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Software Add On Creates Head Porting Toolpaths [21 Dec 2023|08:34am]

Maybe you don’t think much about it when a machine is new. But over time, a machining center is going to require more than routine maintenance. Sooner or later mechanical components are going to wear, alter machine performance and may even lead to catastrophic failure. The questions to ask now are: When is that most likely to happen? How disruptive will unplanned maintenance be to your production schedule? And how much will it cost you in substantial repairs and lost production?

What if a machining center could monitor itself and predict impending problems before they occur? Now that could cut out preventable production interruptions and enable shops to perform maintenance at the most convenient times.

Much has been made of the potential of IIoT technology to address “predictive maintenance” and a host of other issues sometime in the future. But what can the industrial internet of things or Industry 4.0 do for manufacturers right now?

Makino has a very practical answer for that with its MHmax machine health monitoring system. By applying sensors and proprietary predictive analysis algorithms that constantly check the health of a machining center’s spindle, toolchanger, coolant and hydraulic systems, machine-resident software can detect when critical systems are trending toward the need for repair. This isn’t technology coming somewhere down the road. It’s available on selected Makino 1-series horizontal machining centers today.

Manufacturers have been using sensors to measure data points like sound, heat and vibration on machine tools for years, but making the best use of the data has not been easy. External monitoring systems had the ability to compare sensor data to a known set of baseline conditions but still required continued technical development to be effective. What’s different with MHmax, which stands for Makino Health Maximizer, is that a fully functional monitoring and analysis system resides entirely in the machine control.

Sophisticated machine learning software paired with a sensor array works from day one and adapts to shoulder milling cutters machine characteristics as it monitors performance over time. This is what enables the system to predict component failures before they happen. With a constant stream of sensor data to analyze, the system “learns” which machine characteristics are normal and which are not. And it can determine early on when machine characteristics are beginning to trend toward a non-conforming condition.

An interesting aspect of MHmax is how it originated. You can try to monitor virtually any component on a machine tool, but going overboard adds needless complexity and costs that may not really add value. Makino wanted to develop a cost-effective predictive solution that solves the most common real-world problems. So they began by analyzing their own service dispatch records to determine systems posed the highest probability of slot milling cutters causing unplanned downtime should they fail. According to Makino’s Dan Wissemeier, IoT customer support engineer, “It’s not necessary, for example, to measure ballscrews. They are so reliable that it wouldn’t be cost effective.” On the other hand, “A production machining center can have two million tool changes per year. Sooner or later, that’s going to need maintenance,” he says.

In all, the MHmax system includes multiple embedded sensors collecting data at the most critical points in a machine. Using this data the predictive software checks for spindle health, analyzes controller data and calculates the needs for alerts or warnings on critical machine functions. It checks spindle vibration, load and speed; automatic toolchanger alignment; coolant flow and temperature; and the hydraulic system pressure and temperature. A 24/7 alert system pushes notifications via email or text to designated recipients.

In addition to the predictive maintenance aspects of MHmax, it also provides a real-time portrait of a machine’s status, which can be enormously helpful in optimizing processes, improving equipment utilization and enabling more worry-free hours of unattended or lightly tended machining.

Monitoring data can be viewed on Makino’s Pro 6 HMI display, or remotely via a network connection, depending on the user’s preferred level of system connectivity. Daily, weekly and monthly uptime and predictive reports are available, and frequencies are selectable.

Most IIoT systems today rely on uploading sensor data to cloud-based application. Data is frequently pooled with other users allowing the vendor to mine data in ways that are not necessarily shared with the customer. MHmax is distinctly different from this approach because most of the data processing and analysis happen right at the machine tool and are shared in a way in which the user has total control. There are three levels of system connectivity:

In Level 1, the entire application runs in a standalone mode and is viewable only on the machine Pro6 control screen.

With Level 2, multiple machines can be connected to a company network. A common dashboard displays all connected machines and can be accessed by desktop computer or mobile devices.

Level 3 provides a direct link to Makino’s service management system. While the data remains secure inside the shop’s network, individual machine alerts are pushed out so Makino can keep a machine history for the customer. With this level of support, highly trained service technicians can contact customers in a proactive fashion.

Initially, Makino is offering MHmax as an option on selected horizontal machining centers and has future plans to apply it on all production-oriented equipment. Also, a retrofittable kit is in the works. The software is continually in development and moving toward “prescriptive maintenance” where the system identifies possible causes of non-conforming conditions.

What’s the value of having predictive maintenance on your next production machining center? For a moment, don’t look forward but instead, look back. What has your service history been, and what did unplanned equipment failures impact? What did they cost, not just the repairs, but the lost production? That may not be top of the mind for the machine you are buying today, but it will be. It’s just a matter of time.

Go here for more information on Makino’s MHmax.

The Cemented Carbide Blog: tungsten derby weights
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Tool Production Center Runs “Lights Out” [19 Dec 2023|05:50am]

“We call it constant-chip-load machining,” Charles Anthony says, referring to one of the CNC programming techniques that ADEX Machining LLC fully embraced after making it a focus of the shop’s in-house R&D program. Mr. Anthony, who is the director of engineering and operations at this 30-person shop in Greenville, South Carolina, has been promoting this concept of “job shop R&D” for several years, because he believes it gives ADEX a jump on new technology. He has seen this program (unusual for a small machining company) lead to a number of processes or capabilities that might not have been introduced there in time to get ahead of the curve on leading technology trends.

