Ever wondered how a tool is designed and developed? A lot of work occurs before a part ever touches a CNC machine. Find out about our foundational approach to tool design in this month's tool tip.
Traditional product development teams start with specific design parameters and work to the minimum set requirements to satisfy the part requirements. Our foundational approach to tool design begins at the opposite end of the tool - the shank. By strictly defining all parameters associated with the tools shank as a baseline, we can more accurately control variables on the cutting portion of the tool. With this control comes predictability, consistency, and ultimate value throughout your entire machining process.
With the shanks as the foundation we must consider first material grade, grain size, and hardness. While most of these parameters are workpiece specific, cobalt content and grain structure will allow finer edge finishing leading to superior surface finishes, tool life, and lower cost per part.
In addition, considerations to straightness and roundness need to be addressed, as these characteristics can transfer axially thru the tool and lead to runout or finish issues in the cutting portion. Shanks must be square with consistent chamfers if lengths or other variables will be set off the back end.
Another often overlooked issue that needs to be considered is the tools connection to the tool holder. We have partnered with world class tool holder manufacturers to define all the requirements. Surface finish, coolant delivery options, retention with the use of flats or grooves need to be considered. Even shank length needs to be considered giving adequate length for clearance but maintaining shortest lengths possible for rigidity.
We use a combination of internal process capabilities and design guidelines to tailor tools to specific machines and operations thru the manufacturing processes, holding ourselves to a standard the competition has yet to achieve and may not even be considering. Want to find out more about how our tools separate us from other tool manufacturers? Contact our Sales or Engineering at 800.248.8315.