12 answers regarding today's cutting tools
GIE Media

12 answers regarding today's cutting tools

During July's Virtual Cutting Tool Roundtable we had so many questions from attendees we weren't able to get to answer all of them. So, our panelists have taken the time to answer those questions and below you will find their insight.


During July's Virtual Cutting Tool Roundtable we had so many questions from attendees we weren't able to get to answer all of them. So, our panelists have taken the time to answer those questions and below you will find their insight.

1. Regarding manufacturing process improvements: What are your customers doing specifically to test new tools used in production under new parameters to ensure they are getting the most productivity throughput (tool life and MRR) out of these new cutting tools? Are they facing downtime to make manufacturing process improvements or do they have extra capacity for R&D?

CGTech – Jeff Voegele, VERICUT Product Specialist: It’s CGTech's belief there is a lot of testing that can be done in a 3D digital simulation environment with a new or modified NC program as well as new tools for figuring out tool life, material removal rate (MRR), along with many other aspects of the programming process prior to actually going down to the shop floor. Minimum extension from holders can be optimized for minimum extension from holders, ensuring the most rigid cutting tool assembly possible. Clearances can be checked to ensure there are no collisions with anything that may come into play during the machining process. Proper feeds and speeds can be verified during the simulation process to make sure you are getting the most out of your cutting tools.

OSG USA Inc. – Jeff Stephens, Applications Engineering Manager: This really varies widely. Some customers cannot interfere with the current production and testing either needs postponed or evaluated elsewhere. OSG has the capabilities to test offsite and provide test documentation to the end user for such circumstances.

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: Our customers generally use one of the following four options to test new tooling and machining strategies.

  1. Take an existing production machine out of service to perform the required tests. In most cases, this does not need to create significant disruption to the production schedule as we are generally running tests on components that are scheduled to be running on the production schedule.
  2. Run the necessary testing on an off-shift, so as to completely avoid interfering with the normal production schedule. Of course, this is only available if you are not running a three shift operation.
  3. We have over 25 Sandvik Coromant Centers around the world that provide access to machine tools and engineering expertise. This allows us to perform R&D, customer process development and testing in a focused environment without disrupting the customer's production schedule.
  4. Some larger customers have setup their own manufacturing R&D divisions/centers that provide off-site testing but this is not a common scenario.


2. When will we have proven tool libraries for Mastercam?

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: Sandvik Coromant has introduced a software solution called CoroPlus Tool Library that is designed specifically to manage the tool data requirements of any CAM system. In fact, integration to the Mastercam platform has already been accomplished making these two systems work seamlessly together. The CoroPlus Tool Library solution is based on the ISO 13399 standard which makes it tooling brand agnostic, meaning that you can use this to manage tooling data from any tooling brand that adheres to the ISO 13399 standard. For more information, please contact your Sandvik Coromant representative or visit the following website https://www.sandvik.coromant.com/en-us/products/coroplus-toollibrary.


3. What kind of challenges do you see coming from the use of high speed spindles, cutting tool wise, machine tool software and capability wise?

CGTech – Jeff Voegele, VERICUT Product Specialist: Cutting tools are ready for the challenge of high speed machining with high speed spindles.

Software is also up to the challenge with adaptive type milling and optimization tools like VERICUT Force.

Some of the real challenges are to get CNC programmers to use tool motion methods that are ideal for the cutting tool. Meaning that the correct (ae) & (ap) are used along with the right SFM (spindle speed for a given diameter tool). Another challenge is getting Machinists to trust that optimized higher speeds and feeds are not only doable but are actually beneficial for machining. CGTech offers charts with their VERICUT Force product that gives NC programmers and machinist data to demonstrate the viability of maximizing the chip thickness while knowing the force, deflection, HP, etc.


4. Is the tool manufacturing industry connecting to design software such as Solid Works / Pro E

CGTech – Jeff Voegele, VERICUT Product Specialist: From CGTech's perspective in the simulation environment there are a variety of methods to get tools to and from CAM and simulation software. This includes SolidWorks and Pro/E (or what is now called Creo). Most major tool management systems have an interface to transfer tools into various CAM/simulation systems. I would also encourage you to check out MachiningCloud as a source to get access to more than 40 tool vendors tooling models for download. The data coming from MachiningCloud can be used directly in CAM and simulation systems as well as put into tool management systems then transferred to a particular system downstream. It is also worth mentioning that now many systems do not just transfer 3D tool geometry, but also includes cutting limits and recommended feed/speed settings to be used with optimization. VERICUT's Force software is one solution that can take advantage of this information to further improve the NC program, tool usage and tool life.

