Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Digital Tradeshows On-Demand

If you'd like to attend again, or weren't able to make the live broadcast, here are our Digital Tradeshows for this month summarized and with the link to view on-demand. Remember: you can always talk live with an expert by calling 800-597-3921 or emailing us at info@techniksusa.com.

Earth-Chain sPINner Small Parts Deburring Machine

Understand the advantages of sPINner technology over other deburring methods.

Eliminate time-consuming hand deburring and improve part quality.

Learn how you can batch deburr small parts using the sPINner micro-deburring system.

Techniks MicroFLOAT Tapping System

Understand the advantages / disadvantages of different tapping technologies.
Learn how the MicroFLOAT system works and the technological advances of this system.
Learn how to extend tap life and improve thread quality.

Nexus Cutting Tools – Machining High Temperature Alloys

Learn why the latest advances in PVD insert technology from Lamina provide the longest insert life and reduce tooling costs.
Understand the factors you need to consider when choosing inserts and how to simplify your tooling inventory.
Learn how to maximize efficiency whether you want to produce more parts-per-insert, or reduce cost per part.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Digital Tradeshows – A Successful Start

This week began a new era for us when our Techniks solutions experts presented three Digital Tradeshows (DTS). If your schedule did not permit you to attend, no worries. The beauty of online content allows you to attend these presentations at your convenience. Below is a recap with links to the video and audio for each DTS, and remember: you can always talk live with an expert by calling 800-597-3921 or emailing us at info@techniksusa.com.

Techniks Toolholders
Advanced Milling Methods 

New advances are raising the bar on milling performance by improving toolholder rigidity and holding power. Learn how Techniks technology can reduce scrap and improve tool life. View this presentation.

EEPM Magnetic Workholding

Magnetic workholding has helped hundreds of companies achieve new levels of efficiency by reducing setup and part-changeover time. Learn how to machine 5-sides with magnetic workholding. View this presentation.

Nexus Cutting Tools
Machining Stainless Steels

Groundbreaking advances in carbide insert PVD coating technologies set new levels of performance standards for machining stainless steels. Learn how these improvements will enhance your productivity and simplify insert selection. View this presentation.

To attend upcoming DTS's live, log in here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Techniks Launches Digital Tradeshows

As an ongoing expansion of information, services and support to its own customer base as well as to the CNC machining industry at-large, Techniks, located in Indianapolis, IN, will introduce web-based, Digital Tradeshows (DTS) beginning February 20, 2013. The first DTS will focus on its core tool holding line with Advanced Milling Methods.

Techniks will produce Digital Tradeshows each month throughout the year. Each presentation focuses on innovative technology from one of its product lines—Techniks, Earth Chain Magnetic Workholding and Nexus Cutting Tools—that improves machining processes to save time and money.

Through the Digital Tradeshow format, Techniks enhances its abilities as a solution provider to the CNC machining industry. “We've always prided ourselves on superior customer support on site and over the phone. Now, this is our effort to give out valuable help and information through an interactive web-based experience,” stated Greg Webb, Vice President of Sales for the company.

Attendees will be able to interact with the presenters through live chat. “It’s like stopping by our tradeshow booth, seeing a demo and being able to chat with our support team, but without the travel and expense,” continued Webb.

Digital Tradeshows are approximately thirty minutes long and are scheduled with both coast’s time zones in mind. View the calendar of upcoming DTS events at www.techniksusa.com/dts

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

End Mill Holder and Runout

As a general rule most cutting tool & end mill manufacturers prefer to use single angle (ER/DR style) collet chucks for most cutting tool holding applications under 1/2". Why? Runout and uneven chip load. This is because of two reasons:
  • The error accumulation on ID tolerance of the end mill holder and the OD shank tolerance of the end mill or drill. The smaller the diameter the more potential for problems...
  • The imbalance created in the toolholder by the setscrew used to clamp the tool. When you tighten down the setscrew you not only offset the tool but also create an imbalance condition that is not repeatable due to the ANSI shank tolerance on all end mills.
Depending on the application, end mill holders can be used for holding larger insert style end mills, spade drills, etc.  But somewhere between 1/2” and 3/4” there is a line that only you can determine when you need to move from a collet chuck to end mill holder. Generally we recommend using end mill holders only for very specific applications
Using small diameter end mills (1/4" and below) in end mill holders with set screws will have a adverse affect of both surface finish and tool life.  
"The most important thing to say about toolholders in high speed milling of aluminum,” said Dr. Sinan Badrawy, formerly of Cincinnati Machine in a 2001 article “is not to use a set-screw holder.” Because the set screw moves the end mill off center to hold it against the wall opposite the set screw, it creates run-out.  “At high speeds, at set-screw holder will chatter no matter what,” he said.  The better choice are collet holders and shrink fit holders. Both do clamp the tool from all directions around the shank.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

