More shops and businesses are embracing the high-performance machining mindset every year. They are taking advantage of newer technology and tools that allow them to yield increased product outputs while production costs tend to go down.
There are many reasons for this phenomenon. Of course, the pursuit of profit is an ever-present factor. However, the real drive behind the transformation of the industry seems to have a lot more to do with a sense of accomplishment many shop owners experience as they can provide better products for their customers.
I remember when high-speed machining was something that was fun to watch, and only a few shops could afford it as it required a complete shop overhaul that was not cost-effective as it didn´t yield significant bottom-line improvements. Today, there are CAM software solutions that can push the productivity of your old machine to new levels with enhanced toolpath strategies. They take your shop one step closer to high-performance machining standards without having to invest heavily in a newer CNC.
Carbide drill manufacturers took note, and now offer extremely reliable cutting tools with geometries that revolve around these improvements. However, if you expect your shop to take full advantage of carbide-grade tools, you need to be ready to pump up speeds and feed rates.
Carbide tools do provide enhanced tool lifespan and reduce machine downtime when compared to steel tools, and that alone can increase overall productivity and ROI. However, they work best when pushed to the max.
Carbide tools are a lot harder than their steel counterparts and can withstand higher temperatures than high-speed steel tools. Carbide retains its hardness even at 1000 °C and goes 4-7 times faster than steel. So you need a fast machine, and tough workholders, to get the most out of your carbide tools and produce more parts per hour.
Technology now allows machinists to approach materials from multiple axes, using high spindle rotation speeds to make short and sweet cuts but higher removal rates that effectively reduce cycle time. These faster machines with five or seven axes really shine when using carbide cutting tools as they keep cutting without missing a beat.
But should carbide only be used with newer machines?
Not really. Carbide tools are better at retaining sharpness, have better chip removal rates, and can withstand higher temperatures without having to constantly baby your machine when going through tough materials. They also go easy on the grain when machining hardwoods, leaving a smooth finish on every surface.
Carbide drill manufacturers, like Online Carbide, offer many options for shops that want to take their process to the next level by reducing cycle times and increasing part count. Switching to high-quality carbide tools is often the first step down the road to increasing your shop’s performance. Contact Online Carbide today if you have any questions on how carbide tools can positively impact your bottom line and product quality.