Tooling Technology These Metav highlights will shake up tool and mould makers
Innovations ranging from new micro-milling cutter designs to digitalized shrink fit chucks will be on display at the Metav show regarding the future of tool and mould making. Here is a preview.
“It’s time to wake up,” says Professor Wolfgang Boos, Managing Director of WBA Tooling Academy Aachen GmbH, Germany, addressing the tool construction industry. He is drawing attention to the vital role which digitalized process chains will play in the future. However, tools and molds are still made primarily of metal and need to be machined as efficiently as possible. And so, while it is necessary to explore new fields such as digitalization, it is only right for metalworking technologies to remain the main focus of toolmaking to ensure that the field as a whole stays competitive.
As the first major industry trade show after more than two years without a trade show, Metav 2022, which will take place March 8-11 in Düsseldorf, Germany, will provide an update on tooling technology. Exciting insights into their innovations will be provided in advance by exhibitors Diebold, Horn, and Zecha, representing precision tooling manufacturers, the second largest group of exhibitors. The spectrum ranges from specially designed micro milling cutters to temperature-controlled shrink fit machines and digitalized shrink fit chucks to HPC milling cutters with thermal barrier coating. Next year, VDMA Präzisionswerkzeuge, as the conceptual sponsor of Metav 2022, will again be present with a joint company stand from March 08 to 11 in Düsseldorf.
New milling cutter concepts ensure machining success
A regular guest at the Moulding Area at Metav is Zecha Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrikation from Königsbach-Stein near Pforzheim/Germany. It will be presenting precision tools for specific applications and modern materials. For example, the micro-milling cutters, which are suitable for more productive and at the same time highly accurate machining of a wide variety of materials, alloy components, and material hardnesses up to 70 HRC because of their new design. With contouring accuracy levels down to 0.005 mm and concentricity accuracy down to 0.003 mm and below, the Peacock family of micro-milling cutters ensure precise component contouring.
Intended for electrode production are the new ball and torus end mills, which have an extremely short finishing cutting edge, and the new torus end mills also have a long roughing cutting edge. These cutters from the Seagull tool series are suitable for producing thin-walled and filigree graphite moulds, as they work with a significantly reduced cutting pressure, which ensures the finest contours, surfaces and dimensional accuracy in electrode production.
For Zecha application engineer Andreas Weck, the new micro families are distinguished above all by their new design which guarantees “tool and die industry users the finest surface finishes, high machining efficiency yet also optimum component contouring accuracy.”
Shrinking with heat protection and digitalizing
Shrinking, digitalizing and balancing will be the main focuses of attention on the stand of Jungingen-based Helmut Diebold Goldring-Werkzeugfabrik at Metav 2022. Serving the tool and die making, micromachining and high-speed machining segment, Diebold has developed a micro-shrinking unit primarily for small-diameter milling cutters and their toolholders (taper sizes HSK 40, HSK 32, HSK 25 and HSK 20). CEO Hermann Diebold: “The principal benefits of our intelligent shrink devices are that the sensitive linings don’t overheat and the shrink process runs safely and smoothly.”
The shrink unit concept also ensures that even less experienced operators can cope well with the process and that operating errors are a thing of the past. The patented pyrometer technology in the coil measures the surface temperature of the chucks during the shrink process and gently controls the process for the sensitive tool holders. Users can update the software on the Diebold homepage to ensure that intelligent shrinking always follows the latest development status. In addition, data on shrinking processes can be logged on the company's network.
Digitization plays an essential role in Diebold's universal balancing machine for tools, grinding wheels and other medium-sized rotors. The new software incorporates know-how built up over many years because Diebold balances thousands of tool holders per year. This in-house development, therefore, offers user-friendly features not previously known from such systems.
Unequal helix angles calm the milling process
A carbide tool factory based in Swabia in south-west Germany attaches a great deal of importance to raising productivity levels. Paul Horn from Tübingen, Germany, presents a new solid carbide end mill whose new high-performance geometry is ideal for HPC (High Performance Cutting) milling of high-strength steels at high removal rates. “The cutters come into their own particularly in dynamic roughing as well as in standard roughing cycles,” explains Philipp Dahlhaus, Head of Product Management.
The Tübingen-based company has tweaked many parameters in its new development. The milling cutters have purposely been given different helix angles. The result is irregular tooth pitch which ensures smooth running even during very fast milling. The system also reveals its superiority when it comes to finishing. Extremely smooth operation yields high surface quality during side milling, for example. The company has also improved the face geometry to reduce the cutting pressure during linear or helix ramping. The improved chip spaces offer maximum process reliability during chip formation and removal.
A heat shield extends tool life
HPC milling with high removal rates of high-strength steel is only successful if the material issues are addressed. Horn makes use of new carbide substrates and new coating processes. The milling cutters, for instance, are made of the ES3P carbide grade and are given a Hipims coating. This is "High Power Pulsed Magnetron Sputtering", which deposits metal layers using very short pulses of plasma.
“One benefit of the process is that it enables the construction of coatings which are very dense and compact but also hard and tough,” says product manager Dahlhaus. “The coatings have a very homogeneous structure and a uniform coating thickness, even with complex tool geometries.” The coating has very high layer adhesion which in turn ensures high cutting-edge stability. A not insignificant property is the high temperature resistance of the coating. It serves as a heat shield that reduces the amount of heat transferred to the material and thus extends the tool life.