Modern Machine Shop

OCT 2017

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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mmsonline.com October 2017 MMS 71 FEATURE S hops that decide to expand into new markets are of ten spurred to add new machining equipment or adopt new machining processes to support their efforts. In True Die's case, the strides it has taken to diversify its product offerings by manufacturing precise round tooling for deep- draw sheet-metal-forming applications has led it to develop an effective strategy for hard turning. The goal was to eliminate the need for inner diam- eter (ID) and outer diameter (OD) grinding of (primarily) hardened powder metal round tooling ranging to 64 HRC, enabling it to achieve higher material removal rates while matching what grind- ing could achieve in terms of concentricity, surface finish and dimensional accuracy. That it has since done, establishing the capability to hard-turn diameters and radii to ±0.0002-inch accuracy. In fact, two of the Zeeland, Michigan shop's recent machine additions are turning centers that were purchased primarily for hard turning. Mitch True Die uses hard turning to produce round tooling such as the piece shown on the facing page for use in progressive and deep-draw dies that create cylindrical components such as those shown to the left from sheet metal. Common applications include automotive components for fuel, braking and airbag systems. Stahl is True Die's technical specialist who, along with Chris McCleary, turning coordinator, led a team of machinists in establishing the shop's hard-turning strategy. In short, he says the shop's approach boils down to three interconnected concepts: establishing overall process rigidity, implementing the right types of cutting tools and applying the appropriate cut data. The key word here is interconnected. Mr. Stahl maintains that implementing only one or two of these concepts would not work; all must be appropriately addressed for effective hard turning. "It is also just as impor tant to mind the small details when putting a process such as this in place," he notes. ROUND TOOLING OPPORTUNITIES True Die, formerly Contour Tool and Engineering before it acquired that company in 2015, has expertise in designing, machining and assembling

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