial drilling and milling head features an adjustable tool stop, 3 support pins for stabilizing the tool, CAT 50 taper style, 360º indexable pivot on the angle head and inclined tooth gear design for maximum rigidity.
During the project, Preben Hansen from Heimatecc supervised the installation. After the stop block attachment and grinding of the supports pins for the head were accomplished in just one day, the head was mounted and several experimental cuts were performed. Hansen spent time with Rick Kokish as well as CNC programmer Barry Spence at PMC, discussing various options for programming the head on the Monarch VMC. The very next morning, the setup was performed and an actual keyway was roughed.
Results ongoing have continued to satisfy all requirements, according to PMC sources.
We've assembled a few tips on drilling that you may want to pass along to your team.
Drilling Tip 1
During drilling operations, chip formation is very important to keep an eye on. If you are getting long unbroken chip with jagged edges, your feed rate is too high. If you are getting tight spirals but the chips are not breaking apart, your feed rate is too low.
The Ideal chip shape is small tight curls, Like little "6's and 9's". When you are getting these shapes of chips then you will get best tools life and finish on your part.
Drilling Tip 2
If your drill is getting chipped only on one edge or if your drill has more wear on one cutting edge than the other, the cause could be bad run out of the drill or bad alignment of the machine.
This means one side of the drill is experiencing more axial forces than the other. If you correct the run out of the drill and alignment of machine spindle, the problem will be solved.
Drilling Tip 3
If your drill has too much run out, you will have issues such as hole expansion, bad hole perpendicularity, and poor surface finish.
Drill run out should be less than 0.0008"(0.02mm) when setting up. The run out increases with the speed, thus, when drilling a deep hole.
OSG recommends making the pilot hole 0~0.003"(0.08mm) oversize and inserting a long drill at 0~500rpm so that the drill is fitting properly in the pilot hole .
Drilling Tip 4
The V-Series HELIOS® drill is the 1st drill to process deep holes 10X-20X diameter, without pecking and without the use of internal coolant supply.
Flute form, point thinning and compound lead construction are all patented technologies developed by OSG to make this drill do what no other parabolic HSS-Co drill can.
The addition of our exclusive WXL coating technology makes non-peck drilling repeatable, even in the longest of production runs.
Drilling Tip 5
Last but not least, don't forget that now through August 31st, save 12% on select A-Drills!l
A trend that we are seeing develop in many industries, especially in the medical implant device manufacturing sector, is a rise in the number of parts being manufactured from plastics such as Peek. Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is a colourless organic thermoplastic polymer in the polyaryletherketone (PAEK) family. It was originally introduced by Victrex PLC, then Imperial Chemical Industries in the early 1980s.
Its important to note that PEEK is a thermoplastic. This polymer is capable of being repeatedly softened by an increase in temperature. Increasing the temperature leads to a physical change. That's why cutting tool pressure and heat will impact surface finish and tool life.
The medical industry has found medical-grade PEEK offers excellent strength, wear resistance and biocompatibility for components such as the dental healing caps, spiked washers and spinal implants.
PEEK polymer is available in two basic grades: industrial and medical:
"Industrial-grade PEEK is a strong thermoplastic that retains its mechanical properties even at elevated temperatures. The flame-retardant material is abrasion resistant, has high impact strength and a low coefficient of friction. Industrial-grade PEEK components are used in the aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronics, petroleum, and food and beverage industries.
Medical-grade PEEK possesses those same physical properties in addition to biocompatibility, high chemical resistance and compatibility with several different sterilization methods. It is also naturally radiotranslucent when viewed using X-ray, MRI or computer tomography (CT). Medical-grade PEEK provides doctors with an unobstructed view of tissue and bone growth around the PEEK implant during the healing process. Some implantable-grade PEEK polymers have a bone-like stiffness and can remain in contact with blood or tissue indefinitely."
There is also a glass and carbon-fiber-reinforced PEEK, which offer high wear resistance for components such as articulating joints and tends to wear out inserts rather quickly.
Peek parts are generally very small, ranging from 0.039" to 0.250" in diameter, which adds to the complexity of machining the non-ferrous materials.
Because of the thermoplastic properties, too much heat at the cutting edge results in Built Up Edge (BUE) and tool pressure affects part tolerance.
That where NTK's KM1 grade insert work great. The inserts are extreｍely up-sharp edge and the mirror insert surface creates excellent surface finishes.
Things to Remember when Cutting Peek
Keys to Succesfull Machining of Peek
1. Limiting Heat Build-up – The softening or melting temperatures of engineering plastics are roughly 1/10th those of metals.
2. Melting or Scorching– The thermal conductivity of plastics is low relative to metals. Most of the heat generated by machining will stay at the surface. Temperatures at the surface can rinse unexpectedly high.
3. Loss of Tolerance – If the overall temperature of the stock changes during or after machining, expansion or contraction can cause the part to fall out of tolerance. Softening of the stock can allow it to deflect at the surface under the pressure of the cutting tool. When the pressure is removed, the stock will recover and fall out of tolerance. This can frequently be managed by using lubricants and changing tooling or speed.
4. Controlling Deflection – Plastics inherently vary in their stiffness (modulus) and are more elastic at higher temperatures. The entire stock can deflect under the pressure of cutting. Proper tooling and support remains important and particular attention should be given to adequately supporting the work.
NTK Cutting Tools USA launched its first Webinar on 30th January, 2018. The featured presenter is Steve Easterday, NTK's Swiss Product Manager.
The topic focuses on chips created during Swiss machining operations and the mainstream concept which is that breaking the chip is important. But is this accurate? NTK has a different concept of Chip Control.
The topics covered in the video below include:
How do you break a chip?
There are a few different ways to break a chip. Many people tend to think that the best methods of breaking chips in swiss machines are through the use of chip breakers on the inserts, slowing down the speed, increasing the feed, taking a bigger depth of cut and through the use of high pressure coolant. Each one of these, or some combination of them is certainly what is commonly used to gain chip control.
Typically the solution is to reduce the SFM, increase the Feed Rate and increase the Depth of Cut.... but that can lead to workpiece deflection and lower production rates.
NTK believes that CONTROLLING the Chips is more important than BREAKING the chips. NTK does this by doing two things:
NTK creates a "softer" chip because there is much less heat transferred to the workpiece AND the chips. The translates into better part quality, longer tool life and much more stable machining.
Check out the video below for all the details on chip breakers and their toolholder solutions.
Technical Support Blog
At Next Generation Tool we often run into many of the same technical questions from different customers. This section should answer many of your most common questions.
We set up this special blog for the most commonly asked questions and machinist data tables for your easy reference.
If you've got a question that's not answered here, then just send us a quick note via email or reach one of us on our CONTACTS page here on the website
Our technical section is written by several different people. Sometimes, it's from our team here at Next Generation Tooling & at other times it's by one of the innovative manufacturer's we represent in California and Nevada.