The answer to both questions is WHY NOT? Form tapping is
internal thread rolling. It offers the same advantages as thread rolling an
Longer tool life.
Stronger threads with at least a 40% improvement
in tensile strength.
Much higher yet in difficult to thread
Most importantly, cost per thread and cycle
We can all agree that cycle time is the greatest contributor
to overall part cost. Indeed, TIME IS MONEY.
What materials can be form tapped? Aluminum, the higher
tensile strength of a form taped Aluminum part makes it a choice for carbide
form tapping but the advantages don’t stop with Aluminum. Let’s explore the
other materials that benefit from form tapping with carbide. Low carbon steels
A36, 1005-1029, Free steel 1213,12L14. Medium carbon steels 1030-1055, 4130.
Heat treatable steels 4140,6150. Cast Steel and Stainless steels 400
series,17=4PH,15-5PH. Aluminum, pure,6061T6,6063. Copper alloys, long chipping.
Brass 7075. Magnesium alloys, Thermoplastics 40-70 Newton meters. All the
materials mentioned run at operating speeds from 65 to 200 SFM. Imagine the
return on tooling investment with 3-5 times the speed of powdered metal and ten
times the life.
If your job shop depends on part cost to successfully bid
for job opportunities, form tapping is too beneficial to ignore. We offer two
styles of traditional form taps. Solid carbide and carbide nib tap heads
mounted on a steel shank for lateral strength. The latter style is produced by
only one manufacturer, LMT Metalworking Germany.
The most dramatic application we’ve been a part of was a
transfer line running a stainless-steel part. The very best performance they
could achieve with a powdered metal tap was 300 holes. This forced a shutdown
of the transfer line every 300 pieces to replace the tap. The carbide nib
replacement tap ran a full shift of 7000 pieces before tap change. The
reduction in down time was staggering. The value of the higher cost carbide nib
tap was beyond everyone’s expectation.
What do you run? Are you ready to experience tooling
performance beyond expectation? Contact us to discuss your application. We’d
like to offer a solution that will change everything you thought you knew about
Not only does this phrase apply to our ability to service and
repair existing thread rolling tools, frequently we are asked about trade-ins.
We will, on occasion, service and sell used tools taken on trade for new
Many of our loyal customers are commercial job shops that survive
by bidding for work against competitors. Thread rolling can dramatically reduce
the cost of production by dramatically reducing the time required to thread
while improving thread quality and performance.
Frequently, we have a customer that currently owns a Fette thread
rolling head that lacks the capacity to run the part they presently need. If
they anticipate no or little need for their present tool, we can extend a trade
in agreement that will reduce the acquisition cost of the new tool.
Our goals are simple, the trade in must be in renewable condition.
We need to inspect before acceptance to be certain the tool is indeed
rebuildable. Much like the cost of building a car at home from the purchase of
parts, the same can be true of rebuilding a thread rolling tool. Repair costs
can easily exceed the value of a “used” tool. When we accept a trade,
we anticipate restoring the tool to good operating condition and resell at
Used tools are available for sale but typically in limited style and supply. They are always sold on a first come basis. Our service and supply ability is geared to extending maximum value to all our customers from the largest manufacturers to our smallest job shops.
We recognize that your success is heavily dependent on cycle time
and tool cost. Our success depends on our ability to contain your costs and
provide the very best in service. If you have a specific threading issue
contact us, we probably have your solution.
“coating” of thread rolls hides the laser markings and makes it difficult to
read the letters and numbers etched on the rolls. To help identify the correct
faces of each roll for proper use, see the description of each roll and how
they interface for correct alignment. Proper alignment of each roll is done
with an understanding of the roll design.
1 & A have the same lead on each side of the roll. When changing from
numbers to letters it simply requires a flip of the roll on the same spindle.
Roll #2 has
a C on the other side. When flipping the roll to the lettered side it requires
moving it from position 2 to position 3 on the spindles.
Roll #3 has a letter on the other side. It requires a flip from position 3 to position 2 on the spindles.
representation of roll position accompanies this explanation. When constructed
only two roll designs are ground. Flipping and placement create the three roll
configuration. Understanding of the placement makes the marking unnecessary.
This has been an objective of
mankind since the invention of the ship.
