4 Tools In 1

Being competitive in a global market means maximizing all aspects of efficiency. This means not only minimizing cycle times, but also minimizing the number of tools you use to reduce costly set-ups, tool change times, and overall tool consumption costs. As this case study proves, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

At a large hydraulic component manufacturer in Missouri, the customer was producing  various heating and cooling valves out of 360 brass in high volumes. The internal valve in question featured two internal hole diameters with an angled chamfer between the two features. The tolerance of these features were extremely tight (+0 / – 0.0004).  The customer was using a total of four tools to complete the operations (chamfer tool, spot drill, 2 drills). With the use of so many tools, the set-up time to get all four tools dialed in to produce good parts was approximately 5 hours. Scrap rates due to finish issue or concentricity issues were frequent.

The cost of the set-up time for this single part was $8,640 per year. Not to mention there were four other similar parts utilizing the same process and set-up times (a total of $43,200 annually in set-up costs). The customer was anxious to find a better solution, but they were also pessimistic as they had tried combination tools many times before with no luck. Little did they know their luck was about to change once they were introduced to GWS and our custom capabilities.

When GWS approached the application with specialists from MSC industrial, there was no doubt that the tools in question could be combined into one monster high performance carbide step drill to eliminate the four tools. Having decades of experience in small diameter custom drills, the GWS team knew success hinged on our ability to hold tolerances with just 2-microns for the combination drill to be successful.

The Verdict:

The step drill with an intermediate chamfer tool built-in exceeded the tool life of the next best tool. Concentricity of all hole dimensions were well within tolerance, thereby eliminating previous scrap issues. On top of that, the previous finish that was listed as just “okay” before was now even under a microscope the best they had ever seen! Remember that 5-hour set-up time from before? It was now reduced to just 30 minutes! All these benefits created a cost-savings of $5,040 for this part and $39,600 across all five parts. While the customer was initially reluctant to try a new combination tool given prior failures with other companies, GWS’s reputation as the leader in custom tooling solutions won the day for this customer and our distribution partner.

Interested in finding out more information about our custom combination tools? Consider contacting the experts who make Custom Come Standard, and let us find the perfect cutting tool for you. Just send us an email at sales@gwstoolgroup.com to get started!


Signup For Our Newsletter

Get the latest news, blog posts, and updates.