A few weeks ago we installed a new VM30i here in the Gage Machine Tool Showroom. We had a brief discussion about what kind of tooling we needed to get for doing demo's and customer runs. You would think that we had all the tooling holders and cutting tools you could imagine after having at least 20 machines in and out of the showroom over the last decade. What most people do not know is that we typically sell that tooling with the machine when it goes out the door. Hence the discussion on what kind of tooling we would need. In the past we would normally call on our buddy over at Sandvik who would come by and load us up with all the latest and greatest. He recently took another position and that left a bit of a vacuum.
As luck would have it, I was recently working with one of my customers, Viden Industries and told him to get a hold of someone at Sandvik and get some better tooling. His cycle times were 8 minutes on op 1 and 21 minutes on op 2. That was horrible and yes Dennis, the machine can run a lot faster than that. You need some tooling better than what your getting from the Shar catalog. So he called and a fellow named Tim came out and gave him a 3/8 Solid Carbide End Mill that had a new design and coating. It was a new End Mill, just on the market as of last December. Runs dry with air blast at full depth, no pecking. Needless to say Dennis was nervous about putting a 150 dollar end mill into his machine and running it a full 1/2" depth at 5000 rpm's and a feed rate of 85 inches a minute. Op 1 was 37 seconds. Op 2 was 4 and half minutes. Pretty freaking fantastic. But would it last?
I am happy to report that end mill one lasted thru all 255 pieces of op 1 and is still being used for op 2 as of this post. What a difference a single end mill can make.
We tested it out on our VM30 when Tim came by the showroom. We didn't have 4140 like Viden had, just 6061 Alum. So our speeds and feeds were a bit different. Like 10,000 RPM's and a feed of 312 inches a minute. Oh and that was at a depth of 3/4". We cut a pocket 2 inches wide, 3/4" deep by 8 inches long in 27 seconds in one pass. No coolant, no air. We could have pushed it faster if we had a higher spindle speed.
So we installed a new VMX42HSRTi with an 18K spindle to try it out. I'll let you know the results!