He singles out constant-chip-load machining as a prime example of R&D, because he is sure its benefits would not have been as substantial or pervasive without the R&D program to give it a boost. In the case of constant-chip-load machining, ADEX had to delve deeply into the performance characteristics of its preferred cutting tools as well as get acquainted with the kinematics of the multi-axis CNC machining centers and vertical turning lathe on its shop floor. 

What Mr. Anthony calls constant-chip-load machining is one of the most important principles that underlies the Dynamic Motion option for generating tool paths in CNC Software’s Mastercam CAD/CAM software. Because ADEX has taken the time and effort to thoroughly master how to apply this option for best effect when programming complex parts in titanium and other super alloys, it has provided significant improvements in productivity and tool life across a range of workpiece types involving almost every machine tool in the shop.

“A better understanding of the cutting tools we use and how our machine tools behave helped us get more out of this approach to generating tool paths,” Mr. Anthony says. This knowledge was essential to determining the precise chip-load values that the Dynamic Motion option needs as input to create the rather unusual tool paths that deliver what Mr. Anthony has found to be very productive results.

To be clear, Dynamic Motion applies many other rules to toolpath generation in addition to maintaining a constant chip load, but following this principle is probably its greatest departure from traditional approaches, including those based on constant cutter engagement. “Mastering the concept of constant-chip-load machining was the key to unlocking its full potential at ADEX,” Mr. Anthony explains.

“We routinely see tool life last two times longer and sometimes as much as five times longer, and we know our tool paths will protect the tool and part from damaging conditions experienced with other conventional types of tool paths,” he says. Of even greater benefit are substantial reductions in cycle times. “We usually get 20- to 40-percent higher metal-removal rates, especially during roughing, because the tool paths use the full potential of a cutting tool very efficiently,” he adds. Plus, good tool paths have helped ADEX successfully machine complex workpieces to tight tolerances in difficult-to-machine materials, because consistent, precise results in roughing using this programming option virtually ensure error-free finishing operations (which may also benefit from using this programming option.)

Of course, ADEX’s R&D program has not been restricted to making the most of techniques such as constant-chip-load machining. Establishing a practical approach to automatic and reliable on-machine probing for lights-out operation is another example. “All of these R&D efforts hinge on the same principles. We seek out new ideas, learn as much as we can, develop creative ways to apply them, and try to discover new and different directions that go beyond what other shops are likely to do. This is the only way to stay ahead of the pack,” Mr. Anthony concludes.

An R&D Background

ADEX’s venturesome entrepreneurial spirit can be traced to its startup in 2007 as a shop specializing in five-axis machining. The founders, who have since moved on to other ventures, wanted to make the leap to advanced machining in a single bound. When Mr. Anthony joined the company in 2012, he brought with him almost 25 years of experience in CNC machining (including 10 years in five-axis machining), plus a background in process engineering and operations management. He was familiar with the other manufacturing technology in place at ADEX, which includes vertical turning, wire EDM, CAD/CAM and a computerized coordinate measuring machine. Mr. Anthony’s prior experience also involved a solid grasp of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma process improvement.

This combination of practical experience and theoretical knowledge helped Mr. Anthony give ADEX a firmer footing on its path to steady growth as a business, along with more certain achievement of its ambitious goals for technical excellence. Under his leadership, however, the mission of the company remains the same, that is, to apply advanced manufacturing technology to the 24/7 production of complex aerospace, defense and energy components consisting of superalloys such as Inconel, titanium, and other high-nickel or cobalt-based materials. “Because we approach every job with the standards and discipline expected of aerospace work, we’re perfectly comfortable being called an aerospace company, although about 35 percent of our revenue comes from outside this industry. Our biggest customer does build airplanes, however,” he says.

One of the things Mr. Anthony learned from an earlier stint with a large aerospace firm in his home state of Georgia was the importance of exploring new technology and giving it a try—not when this technology had become safe, easy and was in everybody’s shop, but while it was still taking shape, proving itself and finding direction. Although this former employer had the resources to engage in an R&D program on a large scale, Mr. Anthony recognized that the concept could be pursued in a company the size of ADEX as well. It did not have to be a formal program with a rigid time frame, but could follow a freer approach based on an ongoing commitment to devoting as much available time as possible to a specific goal or targeted benefit.

One of the first opportunities to take this approach arose when ADEX was introduced to the Dynamic Motion option in Mastercam by a programmer who joined the staff a few years ago. He had used this software feature to program the roughing operations for an aircraft bulkhead, thus bringing the cycle time down from 30 hours to 13. This report certainly got the attention of Mr. Anthony and his small group of programmers. Especially encouraging was news that the thin floor and thin walls of this bulkhead did not undergo any of the warping that can occur when machining forces create stress or heat from aggressive metal-removal processes.

Although ADEX had long been a user of Mastercam, the Dynamic Motion option had been neglected. Now the shop wanted to take a much closer look. Shortly thereafter, a few demonstrations on test workpieces created some distinct impressions. Dynamic Motion tool paths did not look like any tool paths the shop had used before. The cutting tool seemed to be swirling in and out of contact with the workpiece in moves that appeared to be inefficient and almost erratic.

