FIELD NOTES North Simcoe Tool
From their start in 1973, Mark Losch and Wolfgang Theiss, owners of North Simcoe Tool in Midland, ON, have strived to provide their varied base of customers with high quality products within a short delivery time. Today, the company continues to build its reputation with a growing focus on more complex work.
Kevin Theiss, a tool and die maker and CNC programmer at the company, says the increasing volume of complex four and five axis machining projects was one of the main reasons North Simcoe Tool turned to cutting tool supplier Tyson Tool to help overcome some machining challenges.
“We began working with more challenging projects. We had one project that required deep slot cuts and it had to be finished with one tool for efficiency. Scott [von Richter, technical sales at Tyson Tool Co.], made some recommendations on some custom tooling solutions.”
von Richter recommended a customized solution based on Tyson Tool’s high feed indexable milling cutters.
“Every tool we had used previously would fatigue after two or three slot cuts and the shaft would break in this demanding operation,” explains Theiss. “We liked other tools from Tyson we were using so we worked with the company to create a carbide shank tool that was rigid enough to do the job. We’re hitting feed rates of 200 ipm with about a four inch overhang on a 5/8th diameter tool, so it’s performing well on the two Haas VF3 vertical machining centres we use.”
The TyCarb high feed indexable milling cutter family includes two indexable insert sizes with a four-corner design, two milling cutters in one cutter body design (high feed or a 90° square shoulder) and solid carbide end mills. Designed for a variety of milling applications such as copy, facing, plunging, pocketing, Z axis, slotting/shoulder and helical interpolation, all of the TyCarb high feed indexable milling cutters can be converted from high feed to 90° square shoulder by switching insert styles from XDMT/XDMW to SDMT.
Impressed with the performance of the high feed indexable milling cutters, North Simcoe Tool turned to Tyson again for an end mill solution on a similar, but different complex job.
“We were working with a difficult geometry and the process was creating a lot of vibration, which shattered the cutting edges of the tools we were using. We needed an end mill that could work in this environment,” explains Theiss. “Tyson worked with us to improve the design of its end mills to create a tool that broke up chips more effectively and helped to reduce vibrations. We did this by playing with the design, such as changing honed edges. Tyson created a small run of the end mills to try them out.”
The end mills from Tyson are known as TyCarb Stratus solid carbide end mills. The tooling has been in development for several years as a semi-standard tool for difficult-to-machine materials. Based on feedback from Simcoe North and other customers, Tyson has improved the product and planned to launch the complete line in April. The new line of end mills feature differential flute spacing for chatter-free machining and a TiAIN PVD coating for higher performance and better tool life. The end mills are available with cylindrical or Weldon style shanks, as well as with square end and a range of radius choices.
Theiss says North Simcoe began working with the Tyson Tool cutting tools about three years ago and says service, technical support and responsiveness to North Simcoe’s needs has been “excellent.” He adds that the company is “very agreeable and quick to deliver on parts. If we need end mills on short notice, Tyson is very accommodating. And this is important because being a job shop, we often get rush jobs where suddenly we need 16 or 20 end mills and if it’s a specialized project, it can be a tough order if you don’t have the tools readily available. Tyson has been able to respond to our needs.” SMT