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ADVANCED MANUFACTURING NOW Dan Doiron


a I


n today’s manufacturing world, not staying abreast of new technologies in order to maintain a competitive edge can mean the difference between a company’s success or


failure. As customers are looking for parts to be made better and faster and the stakes are becoming higher, cycle time reduction, increased throughput and tool life are paramount. In production milling, manufacturers have been looking for ways to achieve optimum levels of machining performance, particularly as they apply to complex fi ve-axis applications. A well-made part must have a superior surface fi nish to meet today’s rigorous standards, yet it is one of the biggest hurdles in production milling.


The surface quality of a machined part is directly related


to the effective width of cut of the end mill. The width of cut is referred to as the stepover length. Each stepover creates a small cusp on the part surface. The greater the milling ste- pover length, the better the surface fi nish and the lower the cycle time for milling. In the past, in order to get a fi ne surface fi nish, the cutting tools of choice were ballnose end mills. However, ballnose end mills have their limitations, particularly when extensive surface fi nishing is required. A ballnose end mill’s stepover is small, between 3% to 5% of the diameter of the tool, reduc- ing the amount of surface area that the tool is in contact with the material. This means more passes are required to obtain an optimum surface fi nish, putting the tool through excessive stress and wear. Additional tool passes due to the reduced stepover length also increase the manufacturing cycle time. A solution was developed to solve this issue and a superb


surface fi nish quality can now be achieved by mapping only a part of the circle (a circle segment) on the end mill. This new end mill design features unique forms with large radii in the cutting area of the end mills to enable high stepover that cuts wide swaths of material enabling shorter toolpaths, while maximizing tool life, effi ciency, and minimizing cusps. This large radical stepover causes higher cutting forces than standard ballnose cutters due to the large radii on both the face and radial cutting edges. The large radius simulates a


10 AdvancedManufacturing.org | August 2017


Milling Products Manager Emuge Corp.


MODERN MANUFACTURING PROCESSES, SOLUTIONS & STRATEGIES Reinvented Cutter Yields 10× Cycle-Time Reduction


ballnose end mill with a cutting diameter of 12 to 3000 mm and even larger.


In addition, tolerance deviations due to heat warping at


the tool are minimized, and axial deviations of the machine are smoothed. In fi ve-axis machining, these new end mills offer signifi cantly more material removal with fewer passes, with cycle time reductions of over 80% and up to 50% fi ner surface fi nishes.


New circle segment technology in action.


Through the use of this circle segment technology, it is now possible to get to the vertical and steep areas of a part with tangent plane machining, as well as any fl at or shallow areas, making these high-performance tools ideal for machin- ing turbine blades, impellers, blisks and the production of tire molds and other moldmaking applications. Circle Segment end mills are available in four geometries: barrel-shaped, oval form, taper form and lens shape. Oval and taper form mills are ideal for curved shapes such as blades or straight-walled pockets, freely engaging more of the cutting edge. Barrel design mills provide highly effective fl ank milling to the sides of spiral grooves and similar applications, while lens shape mills excel in narrow channels or in lands on molds. Through the development of circle segment technology, fi ve-axis milling has been taken to the next level.


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