The stepovers and stepdowns called out values that departed from usual practice in roughing. The stepovers were usually well below the radius of the tool. Stepdowns were allowed to be the full length of the cutting flute on a carbide milling cutter—another reason to raise eyebrows. In addition, feed rates and spindle speeds calculated by the software were startlingly high. “We were almost afraid to take these programs out to the shop floor at first,” Mr. Anthony recalls. However, the test cuts consistently showed very positive results.

In fact, the results were so promising that Mr. Anthony made a commitment to finding out as much as he could about this option and how it could be applied to the most challenging workpieces for which ADEX customers were requesting bids. This R&D effort would stretch over the next two years. “We were never not working on the application of this toolpath strategy. It became a habit to look at what applying this option would give us whenever roughing operations were a deciding factor in how to process a part,” Mr. Anthony says.

Constant Chip Load Is the Key

“Early on, we learned that Dynamic Motion was designed to create tool paths that resulted in parameters assuring a constant chip load on the cutter. The chip load that it keeps constant, however, is a value that tends to favor high feed rates and small stepovers, but maximizes metal removal. The idea is to take light cuts very rapidly under conditions that are best for the particular cutting tool and machine tool,” Mr. Anthony explains. He adds that there is a lot more to what Dynamic Motion does when generating a tool path, but constant chip load is a basic principle underlying its algorithms.

It also became clear that entering the correct values for the variables with which this software needed to work could not be based on guesswork. “That’s when the R&D project started to really look like R&D. We set out to develop our own calculator to generate those values, based on tables of results gathered from test cuts on each machine, using different materials and different styles of cutters,” he says.

The focus of this research centered on determining what chip load was the most productive yet safest for each combination of cutting tool and machining center. Generating the tool paths and corresponding depths of cut and feed rates to maintain that target chip load was taken care of by the software. Following is a summary of the theory behind what Mr. Anthony was up to in this research.

When a round, fluted cutter rotating at a certain speed contacts the workpiece, the sharp edges of the flutes form chips as the material is cut away. The size of these chips depends on how much of the cutter is in contact with the workpiece. The thickest chip formed is at 50-percent stepover—the radius of the cutter. When stepover is smaller than 50 percent, the chip formed will be thinner than what it would be at 50-percent stepover. As the degree of contact gets smaller and smaller, the resulting chips will be thinner and thinner in proportion. This effect is known as radial chip thinning.

Of course, making thick chips removes more material than making thin chips at the same rate. However, there are many reasons why making thick chips may be less desirable than making thin chips. For example, the cutting tool may not have the strength, sharpness and other characteristics to cut at its full radius. In that case, thinner chips will have to do.

Another important fact is that the metal-cutting/chip-making process always creates heat. Most of this heat is localized in the chip itself, but the workpiece and the cutting tool may absorb some of it. Thicker chips can carry off more heat than thinner chips simply because thicker chips have more mass to hold the heat. When thinner chips are being produced, producing them faster by increasing the rotational speed of the cutter and/or the forward motion (feed rate) of the cutter in the direction of the cut can prevent heat from being transferred to the workpiece or cutter. This prevents them from reaching a damaging temperature.

Naturally, spindle speed and feed rate are limited by the capability of the machine; faster spindles and more powerful axis drives can do a better job of producing thin chips rapidly, thus compensating for both lower metal-removal capacity and the lower heat-removal capacity of the chip.

Then there is the hardness and other properties of the workpiece material to consider. Spindle speed, feed rates, depth of cut (stepover) and all of the other machining parameters have to be adjusted accordingly. Finding the right numbers for calculating the best machine settings became the goal for ADEX’s constant-chip-load research project.

A Calculated Success

Eventually, Mr. Anthony and his team developed a calculator by which programmers can compute the best values for chip load and the other variables required for input when using the Dynamic Motion option. He considers this calculator a proprietary development for ADEX—a kind of trade secret—although he readily concedes that the recent releases of Mastercam have made it easier for other shops to plug in very workable Dynamic Motion values based on their own homework.

“We’ve just taken this homework to a higher level so that our calculator gives us a big head start in applying constant-chip-load machining very effectively,” Mr. Anthony says. “We can use the calculator to check different input values to see which combination gives us the most productive chip-load value.” He considers Dynamic Motion a tool to leverage the cutter technology that is out there today. For this reason, the shop is always looking for new products from cutting tool developers, as well as continuing to learn more about the performance of the machines in the shop.

Mr. Anthony summarizes some of the other findings or observations that have come out of this intense research on Dynamic Motion:

The Most Productive Tool that Doesn’t Cut Chips

The impetus to forge ahead with in-process gaging emerged several years ago when ADEX launched a comprehensive time-study analysis of its manufacturing processes. One of the results was particularly startling. The shop was consistently losing 15 to 50 percent of available production time because machines were paused in the M01 (optional stop) condition. “ADEX makes both large and medium-sized close-tolerance parts, ranging in value from $5,000 to $150,000. Our CNC programmers insert M01 codes into their programs, instructing and requiring machinists to inspect the part and cutting tool to ensure everything is OK and that we are not drifting into conditions that could result in scrap,” Mr. Anthony explains.

These optional stops were costly. Because machinists usually tend more than one machine at a time, dealing with a machine in the M01 mode may not happen promptly. Likewise, resolving the issue behind the stoppage can mean a lengthy delay. Checking a workpiece dimension or the condition of a cutting tool may involve several steps requiring cautious judgment about a decision to recut or not, or move the part to the CMM for inspection, and then setting it back up on the machine.