AT3 Taper Tolerances

As the CNC manufacturing industry continues to grow we're meeting more and more new people coming into our industry.  Although many experienced machinists have lots of knowledge, we're finding that the new people are asking questions about some things that may be common knowledge to the old hands. One of the questions relates to "Why the heck is the cone on the toolholder the angle that it is?" We're here to help answer that....
By now, many have undoubtedly heard that most steep taper (CAT, BT) Toolholders hold an AT3 taper tolerance or better. So what exactly is AT3?
Steep Taper, Fast Tapers & Locking Tapers
Before we get into the tolerance and specs it's important to understand that there are basically two classes of tapers: 

  • Locking tapers - These can be at any angle less than 7° per side (14° included). The shallower the angle the better the holding. 
  • Self Releasing or "Steep Tapers" - These tapers are typically made with short shanks and with an included taper angle of 16° or 3.5" (88.9 mm) per foot.   These are also sometimes called "Fast Tapers"
  • Toolholders are 'case hardened"
  • Taper fit to spindle is critical

Most of the taper standards originated in the early days of the aircraft industry with rotors and propellers. There's quite a bit of thought that went into why the two types of tapers exists: It has a lot to do with "Van der Waals Forces" if you want to know about it in more detail.  
What's important to know is that CNC spindles are made with Steep Tapers. Why? Well, just as the two names state the first is "locking" taper and the second is "free-releasing"  Since Toolholders have to be automatically changed in the CNC machine you want them to be as close to a locking taper as possible (8°/side) without, well, 'locking' in place (7°/side)!  This is also the reason the ER/DR style collets also are made to an 8°/side angle as well by-the-way.
What is AT3?
That brings us to the "AT" standard for steep tapers. "AT" is an ANSI/ASME (ASME B5.50-1994) and ISO Standard (ISO 1947 ) that runs from AT1 to AT11. Since the AT tolerance is essentially logarithmic, the lower the number the tighter the tolerance (and harder it is to 'hit' in manufacturing). In other words the difference between AT 3 and AT4 is NOT the same increase in tolerance as between AT3 and AT2. AT3 is harder to attain than AT4 and AT 2 is substantially harder to reach than the jump from AT 4 to AT3. Again, the lower the number, the tighter the 'self releasing' tolerance.
Most CNC Machines steep taper spindles are made to an AT2 Specification. In order to stay competitive most all toolholder manufacturers are holding an AT3 tolerance (or better). Because there are much fewer spindles made than rotary toolholders this makes manufacturing sense.  The key words here to pay attention to is "or better"  Just like when you make parts in your shop to a tolerance, that doesn't mean that every part is exactly the same. The parts are within a tolerance band. That's what the "AT" defines!  So when a toolholder manufacturer says "AT3 or better" that can mean that some of the holders are actually holding an AT2 tolerance... and this is sometimes the cause of the tolholders 'sticking' in the spindle:Not because they are out of tolerance, but because they are actually holding a closer tolerance! (...nearer a locking taper)
By-the-way, most all steep taper toolholders are made from some derivative of 8620 steel and then case hardened.
Food for thought
So although most people think that the drive dogs on the spindle are doing the 'driving' of the rotation of the toolholder, it's actually the taper connection that is driving the rotation of the tool. If that wasn't the case, then you would see the drive dog notches in the toolholder start to show signs of wear when the spindle impacted them all the time. Afterall, the 8620 is only case hardened.
There are a couple of last things to make note of and think about:
So if you over tighten your retention knob (pull stud) it can expand the smaller part of the taper.