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A breakthrough in machining efficiency

The first things that usually come to mind in machining metals are accuracy and efficiency. Today's modern machining centres provide an excellent framework for achieving both. Ultimately, however, what counts in determining the overall quality of the end-result are the tools in the machine, and how they are used. That's where Mandrel can help, by significantly improving machining efficiency.

It is estimated that roughly 20% of the overall time used for machining is accounted for by unproductive downtime, mainly taken up by changing tools and other components. Mandrel's approach to improving machining efficiency is based on reducing this downtime. To this end, the company has developed and patented a new technology and a set of tooling applications based around it.

The Mandrel Delta tool family caters to different tooling needs. Delta tools can be used in several applications, including boring and backfacing.

No need to change tools

Mandrel's technology enables physical tool parameters, such as diameter settings, to be changed automatically without the need to change tools or bits.

The operation can be performed on nearly all machining centres, using only standard CNC commands. No modifications to the machining centre are required, which enables the technology to be easily integrated into the existing cutting tool systems supplied by all the major tool manufacturers.

Mandrel Delta technology does this by using the high-pressure cutting fluid that flows through the spindle of a machining centre to lock and control different tool settings. Until now, cutting fluid has only been utilised for heat diffusion, chip removal, and lubrication during machining. Utilising a machine's cutting fluid in this new way opens up an entirely new range of opportunities.

How does it work in practice?

A German customer wanted to take advantage of the benefits offered by Mandrel's technology. The first step was to replace his existing four different boring bars with two Mandrel Delta tools.

Using these Delta tools saves two tool changes per manufactured part, and a minimum of 12 seconds per product. Assuming the cost of a machine hour as €50, the total saving in financial terms comes out at approximately €10,600 a year.

This saving, linked to one work cycle for one part on one machine, can be multiplied very easily many times over, which the customer was keen to do, of course. By introducing 32 new tools based on Mandrel technology, he has been able to save some €175,000 a year.

Mandrel Delta technology offers:

  • lower tool purchasing costs
  • enhanced machine duty cycles
  • savings in tool magazine investments
  • reduced overall machine investments.
(Published in High Technology Finland )