“This approach can be a big problem when you are dealing with a 0.0001-inch tolerance,” Mr. Anthony points out. “These manual interventions, in addition to being very time-consuming, open the door for human error that can inadvertently introduce the very process imperfections that the optional stop was intended to prevent,” he concludes.

The solution ADEX first envisioned was to use the spindle probes on its five-axis machines to measure parts at specified points during machining to verify that dimensions are not drifting out of specification and to adjust tool offsets to compensate without interrupting the manufacturing process. However, the shop found this approach impractical at first. It required the CNC programmer to be well-versed in metrology or to work with a measurement system programmer to develop in-process gaging routines.

In 2014, when CNC Software introduced the Productivity Plus add-on for Mastercam, ADEX acquired it right away and began experimenting with it. This add-on enables the CAM programmer to create and call up Renishaw probing macros within the Mastercam programming session. At first, the initial release of the add-on proved somewhat difficult to apply on ADEX’s complex machining centers. Subsequent releases of the programming software and the add-on resolved these snags, however. The shop soon established a goal of implementing it on all of its Mazak five-axis machining centers for complex machining operations, as well as on its tungsten carbide inserts three-axis mills and large VTL.

At this point, ADEX embarked on a one-year R&D project to apply this technology across the aerospace, defense and energy facets of the business. “We envisioned the potentially enormous benefits of in-process gaging and made it a priority. We also enlisted our Mastercam reseller, Barefoot CNC, as a partner in this project,” Mr. Anthony says. The reseller co-developed and installed a postprocessor for the add-on while soliciting substantial programming and testing support from Mastercam’s Manufacturing Lab in Tolland, Connecticut. The reseller also trained the CNC programmers and machinists in appropriate use of the add-on and postprocessor.

In October 2015, the five-axis machining programs with in-process gaging were proven to the overwhelming satisfaction of customers gun drilling inserts gun drilling inserts on three of the five-axis Mazak machines, Mr. Anthony reports. “In one particular case, 75 percent of process downtime has been eliminated by automating in-process gaging,” he says. He estimates there will be a 25- to 40-percent improvement in productivity, as well as 100-percent product acceptance as in-process gaging is implemented on many of the component details and assemblies running across all of the shop’s machine tools.

A Growth Path for All

Mr. Anthony believes it is a mistake that many shops do not allow their engineers and machinists enough time to do what he calls research and development. “Owners and managers want to cut parts and ship them right now. Their philosophy insists that we don’t have time for R&D or that we will do it later,” he says. In rebuttal, he points to ADEX’s experiences with constant-chip-load machining and in-process gaging as examples of how important an in-house R&D program can be. “We give our engineers and machinists the time to experiment, dream and brainstorm in order to make the impossible become possible. Some of those things are helping us carve huge productivity gains out of our manufacturing operations,” he says.

The company benefits, for sure, but so do shop employees, because they develop new skills, work more closely as a team and increase their earning power, he says.

Finally, Mr. Anthony likes to hint about some insights and discoveries resulting from ADEX’s R&D programs that he now considers essential secrets to the shop’s success. But his invitation to other shops is to follow ADEX’s lead on a similar path to make their own discoveries and develop their own competitive advantages: “We’ve found ours and have more to come. Be inspired to go out and find yours.”

The Cemented Carbide Blog: bta drilling tool
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Rego Fix's PG Cryo Applies Cryogenic Cooling to PowrGrip Toolholder [14 Dec 2023|08:38am]

Users gravity turning inserts can now cut, copy and paste balloons and characteristics, and drag-and-drop reordering of characteristics in the table manager eases make revisions and changes. A GD&T builder tool provides more options for working with geometric tolerances in inspection reports. Additional sub types and units, such as torque, temperature, voltage, electrical capacitance, and others, are available for more comprehensive reports. Grids can be customized across multiple pages using grid setup options and interface. A hide captures feature hides surface milling cutters captured dimensions to show what might have been missed, the company says. OCR capabilities have been added to the bill of materials and specifications tabs. 

The Cemented Carbide Blog: DCMT Insert
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VMC for Cutting Large, Complex Parts [12 Dec 2023|03:23am]

MAG’s CYCLO CUT cutting tools include a complete line of indexable cutting tools for the automotive, cemented carbide inserts aerospace, agriculture, wind and general machining industries. We offer an extensive line of end mills and face mills including integral shanks for CAT 50, HSK63A and HSK100A. Ideal for machining centers and special purpose machines, our CAST IRON 55 degree face mills range from 3.00” to 20.00” in diameter. CYCLO CUT’s 6.00” diameter face mills with 21 teeth will semi-finish at 107 IPM and 630 RPM.

MAG also offers a complete line of standard and high performance solid carbide end mills and drills with over 3,000 different sizes and lengths in stock for immediate delivery. Our rotary tooling portfolio includes HSS cobalt and powdered metal end mills capable of up to 8 hours tool life roughing titanium and other high temperature alloys. We also have a large selection of PVD coated tooling for composite machining, and a tool holder gravity turning inserts portfolio including CAT 40, CAT 50, HSK 63A, HSK 100A, HSK 125A, BT40 and BT50.

Cutting tools best perform in combination with CYCLO COOL metalworking fluids proven to increase tool life by 200% over the competition. CYCLO COOL includes a complete line of coolants, corrosion inhibitors and cleaners for all the manufacturing industry.

