Modern Machine Shop

JAN 2018

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MMS JANUARY 2018 96 BETTER PRODUCTION New Aerospace End Mill Design Results from Tool Standardization Contest Cutting tool maker Kennametal Inc. reports it was the winner of a recent competition by a "major U.S.-based aircraft manufacturer" (the company doesn't wish to be named publicly) aimed at standardizing its solid carbide end mills. According to Kennametal's manager of solid end-milling tools Thilo Mueller, the problem the aircraft manufacturer faced and still faces is this: An expanding number of active machined parts has led to an ever-expanding universe of cutting tools that the manufacturer and its suppliers are using. Historically, manufacturing engineering personnel have had too much freedom—more freedom than necessary—in specifying the tooling for a given part. Limiting the range of choice as much as possible to a standard menu of tools would control costs for the aircraft maker by controlling the scope of tool management. It would also help avoid unexpected delays, because those standard tool choices would become standard items that the tool suppliers would be more likely to have in stock. But which tools to choose? Answering that question led to the com- petition. Various cutting tool suppliers submitted tooling for machining PROBLEM An aircraft manufacturer needed to standardize its solid carbide end mills SOLUTION Harvi III aerospace end mills from Kennametal Inc. RESULTS Could control tooling costs, limit unexpected delays This photo gives a sense of the aircraft maker's challenge: A vast array of machined parts could lead to an increase in cutting tool choices, adding to overall cost. Standardizing tooling could reduce those costs. Photo: Shops Using Technology BY PETER ZELINSKI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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