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JUL/AUG 2013  

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Tools/ Toolholding

Top Features

Ever set up a Swiss-style machine and run out of tooling stations? With many Swiss machines today boasting upwards of 20 or even 30 tooling stations, it’s hard to believe you might run short. But on older or smaller machines, as well as when running complex jobs involving multiple operations, this is sometimes the case.

If you have a few million tiny holes to drill, you could order up a tractor-trailer’s worth of circuit board drills and get to work. You might be done by Christmas. Or you could find one of a handful of shops that owns an electron beam driller and get those holes drilled before lunchtime.

When shopping for a micromilling machine, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is spindle speed—how fast is fast enough? The answer depends on a number of factors, including cutter diameter, workpiece material, required feed rate and the money in your bank account.

Back in the mid-1980s, tired of fighting with the guys in my tooling department over the shop’s meager supply of boring heads, I decided to buy my own. The head came from China, and the salesman assured me it was every bit as good as his U.S. brand, at half the price.

In the rapidly growing medical device industry, bigger is not necessarily better. In fact, when it comes to machining medical parts, the trend of “going small” is getting bigger.

Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) is a corrosion-resistant and lightweight material used in everything from paintball guns to Formula One racecars. The composite material has an “ultimate tensile strength” approximately four times that of steel and unrivaled strength-to-weight ratio, meaning it’s not only stronger than alternative materials, like aluminum, but you also need far less of it by weight to do the same job.

Top Videos

The Magafor Multi-V multiple-function tools from Hassay Savage Co., Chicago, are said to be ideal for machine centers and NC processing machines. The Multi-V tools can be used to reduce in-machine set-up time as well as the amount of time needed to carry out the task. Applications include longitudinal chamfer, edge chamfer, spotting, centering, drilling, direct chamfer, V-groovee, interpolating drilling, engraving and contouring.

Jan. 9, 2011—Slater Tools Inc. is expanding its product line of Swiss Type Adjustment Free Rotary Broaching Tool Holders. Swiss type tools are important in manufacturing, primarily in the aerospace and medical industries, making orthopedic bone screws and small fastener products.

Jan. 15, 2010—The Helitronic Micro grinder from Walter, Fredericksburg, Va., extends the product range for the production and regrinding of the smallest tool diameters, according to Walter's company Web site.

Top Products

Hassay Savage Co.

GMauvaisUSA microdrillHassay Savage Co. has introduced the GMauvaisUSA microdrill line to the North American market. From its European factory, the company  been supplying precision products since 1928, including supplying the Swiss Watch Industry for many years 

Harvey Tool Co. LLC

Harvey Tool endmillsHarvey Tool Co. LLC offers nearly 400 metric tools for machining aluminum, exotics and medium alloys. The new metric variablehelix tools are manufactured with tight tolerances and have large shank diameters for enhanced rigidity, according to the company. Standard tools are available as small as 0.2mm in diameter.

Advanced Tool Inc.

Advanced Tool endmillsAdvanced Tool Inc. says its primary principle is to build every endmill specifically for the customer, enabling the lowest cost, longest tool life and best machining results. Its endmills are as small as 0.001" (25?m) in diameter.

Tungsten ToolWorks

Tungsten Toolworks endmillsTungsten Toolworks offers seven microendmill geometries in a virtually unlimited variety of diameters, lengths, end conditions and coatings, including diamond, based on customer input. The company can configure cutting diameters as small as 0.005" from fractional-inch or metric carbide blanks. The company also offers carbide drills, step drills, routers, reamers, tapered tools and other cutting tools.

Hassay Savage Co.

The GMauvaisUSA MICRO Drill Line from the Hassay Savage Co., Turners Falls, Mass., is now available in sizes from 0.1mm to 3mm with a complete program in both HSS-E 8 percent cobalt and 10 percent micro grain solid carbide.