We all know time is money, and when competing in a global manufacturing landscape, this is especially true of U.S.-based manufacturers. That is why when GWS Application Specialist Rod Landrum was contacted by a southern based thermal management manufacturer, he was not surprised to find out they were looking to cut cycle times. Despite some hesitation from the customer to try something new because they felt they had tried it all, Rod convinced them the GWS approach to the perfect cutting tool would net them a win.

The Challenge

The manufacturer’s application dealt with cold plates, made from 5052 aluminum. They were currently using two tools for the process, a close tolerance ¾” diameter SAE O-ring groove. The first tool was a 2.5mm end mill for the slot and the second was a special radius tool to create a small radius on the top and bottom of the channel. Tolerance and surface finish were critical, so much so that all previous solutions to improve the process had failed to meet the necessary standards.

The Solution

The GWS team came up with a singular custom uncoated trepan tool made out of premium carbide. The goal was to replace the two tools with one, while creating a simpler tool path that reduced cycle time and increased tool life. Chatter was a primary concern for the customer, as they had been brought a similar solution in the past that left a terrible finish. However, Rod walked them through the process and assured them complex custom form tools like this were an area of expertise for GWS. The customer was desperate to reduce tool consumption costs and cycle time, so they gave permission to plug the tool in and test it out.

The Result

Once the manufacturer tested the tool, they quickly observed that there was no chatter at all! In fact, they weren’t even sure it did any cutting because they were unable to detect any noise during machining. The first sample pieces were well within tolerance and yielded a near perfect surface finish to a level the customer had previously never achieved. Most importantly, cycle time was reduced by nearly 50% (1 minute per part). Tool consumption was also reduced because of the use of the new combination tool.

When the perfect tool cannot be found off the shelf, GWS Tool Group is there to design and manufacture quickly the perfect solution for the application. For more information on our cutting tools, or to have a specialist visit you to pursue a tailored solution for your shop, please contact us at sales@gwstoolgroup.com or call 1-877-GWS-TOOL (1-877-497-8665) to see how our custom can come standard for you today!