Kennametal and Sumitomo Electric have signed a licensing agreement under which Sumitomo Electric will provide and support Kennametal’s new and advanced KM4X spindle connection solution to Sumitomo Electric customers globally. Sumitomo Electric is a supplier of electric wire, optical fibers and cutting tool products.
“The KM4X spindle connection is the most rigid system in the world today. This design enables manufacturing companies to maximize their capital investments. KM4X enables higher metal removal rates, which facilitates higher machine tool utilization and reduced cost per part, while increasing the manufacturer’s available capacity,” says John R. Tucker, vice president and president of the Industrial Business Segment for Kennametal Inc. “Having an innovative technology partner like Sumitomo Electric supply the KM4X connection will create a powerful production advantage for manufacturing companies around the world.”
The spindle connection, the interface between the machine tool’s spindle and toolholder, has to provide the torque and bending load capacity compatible with machine-tool specifications. Cutting forces, particularly in roughing or machining high-strength materials, generate bending moments that will exceed the interface’s limits prior to reaching torque limits. By combining high clamping force and optimized interference levels, KM4X provides a robust connection, extremely high stiffness, and bending load capacity for greatly improved performance in machining high-strength alloys and other materials. This means extremely high metal removal rates and more completed parts per day.
Advanced Materials Require Advanced Manufacturing
The continuing development of high-strength, lightweight materials such as titanium alloys, Inconel, and new aluminium alloys are eagerly sought by manufacturers in many industries, including aerospace and defence, energy, and transportation. These new materials present significant machining challenges in themselves. Add the competitive pressures in these global industries, and finding advanced manufacturing solutions becomes a top priority.
Machine tool builders have responded with milling and turning centers that feature improved stiffness and damping on spindles and sizable machine structures and motors, all to provide the significant horsepower, torque and thrust forces required while minimizing undesirable vibrations that deteriorate part quality and tool life.
“In most cases, the tool-spindle connection determines how much material can be removed on a given operation,” says Doug Ewald, director, global product management, tooling systems at Kennametal. “This is because this interface must withstand high loads and yet maintain its rigidity. With the ongoing advances in cutting tools and machining centers, a spindle connection that makes the best utilization of available power possible is an important consideration to investigate early in production planning.”
“This is a full-system partnership between companies,” says John Jacko, vice president and chief marketing officer at Kennametal. “With the KM4X spindle connection and Sumitomo Electric’s innovative technology, there is no reason why companies should hold back investigating high-torque, high-speed machining capabilities for both existing and new equipment. This means achieving the maximum potential of your machine tools.”