The statement has grown to reflect shelter conditions in virtually any
With the advent of Covid-19 the
importance of a “Safe Port” has become a global objective. As a
supplier to both big and small businesses our commitment is to continue
“business as usual” within the circumstances surrounding us. Our
supply from Italian manufacturers is limited due to the situation in their
country. Please keep our Italian friends
in your thoughts and prayers.
However, most our suppliers are
maintaining operations and many of our customers and suppliers are considered
“Essential Businesses” and will continue in operation. These Many parts of our country are still
operating and require the same technical resources they were accustomed to
during normal times.
We have added protection to our
staff by initiating a “work from home policy,” limiting office
staffing to handle shipping and answer phones.
Fortunately, this digital age makes it possible for us to practice
social distancing within physical office and warehouse spaces and allow our
home bound staff have the resources needed to serve you as usual.
Our team is available to answer
your phone calls and emails. We are
eager to support you, process your orders and supply technical assistance
whenever needed. Contact us with your individual needs, we’re here to help!.
Fette thread rolling tools have versatility and can be
applied to rolling other forms besides external threads. Knurling and swaging
applications are easily done on axial, tangential and radial tools with great
success. Axial heads are especially successful at rolling straight form, left
hand helical, right hand helical and diamond knurl patterns.
The displacement of material forming the knurl pattern
exhibits no sharpness in the formed knurl. This is especially important
when handling knurled instruments wearing delicate gloves. Very fine to very
course patterns are achievable and tooling set up is extremely easy. The
application of rolling speeds, like threading, makes cycle times extremely
short. This makes the tool application very cost effective.
Swaging is also easily adaptable and the axial approach to
swaging yields consistent product quality hard to achieve with a side approach
swaging tool. Distortion is nonexistent and swage roll life is extremely high.
Symmetrical and step style swage forms can be accomplished. Form coining of
nose radiuses is also done frequently. The tools are not limited to straight
If your current tool selection includes thread rolling heads you may not have known that they have applications beyond male threads. Contact us with your Knurling and Swaging applications. We can identify your current tooling and determine if it’s applicable. We can also quote a new application with all the necessary tooling.
All cut taps are not manufactured on equal footing. Most European and Japanese taps are produced from powdered metal blanks. This allows for improved performance of the cutting edge due to the irregular grain structure of the tool. Coatings are also “state of the art” and have a large impact on performance. An example of unique design is the LMT V-Magic Tap. The coating consists of a TICN multi-layer coating on the threads with a steam oxide coating in the gullet. It is designed to improve chip removal performance in materials that produce long erratic chip flow. The steam oxide coating has a greater coefficient of friction than the TICN and forces the curling chip to pack more densely as it flows away from the tap. This aids in controlling the chip flow and form improving the overall performance of the tap.
Roll threading a journal requires turning the diameter
before rolling. Roll threading implies that part volume is a key. In any
high-volume production application, the parts require turning to prep for
threading. The blazing speed of roll threading can be mirrored with equal
speeds in turning the blank. Utilizing a multi fluted indexable hollow mill
with 3 or more carbide turning inserts can triple or quadruple turning speeds
always utilizing a single pass process. Nothing is faster or more accurate.
Most always, the time saved in turning, more than pays for
the tooling costs. It always yields dramatic production cost savings as well as
equally dramatic production increases. Not all hollow mills are created equal.
Some indeed work better than others and our years of thread rolling experience
have given us an edge in identifying the right tool for your application.
Sample us with your component requirements and challenge us to identify the
ideal tool for your application.
Through the publication of previous blogs, we have discussed
in some depth the critical advantages offered by rolling as opposed to cutting
threads in most metals. The tooling design has changed little over several
decades. Using the tools successfully required some self-taught practices that
could be derived from the published instruction furnished with the tool. We
know, only too well, that often the publications were read after the fact when
failure was the initial result. The versatility of the tool required some
set-up knowledge that was not broadly covered in the instructions or was
misunderstood. While the tool was initially used broadly on multi spindle screw
machines and set up was conducted by trained experienced set up people, the
transition to single spindle CNC applications often lacked the trained set up
Recognizing the changing work place applications, more
recently, the tool design has been altered to make it a more user-friendly
tool. Previously, the tool had to be manipulated to use it effectively through
its entire range of thread sizes. Distinguishing the changing market place
applications encouraged the German designers to “modernize” the set-up
capability of the tool.
