by John Mitchell
You’ve invested heavily in your new CNC machine.
The reason you bought this machine was to improve your productivity and make more money. However, the limiting factor in your machine tool often is the cutting tool. Your machine may be capable of running at hundreds of inches per minute but if your cutting tool can’t you are not using your machine to its fullest capability.
Help is available and it is generally free. Your cutting tool sales person is well versed in machining practices, he/she should be well trained in the product they represent and this person has often seen thousands of machining applications. The cutting tool sales person should be able to demonstrate ways to get the most from your machine.
Many companies tend to be focused on the price of the cutting tool or the tool life but the true cost savings are found in reducing cycle time. For example, generally a 30 per cent drop in the price of the insert results in a 1 per cent reduction in the cost of the component. Extending tool life by 50 per cent can result in a 1 per cent reduction in the cost of the component. A reduction in cycle time of 20 per cent often results in a 15 per cent reduction in component costs.
Maximizing productivity can be achieved by many methods, such as increasing the depth of cut, increasing the feed rate, increasing the rpm or changing the tool path to name just a few. Of course it is critical that the correct tool is used. This is where the cutting-tool sales person comes in. This person can come into your shop and make recommendations and provide sample tools to prove their productivity maximizing solutions. Don’t stop at just one cutting tool sales person, call a few and let them show you their productivity maximizing solution. Then go with the one that offers the best solution.
Select cutting tool sales people who work for the manufacturer. These people are generally factory trained and should know their product intimately. These sales people are in touch with the latest trends in the industry and should be able to make you aware of ways to maximize your profit. Ignoring these people can put you at a competive disadvantage, if your competitors are implementing these ideas and you are not.
Give these sales people a project and watch the true savings.
John Mitchell is general manager of Tungaloy America.