Putting the fix in productivity: milling system minimizes cycle times, optimizes machine capability, tool life.

Author:McConnell, Bernie
Position:Manufacturing Update

When Kennametal Inc. saw the need for a milling tool for metal roughing and finishing that could meet tighter cycle times, enable machining centers to perform multiple tasks, maximize the life of milling tools and reduce tool inventory, the company developed the Fix Perfect Cast Iron Face Milling System. Depending upon the application, this cutting tool can accommodate eight-edged carbide inserts or KYON 3500 ceramic cutting tools for super high-speed applications and high metal removal rates.

To produce higher feedrates, the inserts are tangentially positioned in the cutter head at 20 degrees or 0 degrees. One highly satisfied user of Fix Perfect is Nationwide Precision Products Corp. (NPP), a Rochester, NY, firm that specializes in the precision machining of complex castings and components.

Since March 2000, NPP has been successfully using the Fix Perfect Cast Iron Face Milling System with KYON 3500 ceramic inserts in the rough and finish milling of various parts for a manufacturer of truck and automobile axles.

"When we won a contract to machine automotive parts for a customer, we tested a lot of milling systems on our shop floor, and none was better than Fix Perfect," says Dave Merritt, NPP's director of manufacturing engineering. "The Kennametal cutting tool lasted longer and performed better than competing products. KYON 3500 ceramic inserts cut metal like a hot knife going through butter. With Fix Perfect, we have accelerated cycle times by about 45 percent and are saving $100,000 in labor costs annually."

Assisting Merritt with the tests was Tom Van Order, Kennametal's field sales representative in western New York who has been with the company for 23 years.

"NPP has to mill many parts in short time frames," says Van Order. "Before NPP agreed to purchase Fix Perfect, we worked very hard to simulate production line conditions during the testing phase. During testing, Fix Perfect exceeded the customer's expectations, and it continues to do so on the shop floor."

Fix perfect basics

Each Fix Perfect cutting insert has eight cutting edges that each provide about 110 minutes of tool life, or 880 minutes of tool life per insert for NPP's applications--much longer than the useful life of competing tools. Each insert, which is secured to the cutter head by a clamping screw, cuts the metal surface at programmed intervals.

"The difference is unbelievable," says NPP's Merritt. "We were using solid carbide end mills that lasted for a few days on...

To continue reading