MoldMaking Technology

AUG 2018

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Cutting Tools 18 MoldMaking Technology —— AUGUST 2018 Mold and die makers are adopting high-feed milling solutions like this milling cutter, which is designed for high metal-removal rates, good chip evacu- ation from the use of a wavy cutting edge, a large chip gullet on its cutter body and air blow functions. Optimized rake angles on the cutting edges reduce cutting force and facilitate the machining of a wider variety of materials with extended tool life and higher stability in machining. By Cynthia Kustush Cutting-tool suppliers are using advanced coatings, new thread designs, education and collaboration to help moldmakers maximize results. Accuracy, Finish and Productivity Needs Drive Cutting-Tool Solutions M oldmakers want better cutting-tool performance. MoldMaking Technology reached out to cutting-tool suppliers to gather intelligence about the current trends and challenges that they are seeing and what strategies are in place to respond to customers' needs. The Need for Higher Feeds and Speeds Ultimately, moldmakers strive for faster metal-removal rates to be competitive and profitable, and cutting-tool suppliers are hearing it loud and clear. Jay Ball, product manager for Solid Carbide Endmills North America at Seco Tools LLC (Troy, Michigan), says, "Customers are starting to adapt more complex machining strategies like 'optimized roughing' and complex five-axis machining using barrel-style cutting tools into their daily manufacturing processes." He says that optimized roughing is attained by using well-defined tool paths with a constant arc of contact, taking large depths of cut (DOC) and small radial stepovers combined with high feed rates. Using barrel-style tools enables larger DOC compared to standard ball-nose geometry when finishing complex 3D surfaces. "Moldmakers are starting to use these tools to help reduce finishing cycle times to increase throughput," he says. William Fiorenza, product manager for Die and Mold at Ingersoll Cutting Tools (Rockford, Illinois), says that economy in fin- ish milling is every bit as important as opti- mizing roughing. "Finish milling consumes a considerable amount of time. Most 3D con- tour finishing is performed with a solid-car- bide, ball-nose end mill or a ball insert with an indexable carbide blade. Finishing times tend to be long with the programmed stepovers and step- downs being tied to a desired surface finish," he says. "While CAM companies offer some very powerful programming algo- rithms to help reduce the time in the cut for ball-nose-type This article is part of a series of roundtable discussions with industry suppliers addressing recent trends in moldmaking, the challenges moldmakers are experiencing and the latest solutions that are or will be available to resolve them. Image courtesy of Tungaloy America Inc. VIDEO Access the related video under the Videos tab at MMT online.

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