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: Today, it is possible to connect CoroPlus Tool Library to design software such as Solid Works and Pro E and this can bring added convenience to importing tool models when checking design for manufacturing compatibility and such. The longer term vision of Sandvik Coromant's CoroPlus platform is to provide much more connectability and capability across the machine shop's value stream which has the potential to build and provide access to much needed system knowledge to the design engineering function, thereby reducing the need to rely solely on local tribal knowledge.

5. If you work at the OEM ordering parts how would you audit / evaluate tool rooms / Selection at supplier versus machine centers?

6. What is (are) the next step(s) on the evolution of cutting tools? Tool substrate? Coating? Edge Preparation? Geometry? Machining strategy?

CGTech – Jeff Voegele, VERICUT Product Specialist: One of the next steps in tooling evolution relating to data is including the tool vendor cutting limits along with the 3D geometry of tools. This information can be used in simulation beyond just verifying the 3D tool works in your application and not causing any collisions but can then be taken as step further to use to optimize your NC program beyond what CAM systems can do. In our partnerships with the various tooling vendors and tool management systems we make sure all that information is being properly managed and transferred for use downstream in the simulation process.

Another area of development is CNC machines streaming data (MTConnect) to give feedback as to what is going on in the machine while cutting a part. Gathering this machine intelligence and then being able to utilize in within a simulation is yet another area where further insight and offer potential recommendations that could aid in machining, increase tool life, or to enhance optimization further.

OSG USA Inc. – Jeff Stephens, Applications Engineering Manager: All of the above.

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: At Sandvik Coromant, we continue to work on developments in all of the areas mentioned (substrates, coatings, edge prep, geometry, machining strategy). Of particular interest has been combining development of machining strategies in conjunction with cutting tool design to deliver unparalleled perform over traditional development techniques. Our Prime Turning solution is just one example, where we have design inserts and tool holders to perform bi-directional turning applications which were not previously possible with traditional tooling. One other interesting area of development is the embedding of digital technology (sensors and analytics) into cutting tools to provide immediate performance data and the possibility to automate adaptive reaction.


7. How can you monitor tool wear to know when to change a tool.

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: Traditional: The traditional method for tool wear/life management is to create an "expected tool life baseline" for each tool on a given machine or component. This is done by observing and documenting over time, how many minutes or components each tool will last. Then these tool life expectations are entered into the tool life tables of the CNC machine's controller, thus allowing the machine tool to alert you when a particular tool needs to be changed or replaced with a redundant tool.

Advanced: Sandvik Coromant offers a solution called CoroPlus Process Control, that integrates sensors and advanced edge analytics technology into a machine tool that provides the capability to actively monitoring the machining process and provide feedback as to the condition (health) of the cutting tool. When a tool is deemed to have reached its usable life, appropriate manual or automated response options (e.g. stop machining and alarm, change to redundant tool etc.) can be enabled to provide both tool security and performance.


8. What are you doing to provide quick supply of tooling? Too often we find the cutters and holders we need and then are told they are 6 weeks to 3 months away when we have a job that needs to be on the machine within days.

OSG USA Inc. – Jeff Stephens, Applications Engineering Manager: We offer a service that provides custom taps in a few days, depending on blank availability. We also have 35,000 standard stock items, so give us a call, chances are we have something on the shelf that may work.

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: The key to maintaining a healthy and sustainable balance of useful inventory is to have a robust forecasting model that provides the proper inputs into our production and inventory controls models. Of course, one of the key inputs is a more forward picture of the market dynamics and a better understanding of the short, mid and long term tooling needs of our customers. We have been diligently working on improving this specific area of our business as we see it as the key to success for both us and our customers, so we would encourage you to build a close collaboration with your preferred tooling partners. We also believe in and are working towards the long term vision of "The Connected Machine Shop," where the integration of digital technology into the manufacturing space will replace our reliance on static data with automatically collected and analyzed dynamic data to provide more valuable insights into the production and inventory needs of machine shops and their suppliers.


9. What are you doing to support and enhance the Iso Standards for cutting tools. Today the data we need in engineering our manufacturing is critical. Without the models and machining parameters, the best tools are useless. What is being done to download this data directly into our Tooling systems.

CGTech – Jeff Voegele, VERICUT Product Specialist: CGTech is following the ISO 13399 standard with regards to tooling in our VERICUT software. We are also working with tooling vendors and tool management systems to make sure their data follows the ISO standard and reads into VERICUT seamlessly. CGTech has interfaces to all major CAM and tooling systems to allow for easy transfer of the best quality tooling data available.