The newest inception of the tried and true thread rolling
attachment has been upgraded to the newly designed EVO style. The EVO tool
utilizes a setting adjustment that can function through the entire range of the
tool. This eliminates the need to disassemble and reconfigure the tool to
accommodate the smallest to largest possible thread that can be run by the
tool. The tool has two distinct gauge readings that can be mounted to provide
easy viewing of the set point. The closing handle can be rotated 360 degrees to
allow for virtually any location to create the closing of the head after each
operation. These basic but vital changes have made the tool much more user
friendly. While the basic differences between the older original design and the
newer EVO design don’t impact the usefulness of older tools, the new EVO design
changes can be a reason to migrate to the new design. The EVO design also
utilizes solid carbide bushings between the spindle and roll negating the need
for roller bearings. This too helps to reduce changeover time and is a secure
method to lengthen service time between spindle replacement.
Global tooling sources are a common resource for virtually
every country within our planet. North America, Europe, Asia, Scandinavia and
Japan presently supply the bulk of the world’s requirements for metal working
tools. The speed and efficiency of world travel has opened the world as a
market place for technology no matter where the source. This advantage to
manufacturing has only been achieved within the past few decades. Prior to the
advent of speedier international travel, technology evolved but was localized.
The twentieth century is notable for warfare and advances in
technology. We learned following Germany’s defeat in World War Two that they
were within weeks of deploying their version of the Atomic Bomb. Certainly,
this would have a devastating impact on Great Britain or the United States or
both. Jet aircraft, rocketry, carbide cutting tools and thread rolling technology
were a few of the revolutionary products developed for warfare by Germany. As
victors, the Allied countries were the future beneficiaries of Germany’s
strategic technologies. Today as our ally, Germany continues to develop tools
and products that help manufacture products more efficiently and more cost
Metalworking has been advanced with thread rolling
technology that improves cost and performance of any threaded product. Carbide
has been improved with new coating technologies and grades that have virtually
eliminated the use of high-speed steels in manufacturing. As an example, Fette
introduced a coated carbide insert for machining Aluminum that can achieve
operating speeds to 10,000 SFM. Coated carbide nib taps that can outlast their
steel counterpart by a 10 to 1 ratio. High speed milling spindles that start
at 50,000 rpm. The revolution in development of metalworking tools is most
visible at any tooling show throughout the world. Today’s manufacturer must
research and deploy the best tool for a job or face being pushed aside by the
competition. Among our strengths is external and internal threading. We can
help improve your product performance and cost employing the tooling
strategies just discussed. Simply contact us and challenge us to help you
achieve the cost and performance benefits we’ve outlined.
Rolling screw threads in metal is the most cost and quality
effective method of producing threaded parts. Three basic thread production
technologies exist throughout the metal working world. Axial tools produce one
thread with each revolution and have no length limitation other than the
potential stroke length of the machine the tool is mounted on. The
tool design utilizes a roll that requires a soft lead to start the metal
deformation leading to a finished thread form. Depending on the roll lead the
part will exhibit 1.5 or more unfinished thread forms at the end of the part.
The harshness or softening of the lead has a direct impact on overall roll
life. Despite the unfinished thread characteristic, it is possible to gauge to
a shoulder using an undercut behind the thread body to clear away the
unfinished thread portion.
Fette thread rolls are designed with different lead
designations labeled .6K, 1K, 2K and 3K.
0.6K lead roll leaves 1.5 unfinished threads.
1k lead leaves 2 unfinished threads.
2K lead leaves 3 unfinished threads
3K lead leaves 4 unfinished threads.
Both 1K and 2K lead rolls are considered standard and priced
accordingly. A .6K and 3K lead roll set are considered “special” and
are premium priced.
Is there any advantage to running lengthy leads? OF
COURSE! A 2K lead can add 20% to roll life in many materials. A 3K lead
is frequently used in the oil patch industry and the additional unfinished
threads have no impact on the performance of sucker rods as an example. Cost
and availability of rolls often become the driving factor in tool selection as
well as part design. Applying the best roll selection can impact on overall
cost per thread but part design is frequently the driving force behind roll
When thread design commands very short threads or little to
no relief, axial thread rolling is not the best option even though axial
rolling is always the lowest cost tooling option.