Four collaborate to produce die & mold high-speed success.

Position:High-speed machining

Thermo stability. Variable pressures. Coolant monitoring.

For the high-speed machining manufacturing industry, these create infinite possibilities with some clever programming to decrease tool wear and breakage, a die-and-mold operation has found.

The customer's initial specification requirements became an opportunity to improve high-speed machining efficiencies through creative partnerships and effective use of new technologies.

The die-and-mold industry is constantly searching for a balance between tool life, heat generation, and cutting speeds. A die-and-mold operation with 3-D specifications required its Okuma MB-56V be set up for high-speed cooling interface and variable psi pressures. It found a multitude of resources for fine-tuning its high-speed machining processes to save tool wear and maintain increasingly tight tolerances.

Partners in THINC collaborators Okuma, Blum LMT, ChipBLASTER, and Caron Engineering applied creative technologies and programming to enable the operator's spindle psi variable requirements and provide the ability to monitor coolant flow and pressure, but they also pushed the envelope on what the combined technologies could really do--a considerable upgrade ready for plug-and-play compared to the customer's previous standards.

Starting small

When cutters become very small, high pressure becomes a problem. According to Doug Noxell, technical advisor and consultant for Gosiger 3D LLC, the ability to use small cutters and go much faster has to do with the Super-Non-Uniform Rational Basis-Spline functions--or acceleration/deceleration ability that should be standard on all high-speed CNC machines.

"Flexibility is key here," explains Noxell. "For instance, an operator can up the tolerance for roughing operations or tighten it up for a finishing operation. While tightening up may slow the machine a little bit, it is just enough to hold the accuracies to spec."


Originally, the coolant pressure on the high-speed vertical machining center was controlled based on the load on the spindle, which works fine for larger tools. However, when using the smaller tools to follow a 3-D shape, Super-NURBS controls are necessary to feed based on holding accuracies at required tolerances that can be set on the control.

ChipBLASTER, a world-renowned company that leads the high-pressure coolant industry, created a software solution to recognize which tool was currently in the spindle and would vary the pressure...

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