OSG USA Inc. – Jeff Stephens, Applications Engineering Manager: All of our new products launched to market have the data download capability. We are currently in process of creating the prints for all our tools. It is a large endeavor and we are looking at ways to expedite and streamline it. You will see more and more in the near future.

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas:

  1. Sandvik Coromant was one of the key drivers behind establishment of the ISO 13399 standard, which has enabled standardization of tooling data. Our goal, in this activity, was to provide the machining industry with the ability to move from the traditional individual proprietary solutions to utilizing brand agnostic open platform technology that allows users of cutting tools to achieve maximum control and flexibility of tool data.
  2. Sandvik Coromant maintains active membership on the Technical Advisory Committee for MT Connect, which is focused on continued development and implementation of a standard machine tool data protocol.
  3. ISO 13399 compliant models for all Sandvik Coromant products are available for easy download, through our website.
  4. Our CoroPlus Tool Library solution allows you to easily manage the brand agnostic tool data requirements for your machine shop


10. Would quick change tool holding take away from the cutting tool's accuracy and grip over a dedicated tool holder?

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: We can’t speak for all brands of quick change tooling but utilization of our Coromant Capto quick change tooling portfolio should not require any reduction of cutting capabilities as compared to traditional "stick" tooling.


11. How often does the impact on tool life that holders can affect, come into your equations for helping customers with selecting the right cutting tool? If so, what does that process look like?

OSG USA Inc. – Jeff Stephens, Applications Engineering Manager: The right holder has a huge impact on tool performance, including tool life and part accuracy. I have seen first-hand conventional holders versus high-performance milling chucks/shrink fit and the results are astonishing.

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: If I understand the question correctly, we generally always consider the tool holder as a key input to selecting the proper cutting tool for any particular application. The reason is that the holder is the foundation of the cutting tool assembly and how you hold a tool can be the difference between a successful machining application and a failed one. Of course, the more complex your machining applications are (e.g. long overhang, weak setup etc.) the more critical your tool holder selection becomes. This is why we offer a full line of tool holder options, with some that include unprecedented levels of accuracy, bending stiffness, holding power and vibration dampening to name a few.


12. The horsepower in each machine is important to select tool to remove rough or finish operations?

OSG USA Inc. – Jeff Stephens, Applications Engineering Manager: Yes, absolutely. It basically dictates what is possible for maximum metal removal rates.

Sandvik Coromant – Jeff Rizzie, Director, Digital Machining-Sales Area Americas: Horsepower is absolutely a key input in selecting the proper cutting tool for roughing applications, however total horsepower alone is not enough. In order to maximize the performance of both the machine and the cutting tool, you should have a good understanding of the machine's torque curve and available horsepower capabilities, which will generally tell you what your maximum spindle capabilities are at any given speed. This information can generally be found in your machine tool's operations or maintenance manuals or through your machine tool provider.


13. What are typical applications for CVD-coated carbide tools?

CGTech – Jeff Voegele, VERICUT Product Specialist:
TiN - TITANIUM NITRIDEA general purpose coating for HSS, HSCO, and solid carbide end mills that provides effective protection against wear, abrasion, and edge buildup. Primary applications are milling steels in a non-hardened condition.

Incorporation of carbon into the TiN matrix to increase hardness and abrasion resistance. TiCN is an alternative to TiN for HSS and HSCO applications where additional wear resistance is required. Primary solid carbide applications are milling aluminum alloys & cast iron.

TiAlN offers a higher level of thermal stability above Tin and TiCN with abrasion resistance. Ideal for high heat applications found in milling steels, stainless steels and high temp alloys with a hardness 52 Rc and below.

Increased thermal stability when milling high temp alloys and die/mold steels with a hardness 52 Rc and above. Excellent for HSM applications, titanium, and stainless steels. HSS/HSCO end mills can’t be coated with AlTiN.

Excellent wear resistance under conventional and extreme conditions when milling die/mold steels with a hardness 52 Rc and below. Excellent choice for tool steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel applications.

CVD coated diamond tools are Ideal for machining graphite, composites, green carbide, and green ceramics.

OSG USA Inc. – Jeff Stephens, Applications Engineering Manager: For OSG, we excel in CVD applications. For us, the primary market is composite machining. We offer an extensive composite machining lineup for both milling & drilling. CVD can also be applied in graphite machining for electrode machining as well most non-ferrous machining.