To receive CYCLO CUT and CYCLO COOL product catalogs or for more information please contact Will Gruber at 859.534.4597,, or Roger Romas at 859.534.4574,, or email a request for quote to

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Finding the Next Better Cutting Tool [08 Dec 2023|08:19am]

Most machinists are familiar with?the four processing methods, but did you know the concrete differences between them? When the correct selection of them is done, A?fast and highly accurate operation for your project will advantageously conduce to your productivity and precision of work. ?

Laser cutting

Laser cutting is to use a focused high power density laser beam to irradiate the workpiece so that the irradiated material can melt, vaporize, ablate or reach the ignition point rapidly. At the same time, the melted material can be blown away by high-speed airflow in the coaxial direction of the laser beam, so that the workpiece can be cut off. At present, the CO2 pulse laser is commonly used. Laser cutting is one of the hot cutting methods.

Water Cutting bar peeling inserts Processing

Water cutting, also known as water knife, is a high-pressure water jet cutting technology, is high-pressure water cutting machine. Under the control of the computer, the workpiece can be carved arbitrarily, and it is less affected by the material quality. Water cutting can be divided into sand-free cutting and sand-adding cutting.


Plasma cutting

Plasma arc cutting is a kind of processing method which uses the heat of high-temperature plasma arc to melt (and evaporate) the metal at the cutting edge of the workpiece and removes the molten metal by the momentum of high-speed plasma to form the cutting edge.



Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (WEDM) belongs to the field of electrical processing. Wire cut Electrical Discharge Machining (WEDM) is sometimes fast feed milling inserts called WEDM. WEDM can be divided into fast WEDM, medium WEDM, and slow WEDM. The wire traveling speed of fast wire EDM is 6-12 m/s, and the wire travels at high speed, so the cutting accuracy is poor. Mid-wire WEDM is a new technology developed in recent years, which realizes the function of frequency conversion multiple cutting on the basis of fast-wire WEDM. The wire traveling speed of WEDM with slow walking wire is 0.2m/s, and the electrode wire moves unidirectionally at low speed, so the cutting precision is very high.

The contrast of application scope

Laser cutting machine has a wide range of applications, regardless of metal, non-metal, can be cut, cutting non-metal, such as cloth, leather, etc. can be used CO2 laser cutting machine, cutting metal can be used optical fiber laser cutting machine. The deformation of sheet metal is small.

Water cutting belongs to cold cutting, no thermal deformation, good cutting surface quality, without secondary processing, if necessary, it is also easy to carry out secondary processing. Water cutting can punch and cut any material with fast cutting speed and flexible processing size.

The plasma cutting machine can be used to cut stainless steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, carbon steel, and other metal materials. The plasma cutting has an obvious thermal effect and low precision, so the cutting surface is not easy to be processed again.

WEDM can only cut conductive substances. Cutting process requires cutting coolant, so it is impossible to cut materials that are not conducive to paper, leather, water, and pollution of cutting coolant.

Cutting thickness comparison

The application of laser cutting carbon steel in the industry is generally below 20MM. Cutting capacity is generally less than 40MM. Stainless steel industry applications are generally below 16MM, cutting capacity is generally below 25MM. And with the increase of workpiece thickness, the cutting speed decreases obviously.

The thickness of water cutting can be very thick, 0.8-100MM, or even thicker material.

The plasma cutting thickness is 0-120 mm, and the best cutting quality range thickness is about 20 mm. The price ratio of plasma system is the highest.

Wire-cut thickness is generally 40-60 mm, the thickest can be up to 600 mm.

Cutting speed comparison

The cutting speed of 2 mm thick low carbon steel plate and 5 mm thick polypropylene resin plate can reach 600 cm/min and 1200 cm/min respectively. The cutting efficiency of WEDM is generally 20-60 square millimeters per minute, and the maximum is 300 square millimeters per minute. Obviously, the laser cutting speed is fast and can be used in mass production.

Water cutting speed is quite slow, not suitable for mass production.

The cutting speed of plasma cutting is slow and the relative precision is low. It is more suitable for cutting thick plates, but the end face has a slope.

For metal processing, WEDM has higher accuracy, but the speed is very slow. Sometimes it needs other methods to cut through holes and wires, and the cutting size is limited.

Comparison of Cutting Accuracy

Laser cutting has a narrow cutting edge, parallel cutting edges, and perpendicular to the surface. The dimension accuracy of the cutting parts can reach (+0.2mm).

The plasma energy is less than 1 mm.

Water cutting will not produce thermal deformation, the accuracy is (+0.1mm). If the dynamic water cutting machine is used, the cutting accuracy can be increased to (+0.02mm) and the cutting slope can be eliminated.

The machining accuracy of WEDM is generally (+) 0.01 (+) 0.02 mm) with a maximum of (+) 0.004 mm.

The contrast of slit width

Laser cutting is more precise than plasma cutting, with a small slit, about 0.5 mm.

The plasma cutting slit is larger than laser cutting, about 1-2 mm.

The cutting seam of water cutting is about 10% larger than the diameter of the cutter tube, which is generally 0.8mm-1.2mm. With the diameter enlargement of the sand cutter tube, the larger the incision is.

The slit width of WEDM is the smallest, generally about 0.1-0.2 mm.

The contrast of Cutting Surface Quality

The surface roughness of laser cutting is not as good as that of water cutting. The thicker the material, the more obvious it is.

