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Time for innovation

Innovation 2018-02-22 Åsa Backman Oskar Omne

Getting a far better surface finish in half the time. Meet the parting and grooving team that puts an old truth on its head thanks to the group’s Concept Fridays.

​It is an old truth that cutting data must be held down in parting off to ensure a stable process. When the cutting data increases, the cutting forces bend the blade, resulting in vibration and poor surface finish. Every tool manufacturer (and every operator) knows and accepts this as truth. But that old truth is having to make way for a new one.

“Think about it,” says Staffan Lundström, product manager for Parting & Grooving at Sandvik Coromant. “Why expose the weakest part of the tool to the greatest cutting force? I tried turning the tip seat 90 degrees and used the Y-axis instead of the conventional X-direction. It worked!” With Lundström’s slight modification, you get a far better surface finish in half the time. Y-axis parting includes more than just an adjusted tip seat, Lundström explains. New machining methods and cutting data also come with the package. Still, it sounds so easy. Why on earth has no one realized this before?

“There are two main reasons,” says Matilda Gynnerstedt, manager, Product Management, Concept Turning. “Firstly, modern multitask machines and turning centres allow for new ways of turning; secondly, time to think is scarce. Normally, we seldom have enough time to think outside the box.”

​However, the CoroCut QF product management team sets aside time for such creative thinking in what the team calls “Concept Fridays”.

“Innovations are seldom created on demand,” says Gynnerstedt. “We need to create gaps in our busy schedules. Without these gaps, we just do as we’ve always done.” And, she stresses, innovation goes beyond products to such issues as machining methods and how to create value for customers. The industry constantly faces new challenges, and the demand for technical support increases every year.

“With increased automation in the industry and the future expected lack of qualified operators and production technicians, the need for advanced manufacturing support is increasing,” says Jenny Claus, product manager. “More and more customers are asking for a second opinion when it comes to metalcutting methods and processes, identifying bottlenecks and much more. They need an easily accessible technical support online.”

​Digitalization and additive manufacturing are two areas that the team is looking into. Digitalization can add true value to the customers when it comes to predictability, accuracy and efficiency in following and optimizing their processes, while additive manufacturing brings new opportunities regarding lighter weight, more complex designs and less need for transport.

“Additive manufacturing is interesting in two ways, when it comes both to our own product designs and to machine customer components,” says Tomas Sjöberg, project manager, Turning Tools. “We know that components produced through additive manufacturing still require traditional manufacturing to meet required tolerances.”
Whether it depends on time gaps and Concept Fridays, a brilliant mix of people or some other secret ingredient, in recent years the CoroCut QF team has taken a leading position when it comes to outstanding parting and grooving platforms and machining solutions.



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