New range of reliable and flexible solid thread milling cutters called Threadmaster from Seco...
Seco Tools (UK), the leading manufacturer and supplier of carbide cutting tools and tooling systems solutions has introduced a new range of reliable and flexible solid thread milling cutters called Threadmaster (TM).
The range is designed to produce high-precision threads on what are often high-cost components and helps manufacturers reduce tool inventory costs (one tool can be used to mill several thread sizes), and benefit from a stable and reliable machining process.
Threading is usually one of the last machining operations to be performed on a component. As such there is often a lot of value already tied up in the component (e.g. material costs, labour costs, and previously executed machining costs) prior to the start of any threading and it is therefore critical that such operations occur smoothly avoiding expensive scrapping and/or re-working of parts.
The TM thread milling range makes threads within narrow tolerances and without burrs. Compared to threading with a tap, milling threads with a TM is more reliable because the risk of broken taps is avoided.
Milling threads is also more suitable for machine tools with direct drive spindles, where rotational speed can be over and above 12,000-rpms. In these conditions it is difficult, or even impossible, to get the combinations of low speed and high torque necessary for tap threading.
“To safeguard the spindle on a high-speed CNC machine tool, you should always mill threads,” says Kurt Gustavsson, Seco’s Product Manager (Threading).
To produce the thread profile the thread mill cutter is ed into the hole along the axis of the spindle, deep enough to produce the full thread depth required. The control moves the thread mill out to the hole diameter until the threads cut into the sidewalls of the hole. The thread mill then moves in a 360° circular motion until it is back to it starting position.
During this circular motion the thread mill must be lifted toward the top of the hole or moved along the Z-axis of the machine one thread pitch or lead to produce a thread. This lifting movement in conjunction with the circular motion is called “helical interpolation”.
Machines must have a helical interpolation program capability to utilise a thread mill. After the 360° rotation, the tool returns to the center of the hole and is extracted from the part.
“In many cases thread milling produces a stronger thread compared with other methods,” says Gustavsson.
“For tapered threads you can avoid the mark in the thread profile when the machine shifts rotational direction.”
The ability to use a single tool for different threads also simplifies production, as well as inventory control and administration.
The TM range of solid thread milling cutters is suitable for a number of applications and materials, including hardened materials, cast iron, steels and aluminium alloys. It covers dimensions from M1 x 0.25 up to M20 x 2.5 and has cutters for UN/C, W and NPT/F threads.
To simplify the ion of tools and cutting parameters, Seco has introduced its Threading Wizard software.
This software helps the correct identification and ion of the most appropriate holder and , identifies the best operating parameters and then downloads this information to the CNC machine.
The Threading Wizard is available free-of-charge and can be downloaded from www.secotools.com/customerzone
Drilling Threadmaster (DTM)
In machining operations where the focus is on productivity (as opposed to say precision) Seco has introduced its Drilling Threadmaster (DTM) range.
DTM provides a one-stop shop solution for manufacturers. Drilling, chamfering and milling a threaded hole is achieved in a single operation.
The tip of a DTM tool drills a hole where no extra depth is required for threading, and as it reaches the bottom, chamfers the hole automatically. The threads are then milled via helical interpolation and the DTM is retracted.
Instead of three tools &ndash drill, chamfering tool and tap &ndash only one is required.
“This eliminates one or two tool changes and decreases cycle times significantly, reducing or minimising the tooling inventory at the same time,” says Gustavsson.
Both TM and DTM are based on the Max D-concept which creates a large, strong core that prevents bending.
The TM range works well up to size M16 in all types of modern machines with helical interpolation capability. For larger sizes the spindle must be at least ISO 50 or HSK 63 or equivalent, to get a successful result using the full cutting depth.
Thread milling is a method that allows manufacturers to take full advantage of the performance and functionality of their modern and advanced CNC machine tools, and with Seco‘s TM and DTM solutions a more reliable and cost-effective method of producing threads has been developed.
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