So, you’re cranking out parts on your machine at a steady rate. The orders are being filled and the boss is happy. Life is good.
But, if you’re like me, you’re still agonizing over the seconds that could be saved. I’ve talked before about the benefits of Dynamic settings to decrease cycle time and increase surface finish quality, but then what? One surefire way to save some time in your process is to decrease tool changes. After you’ve organized the order of your operations to minimize tool changes, things have improved, but what if we could exchange two tools in place of one? Well, luckily, DATRON has the same thing in mind.
Combination Cutting Tool – DATRON Milling Thread Mill
Meet the Milling Thread Mill. The name may sound redundant, but there is a big reason why. Before the outer flutes take care of the task of cutting the threads, the three flutes at the tip remove all the material in your way. By comparison to standard thread milling, this not only saves you the time of changing the tool from a drill/mill to a thread milling tool, but also the time spent removing that material in the first place.
Consider this: This piece above, for example, has ten M6x1.00 threaded holes. Using a 3 mm single flute end mill and a M5-10 thread mill, it is taken care of in 3 minutes and 20 seconds. However, the same part done with the Milling Thread Mill blasts through in just 1 minute and 11 seconds. That’s 20 seconds a hole versus 7 seconds a hole, a 65% improvement! Apply that to your thread-heavy application and you’re looking at a considerable benefit in the long term (especially if you’re hand threading after the fact!).
Not to mention that since you’re not using two tools to accomplish one task you’re saving on tooling cost as well as adding useable life onto other tools. It’s a win-win. Now watch it in action:
Combination Cutting Tool Video (Milling and Threading Holes)
Combination Cutting Tool – DATRON Milling Countersink Tool
This combination tool is well suited to front panel applications, but is also handy elsewhere. When many holes need a countersink, this tool combines both operations into one quick operation. With a single flute end mill at the tip and a single angled flute at the shoulder, both operations can be taken care of quickly. It is not limited to just countersinking however, as you can also use it as a chamfer tool to de-burr edges or mill appealing bevels.
For example; This simple part has 5 countersunk holes and a chamfered perimeter. When cut the typical way, a 3mm single flute end mill clears out the holes, while a 45 degree countersink takes care of the rest. This is accomplished in 1 minute 22 seconds.
When using the combination mill though, the holes and countersink are created at the same time, and the perimeter is beveled without the need for a tool change. Thanks to this small change the cycle time improves the 45 seconds, which is about 45% quicker than before.
So next time you find yourself chasing down seconds, take a look at DATRON tooling, and you might end up saving minutes.