Water cutting will not change the texture of the material around the cutting seam (laser is thermal cutting, it will change the texture around the cutting area).

The contrast of Production Input Cost

Laser cutting machines for different purposes have different prices. Cheap ones such as carbon dioxide laser cutting machines only need 230,000 yuan, and expensive ones such as 1000W fiber laser cutting machines now need more than 1 million yuan. Laser cutting has no consumables, but the cost of equipment investment is the highest in all cutting methods and is not a little higher, the use and maintenance costs are also quite high.

The plasma cutting machine is much cheaper than the laser cutting machine. According to the power and brand of the plasma cutting machine, the price is different and the cost is high. Basically, as long as the conductive material can be cut.

The cost of water cutting equipment is second only to laser cutting, which has high energy consumption, high maintenance cost and no plasma cutting speed. Because all abrasives are disposable, they are discharged into nature once, so environmental pollution is serious.

WEDM is usually about tens of thousands of pieces. But WEDM has consumables, molybdenum wire, cutting coolant, etc. There are two kinds of wire commonly used in WEDM. One is a molybdenum wire, which is used in fast wire-moving equipment. The advantage is that molybdenum wire can be reused many times. The disadvantage is that it is expensive. The other is to use copper wire for slow-moving wire equipment. The advantage is cheap, but the disadvantage is that copper wire can only be used once. In addition, the fast wire walking machine is much cheaper than the slow wire walking machine. The price of one slow wire walking machine is equal to 5 or 6 fast wire walking machines.

The Cemented Carbide Blog: high feed milling Insert
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A Lucid Guide for Choosing CNC Lathe Collect [07 Dec 2023|08:36am]

Kalamazoo Machine Tool’s Model H275 manual band saw is said to accurately cut tubes, pipes, light structural shapes and small solids Carbide Milling Inserts ranging to 10" at 90 degrees. The variable-speed blade ranges from 65 to 320 fpm, and can accurately miter as much as 60 degrees to the right. The saw’s heavy-duty construction, carbide saw guides and rigid guide supports ensure accurate, straight cuts, the company says.

The Model H275 band saw features a 2-hp TEFC motor coupled directly to the worm gear drive for smooth power transmission to the saw blade. Operations include manual saw frame raise, manual vise and hydraulic/solenoid-powered downfeed. Status indicators include "power on," "correct blade tension," "broken blade" and "band wheel cover open." The band saw also features 24-V controls, a bimetal blade with shutoff for broken blade or low tension conditions, a blade drive load monitor and a full coolant process inserts

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Heat Resistant Insert Grade Improves Tool Life [05 Dec 2023|01:36am]

In 2017 and 2018, the World Machine Tool Survey from Gardner Intelligence, the research arm of Modern Machine Shop publisher Gardner Business Media, showed that 12 out of the top 15 machine tool consuming countries increased their consumption. It is relatively rare for this to happen in a single year, and this was the only time it had ever happened in back-to-back years. This worldwide upturn and the extremely cyclical nature of the machine tool market should have been a clue to the fate of machine tool consumption in 2019, which was a worldwide downturn.

According to the latest survey, the results of which have recently been published, global machine tool consumption decreased by $13.1 billion, or 13.8%, to $82.1 billion in 2019. Therefore, 2019 had the lowest level of machine tool consumption since 2010, when much of the global economy was just starting to recover from the Great Recession. And, in an about face of 2018, 12 out of the top 15 consuming countries decreased their machine tool consumption in 2019.

While there was a recovery in 2017 and 2018, the global machine tool market has essentially contracted since 2011. Much of this contraction is due to China, which most certainly led the contraction in 2019. China’s 2019 consumption was $22.3 billion, falling $6.4 billion, or 25.3%. The decrease in China’s machine tool consumption accounted for nearly half of the global decline.

The Chinese automotive industry, among others, slowed toward the end of 2019. The Chinese economy was also hit particularly hard by the quarantines to contain COVID-19. As a result, China’s machine tool consumption will likely see another significant decline in 2020, perhaps another 15-25%, or roughly $5 billion.

China’s machine tool consumption accounted for 27.2% of the market in 2019. This was the first time China’s machine tool consumption accounted for less than 30% of the global market VNMG Insert since 2008. And the country’s share of the global market could fall again in 2020 as work moves toward Southeast Asian countries not hit as hard by COVID-19 and Mexico, which continues to claim a larger presence in global manufacturing.

Mexico consumed $2.5 billion in machine tools in 2019. That was its third highest total ever and its eighth consecutive year with more than $2 billion in consumption. Mexico consumed 9.1% more machine tools in 2019 than it did in 2018. Of the top 15 consumers, Mexico had the second largest increase (only Brazil increased more). Mexico’s 2019 growth was also the fifth fastest in the world. Three of the faster-growing countries were significantly smaller consumers, making their higher rates of growth much easier to achieve.

Mexico maintained its ranking as the eighth-largest tungsten carbide inserts machine tool consumer in the world in 2019. However, the country significantly increased its share of global machine tool consumption to 3.1% from 2.4%. In 2019, Mexico consumed its largest share of the global machine tool market ever.

The U.S., the world’s second-largest consumer, bought $9.7 billion of machine tools in 2019, which was down just 1.6% from 2018. That made 2019 the U.S.’s third-highest year for machine tool consumption since 1998.

