Speeding up machining operations is something every decent shop strives for. After all, who does not want to make the whole machining routine more efficient and increase finished parts count at the end of the day?
There are various ways to cross the high-efficiency milling threshold without going overboard with costs.
Keep Chip Thickness Constant
Keeping a constant force load on your cutter allows you to cut faster, but it can also improve tool life by reducing the vibration produced whenever there is a change in the material engagement. The best way to reduce vibration and increase cut speeds is by manipulating your programmed toolpath in a way that your feed rates and tool stepover remain constant.
However, this sometimes yields variable results in terms of force loads and chip thickness, especially when the part presents certain open features or you are machining in repetitive unidirectional passes that create a lot of air cutting.
To solve this problem, it is recommended to go with machines that allow you to vary the tool cutting angle and feed rate dynamically. Advanced multi-axis machining can adjust material cutting angles to maintain chip thickness and cutting loads, optimizing your toolpath for increased efficiency.
Keep Your Tool Engaged
This is hard to do when a part has features that create some air cutting, such as islands or bosses, but keeping your tool engaged is important if you want to reduce cycle times.
Of course, you need to work with carbide drill mills to be able to keep your tool engaged without risking structural failure. But what makes carbide so special? Let’s try to understand the strengths of this material.
Carbide is more rigid than high-speed steel, being able to withstand extreme compressive forces. However, rigidness is not a good thing when exposed to tensile forces that require more flexible materials.
Constant engagement could expose the tool to tensile forces, drastically reducing tool life. However, you can program your toolpath in such a way that your carbide tool flute is never exposed to these bending forces, giving it the ability to better resist microchipping.
One other way of compensating for carbide rigidness is to spread stress forces that affect your tool. A common technique when using carbide tools is to make shallow cuts to avoid putting too much stress on the bottom 10% of the tool. Newer machines allow you to make use of the full cutting depth of your carbide tools and engage the material using the full length of the flute, spreading cutting forces over a greater area.
Use Only High-Quality Tools
Of course, these techniques will only work when using carbide tools that are reliable and go through strict quality control scrutiny. These tools are not cheap, but you can find carbide drill mills for sale to help you keep costs down and speed up.
Remember that carbide is made up of a combination of various materials that include tungsten carbide and a cobalt core. This grey ceramic powder does not exist in nature, and it must be bound to the cobalt core through a process of vapor deposition coating to effectively cover tool flutes with a very thin, yet extremely rigid, layer of carbide.
The process must pass very strict quality control standards to ensure uniform tool reliability. If you are looking for tools made in the US by the best in the industry, visit Online Carbide. They have carbide drill mills for sale at manufacturer-direct prices that will help your shop achieve the efficiency and quality you strive for. Contact their sales team and find out more about their incredible tools.