Sep 7, 2016 -- If your shop has been searching for the flexibility, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness of modular end mills but needs the cutting performance of solid carbide, look no further than the replaceable tip end mill solution from WIDIA Products Group, featuring the DUO-LOCK™ connection from WIDIA and Haimer.
That’s because it’s the only tool available that can predictably take full-width slotting cuts in stainless steel and aerospace alloys at 1xD deep, and 50% cut widths at 1.5xD. “In apples to apples cutting tests against our competitors’ tools, the DUO-LOCK connection was the only one that didn’t break,” says marketing portfolio director Avishay Zohar. “It is easily the most robust modular solution on the market today.”
The unmatched metal removal rate is due to a double-taper, face-contact mount and intelligent thread design. This provides runout accuracy better than 5 µm (.0002 in.), axial repeatability of 10 µm (.0004 in.) or better, and up to 25% higher torque and chip load capabilities than others in this market.
This also makes the WIDIA system a budget-friendly alternative to solid carbide end mills for shops of all sizes. “Yes, we compete very well at the Tier I and Tier II levels in the aerospace, energy, and automotive industries, but it’s also a great solution for their suppliers, the smaller job shops with a handful of vertical machining centers that cut Inconel one day and 4140 steel alloy the next,” says Zohar. “These shops stand to benefit the most from our system’s flexibility and competitive price point, because it reduces the need for expensive solid carbide end mills, and special order tools that may take weeks to arrive.”
Mark White, marketing portfolio manager at WIDIA, agrees. “The DUO-LOCK connection was originally designed for heavy roughing and semi-finishing applications in difficult materials, but the platform has evolved since then. When coupled with the wide array of carbide, coatings, and geometries from our sister company Hanita, WIDIA provides manufacturers with a modular alternative to solid carbide end mills in 80% of their machining operations.”
Examples include the WIDIA-Hanita brand VariMill III, a 7-flute center-cutting end mill with a 38° helix for high-feed machining of titanium and nickel-based superalloys, and the VariMill I, with a conical core and asymmetrical 4-flute design that eliminates chatter in extreme roughing and deep slotting applications. Both are available in WIDIA’s Victory WS15PE and WP15PE AlTiN-coated grades, known throughout the industry for superior wear and heat-resistance.
Hanita brings over 60 years of carbide excellence to the table; WIDIA’s partnership with Haimer® GmbH adds decades of toolholding excellence as well. All of WIDIA’s modular cutting tools and adapters are available with the company’s Safe-Lock™ technology, which assures zero pullout in titanium and other “grabby” materials.
For those shops that prefer a simpler toolholding approach, WIDIA offers a variety of integral shank taper, lobed, and HSK-style toolholders, as well as straight shank “cut to size” adapters 10 - 32 mm (0.39 - 1.25 in.) in diameter.
WIDIA is also offering a complete range of cutter geometries, from high-performance “corn cob” style roughers to ball-nose and chamfering cutters. Many of these are available in 20° and 45° helix angles, with custom grinds and edge preps possible in a few weeks or less.
“Our replaceable tip system decreases tooling inventory, machine downtime, and operator headaches” says White. “A single toolholder or adapter accommodates any number of cutting heads. Unscrew one, thread on another, torque it down and you’re ready to go, with no worries over tool runout or Z-axis offset changes. Together with the excellent cutting performance and superior tool life of VariMill, we feel it’s the most flexible, cost-effective modular solution available. I encourage shops of all sizes to give it a try.”
Fig 1 - An intelligent thread design, dual-taper and full-face contact make WIDIA’s DUO-LOCK connection the strongest modular end mill available.
Fig 2 - With a 60-year history of carbide cutting tool experience, Hanita’s VariMill technology brings exciting advancements to WIDIA’s replaceable tip system, including a range of helix and cutting geometries, an asymmetrical flute design, and wear-resistant AlTiN coatings for productive use in titanium and nickel-based superalloys.
Fig 3 - WIDIA offers a variety of integral shank taper, lobed, and HSK-style toolholders, as well as straight shank “cut to size” adapters 10 - 32 mm (0.39 - 1.25 in.) in diameter, all of which are available with Haimer® Safe-Lock™ anti-pullout technology.
WIDIA-brand products and services have defined innovation in the metalcutting industry for 90 years — from the world’s first patent for carbide indexable inserts to the development of the world’s first coated grades. The WIDIA brand offers a complete portfolio of precision-engineered products and custom solution services. With products for thousands of milling, turning, holemaking, and tooling systems, WIDIA is available through a worldwide network of authorized distributor partners who carry full-line solutions from a single source. To locate a WIDIA distributor, contact: WIDIA Products Group; 800.979.4342. For the latest WIDIA information, visit www.widia.com and follow the company on Twitter® (@widiaproductgrp), YouTube® ( www.youtube.com/WidiaSolutions) and Facebook® ( www.facebook.com/WIDIAProductGrp).
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