Of the 12 countries that decreased consumption in the top 15 consumers, the U.S. recorded the smallest decline. As a result, the U.S. significantly increased its share of the global machine tool market. In 2019, the U.S. consumed 11.9% of the world’s machine tools. This was the U.S.’s highest share of global consumption since 2001. This is significant because 2001 was the start of significant offshoring of U.S. manufacturing due to artificially low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve to help the country recover from the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

Since the end of the Great Recession in late 2009 or early 2010, the pendulum has swung back as manufacturing returns to North America, more specifically the U.S. and Mexico. The generally rising share of global machine tool consumption for both countries during that time is evidence of the reshoring or near-shoring trend.

COVID-19 has led several countries to lock down significant portions of their populations, which has led to a significant reduction in economic activity. It is quite possible that global machine tool consumption declines by 15% or more in 2020. If global machine tool consumption declines by 15%, it would drop below $70 billion for the first time since 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession.

Global machine tool production has followed a similar pattern to consumption. In 2019, global machine tool production was $84.2 billion, which was a decrease of $12.9 billion, or 13.3%. Like global consumption, global production in 2019 fell to its lowest level since 2010. Only three of the 15 producers increased production in 2019: Brazil, France and Canada.

China, the world’s largest producer of machine tools, decreased its production by $4.6 billion, or 23.1%. China’s machine tool production has decreased six of the last eight years, falling to its lowest level since 2009. In 2019, China’s share of global production was 23.1%, which was its lowest share since 2008, when it was 16.4%.

Brazil was the lone country in the top 10 producers that increased its machine tool production. The country increased its production by 12.6% to $1.6 billion. Every one of the other top 10 producers cut their production. Germany and the U.S. were the only two that decreased their production less than 10%. As a result, both Germany and the U.S. increased their share of global machine tool production. Other countries in the top 15 producers to increase their global share of production include Italy, Austria, France, U.K. and Canada. Results of the survey show a small but noticeable shift in machine tool production to Europe from Asia.

The World Machine Tool Survey contains much more information, including not only consumption and production data, but also data related to imports and exports of the top 60 machine consuming countries. The report includes import and export data on high-level machine types. To purchase the report and the data supporting it, visit

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Multitasking Machine Combines CNC, Data Driven Platform for Faster Cycle Times [01 Dec 2023|05:59am]

Norton, a Saint-Gobain brand, has introduced its Paradigm diamond wheels, which feature a new bond designed to deliver high grinding performance on carbide round tools, and periphery grinding on carbide and cermet inserts. The wheels are said to provide fast cycle Carbide Milling Inserts times, fine cutting edges and reduced cost per part. The wheels are custom-manufactured for user requirements and are available for Anca, Makino, Rollomatic, Star, Walter and other grinding systems.

According to the company, the Paradigm fluting wheels enable one-pass flute grinding at higher feed rates. In periphery grinding of inserts, the wheels are said to create finer edges, achieve longer wheel life and speed APMT Insert production rates.

The wheels are capable of online truing and dressing for lights-out production. Additionally, they are wear- and load-resistant for improved grinding on 6 to 12 percent cobalt, and are said to offer better control over core growth. A higher grain retention and a uniform structure provide a high G ratio (the ratio of material removal rate versus wheel wear) for longer wheel life and higher material removal rates. The wheels’ low specific cutting energy also enables faster grinding with a lower power draw and less burn, the company says.

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5 Mistakes We Find in Most CNC Machine Programs [29 Nov 2023|01:39am]

There are three ways to create programs that run on CNC machines: manually write them, use a shopfloor-programmed conversational control or use a CAM system. The last is the most popular method of creating programs because almost every company that has CNC machine tools has Thread Cutting Insert a CAM system. 

Just as a CNC control can be customized through parameter settings to work with a wide variety of CNC machine tools, so too can a CAM system be tailored to work with a wide variety of CNC controls. However, given the numerous CNC functions involved, customizing the CAM system to a given CNC machine and control can be challenging.

To complicate matters, most CNCs allow users to handle nearly every programming feature multiple ways based on preference. With cutter radius compensation, for instance, the user can decide whether the generated tool path is for the cutter centerline or the work surface. Choices are often based on legacy because CNCs are “backward compatible.” This means they allow older programming methods to be used for years (or decades) after newer, more convenient features became available.

Given the these complexities, most companies tend to quit customizing CAM system G-code output as soon as they get something that works. They stop short of making the CAM system output G-code programs that are properly structured, or that takes advantage of current, more desirable CNC features. Resulting G-code programs are lengthier, less efficient and more cumbersome than their manually created counterparts.

Here are four suggestions to help you streamline G-code programs created by CAM systems.

Certain CNC features are designed to make life easier for manual programmers. The tradeoff is often more work for setup people and operators. Consider tool nose radius compensation, a turning center feature that deals with imperfections caused by the tiny radius on single-point cutting tools. While it simplifies programming, CNC-based tool nose radius compensation requires the setup person to enter tool nose radius data.

All current CAM systems can output tool paths based on a specified tool nose radius. If you make your CAM system do so, you can save setup time and minimize potential for mistakes. Other CNC features that can have an impact on operator time and effort include other compensation functions like machining center based fixture offsets, tool length compensation and cutter radius compensation, as well as turning center based geometry and wear offsets.

