As we know, every metalworking application presents its own set of variables that can create big challenges and potentially even bigger headaches. All too often, the true solutions are just beyond the reach of today’s stocked tooling. Insert GWS to the equation!
A tier-2 supplier for the “Big Three” had a rather chattering issue. And when we say chattering, we mean it. There was a noise level issue when milling a 6061 aluminum extrusion for a front bumper housing for a new vehicle that left the entire facility with a headache. The ear ringing noise generated by the ¾ inch end mill could literally be heard from the parking lot of the customer’s facility.
While the noise was the main concern, there was also an issue with excessive burrs and a poor finish. The burr generated during milling required a secondary deburring process, which created a significant bottleneck in production. The finish was also never quite what the client wanted, managed again by post polishing operations to correct. After extensive trials, this customer had settled upon a large globally-recognized competitor’s tool to complete the job in a Haas VF6. Simply put, it was the best “off the shelf” tool they could find for the application. When Steven Byl, the President of CB DeKorne, brought in Brant Pascavis, a GWS Tool Group Application Specialist, to take another look at the application, a new cutting tool approach was born.
The GWS Strategy
Like any application, GWS starts the process with our application specialists listening to the customer, their problem, and experience with their test results. And we admit, listening to the customer was a little more challenging due to the excessive noise coming from the machine. Nonetheless, taking all points into consideration which included a thin-walled part with significant distance between clamping points, GWS specialists and engineers got together to come up with a better solution.
Ideally, the GWS AlumigatorTM-AFT 3-flute end mill would be the ideal tool. However, the harmonic issues of this part required a more customized approach to better control the headache-inducing chatter. Therefore, additional custom attributes were added to the AlumigatorTM design, including an increased core diameter and refined edge honing. This combination of custom and standard resulted in a ¾ inch end mill with profoundly different results.
While taking this custom ¾” AFT hybrid to the machine, we pushed the feed rate from 75 IPM up to 125 IPM. The results were remarkable. The noise level decreased substantially by about 75%. So noticeably that it had the entire facility stop what they were doing, to come and see why and how the machine was so quiet. The deburring process was drastically reduced, eliminating the production bottleneck of parts awaiting deburring, and the finish improved to the extent that manual polishing was almost entirely eliminated. While the noise reduction served as the overwhelmingly most popular accomplishment, GWS also reduced cycle time by 19.2% (not including deburring and polishing operations).
Overall this application was solved by customizing our proprietary geometry of one of our renowned AlumigatorTM milling tools, married perfectly to fit the application. At GWS Tool Group, we recognize that the best tool for the job rarely comes off the shelf, hence our commitment to making Custom Come Standard. If you have any questions or want to order your AlumigatorTM, contact us for more information!