Design: How am I supposed to make any money when you only need ten end mills a year?

By Tom Greene

In our previous article on March 1, 2012 entitled Live Cutting Tool Development – 25 Hour Timeline, we delivered a new end mill, prototyped and tested in our GTS lab, that puts 3 scallops deep into a brake caliper. We delivered this to a customer overseas in 14 hours from start to finish.

“TOOL LIFE ON THE ORIGINAL TOOL WAS 100 PCS.”

In the previous process, the customer was using two tools. Because of difficulties with chatter when trying to plunge the scallop, they could not achieve the proper finish with the process provided by the company that tooled the original project. In order to get production with the 150mm long original end mills, they had to use two tools: one to rough and then one to finish and circular interpolate the scallop because of chatter.

Our last report from the customer states that the first tool is still in the machine! We have successfully reduced the original process to a single tool.

 “THE TOOLS HAVE CUT 2000 PCS.
(6000 SCALLOPS) AND STILL LOOK GOOD!”

The original tool set only cut 100 pieces before it needed replacement. This customer makes 50,000 brake calipers a year, requiring therefore 500 pieces. Our new GTS tool has cut 2,000 pieces and is still going strong, requiring at most just 25 tools for a year’s production. Did we solve this problem or what! On top of that, further testing with feeds and speeds may reduce cycle time even further.

The tools were designed to last long enough so you could justify no regrinds.

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