While they may not regularly modify CNC programs, setup people and operators should be able to understand what a G-code program is doing. This can be a direct function of how your CAM system generates G-code programs. Your CAM system should take advantage of CNC features like decimal point programming (I still see CNC words including real numbers generated with fixed format), radius designation for circular commands using R instead of I, J and K, and canned cycles instead of multiple G00/G01 motion commands. It should also utilize coordinate manipulation features when applicable, like coordinate rotation, single direction positioning, mirror image and scaling.

CAM systems are notorious for generating G-code programs with redundancy. Unnecessary, redundant commands in a program increase program length and can confuse operators. A CAM system may, for example, include the motion type G00, G01, G02 or G03 in every motion command even though motion type is modal.

Conversely, I’ve seen resulting G-code programs that do not allow the rerunning of cutting tools — a task commonly required when running the first workpiece in a production run — or when critical finishing tools are replaced after wearing out. Rerunning a tool requires that all commands needed to get the program running be included at the beginning of every tool.

Spindle probes have become very popular and are especially helpful during setup, but they are also becoming an integral part of many CNC cycles as well. They are commonly used to automate trial machining operations, ensuring the correctness of a surface machined for the first time with a new cutting tool. They can also be used when raw material to be machined varies from part to part, which is commonly the case with castings and forgings. With these kinds of applications, the CAM-system-generated CNC program must dynamically deal with probing results in real time.

For example, stock on a workpiece surface may be varying from 0.05 inch to 0.25 inch. Rather than waste time by making the number of passes for the worst-case scenario, the spindle probe can determine the amount of material that must currently be machined. If it determines that there is 0.2 inch of material on a surface to be milled, the CNC program must make the appropriate number of machining passes.

Since the number of passes will vary from part to part, many of the resulting machining commands cannot be performed directly by the CAM-system-generated G-code program. Instead, the CAM system must have the G-code program call a parametric program (custom macro in FANUC terms) that resides in the CNC control and makes the correct number of passes based on the results of the probing operation.

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Cutting Data, Indexable Inserts Optimize Fine Boring [08 Nov 2023|08:36am]

The Swift Arc ML available from ESAB Welding & Cutting Products is an enclosed robotic welding system intended for education and training. The mobile cell is a complete ready-to-weld unit designed to demonstrate, develop and teach proper welding techniques and skills as well as robot programming on site.

The cell combines ESAB welding equipment with a KUKA KR6 90VBET Insert 0 robot and controller. ESAB’s Artisto U5000i welding power source and wire feeder minimize spatter and burn-through on thin materials, while the TruArc Voltage feature provides accurate voltage information for critical welding, the company says. An Aristo RT robotic torch features universal contact tips that can be exchanged WNMG Insert between water-cooled and gas-cooled torches.

The system offers an open-architecture Windows HMI, consistent wrist orientation function and electronic mastering for quick calibration. The interlock safety system, operator control panel and intuitive control pendant enable instruction of programming and troubleshooting techniques required for industrial robotic welding applications. The cell also features a steel tube frame, expandable cell walls with acrylic windows, and heavy-duty casters to enable mobility.

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News of Note: Machine Redesign, CAM Credentials and Solar Energy [04 Nov 2023|03:03am]

Kitamura Machinery’s Mycenter-HX500G horizontal machining center provides flexible cutting capabilities for medium to large-sized parts. The compact HMC accommodates workpieces ranging to 31.4" in diameter and 43.3" in height. It features a solid boxway construction with rapid feed rates of 2,362 ipm. Twin ballscrews and motors in the X and Y axes plus linear scale feedback on all axes optimize stability. Accuracies are ±0.000079" full stroke and ±0.00039" repeatability.

The HMC is available with either a 40- or 50-taper spindle configuration, making it suitable for either lighter-duty aluminum applications or heavier, accurate processing of CNMG Turning Insert exotic workpieces. Both are four-step geared, dual-contact spindles designed for energy efficiency. The 40-taper spindle provides speeds ranging to 20,000 rpm for fine finish cutting requirements, whereas the 50-taper spindle offers 432.2 foot-pounds of cutting torque for heavy-duty machining. HSK spindle designs are optionally available. 

The HMC is equipped with a 50-station fixed pot automatic toolchanger, upgradable to 200 tools. The two-station automatic pallet changer is field expandable and coupled with 360-degree fourth axis capability and a rotary scale for faster, more accurate production per pallet load. The 16IR Insert Arumatik-Mi controller offers smooth, high-speed processing with the potential to add fifth-axis simultaneous machining capabilities on both pallets.

The Cemented Carbide Blog: CNC Carbide Inserts
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Rollomatic Laser Cutting System Machines Large PCD Tools [02 Nov 2023|02:01am]

Lenox offers its Versa Pro carbide-tipped bandsaw blade for general-purpose cutting of carbon steels, alloys, tool steel, stainless and other materials. The versatile carbide blade leverages Honex technology in order to deliver long blade life across a variety of metals and cutting applications, VBET Insert the company says.

The new carbide grade tip has increased toughness to retain a sharp cutting edge. The Honex process pre-hones the cutting edge in order to minimize chipping and VNMG Insert help eliminate the break-in process. Other features that enhance performance include a multi-chip tooth design that balances chip load and reduces cutting forces; a moderately aggressive rake angle for easy penetration and balanced wear; and precision-ground carbide tips with clean, sharp edges that deliver smooth parts and quiet cutting.

The Versa Pro blade will be available in a range of widths to fit the majority of carbide-friendly band saws.

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