For many years in manufacturing the multi spindle screw machine was the dominant metal working tool available worldwide. With short cycle times attributed to several different machining processes occurring at the same time each on a different spindle. The machine technology generated specialized tooling to integrate within the individual spindle cycle time. The machines demanded highly trained specialized set up technicians and because of the set up demands the set-up time required practical lot sizes to make them cost effective. During their heyday most manufacturers offered apprentice programs and controlled training cycles to ensure that talented people were available to support their manufacturing plan. Many of these machines are still in use and still productive. Done right they still offer the lowest cost per piece in the machining industry.
In today’s world the programmable CNC has become the dominant tool for metal working. Skill sets have transitioned from hands on tooling changes to computer literacy. Small lot sizes pose no problem to cost per piece. Cost per piece can be influenced by design of the part to be produced. Threaded parts and long journals can add many passes to a single point turning tool. Journal lengths greater than 6 times diameter require several passes to machine and become even more difficult in smaller diameter parts.
Every second of cycle time has an associated cost and cycle time is the highest cost when compared to tooling. Bidding for work within a job shop atmosphere is directly tied to cycle time. Quoting a job requires careful attention to cycle time if you want to garner a contract and maintain profitability. Some of the tooling technology developed for automatic screw machines has had a natural transition to the CNC world. Thread rolling is an example, the ability to produce threads typically at 1 inch of thread length in 1 second of cycle time is common. Turning of journal lengths up to or greater than 10 times diameter is easily achieved. While there are a variety of tools commonly called “Hollow Mills”, one stands out.
Genesee Tool Co. offers a multi flute, indexable carbide hollow mill that easily and accurately adjusts to part diameters. A three-flute tool, for example, feeds at three times the speed of single point turning. Long journals can be machined in a single pass. Multiply the seconds saved per piece by the number of pieces to be produced and you can quickly calculate the value. It may prove to be the difference between a bid and a contract. Talk to us about your needs, we may be able to offer a solution to optimize your process and improve your bidding results.