https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/23160444/IMG_9541-640x360.jpg
    Tooling

    Haimer makes Exactaform tools dynamic

    • By MTDCNC
    • March 23, 2021
    • 4 minute read

    As a company that was founded 40 years ago, Exactaform is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading independent PCD cutting tool manufacturers. Founded by John Inglis, the company started its journey with John renting a small optical profile grinder. Exponential growth and multiple machine purchases soon set the business on its way to success. 

    Four years ago, the company moved to a purpose-built facility on the outskirts of Coventry. Commenting upon where the company is today, John Inglis tells MTD: “90% of the staff we have, we trained. Investment in technology and apprentices are the future, but partnerships are equally important. We have 11 Vollmer machines which have been the backbone of our production for years. Laser machines have been coming onto the market, so we bought a DMG MORI Lasertec machine, but one thing that is of major importance to us is that all our tools are balanced. I recognised the importance of balanced tools, looked at the market and found the best machine for tool balancing, and the machine that is the easiest to train people to use is the Haimer Tool Dynamic.”  

    Confirming John’s commitment to tool balancing, Exactaform’s Dean Townsend says: “We work very closely with several partners and this is very important as we are in a market where we are chasing microns on a lot of components that we are machining. To achieve that, we need to have the right equipment. So, we recently bought a Haimer shrink-fit machine that goes alongside the Haimer Tool Dynamic balancing machine we have. We know we are using the best shrink fit technology and the best balancing technology, so when the customers demand tight tolerances, that is what we achieve.”

    Commenting on the Industry 4.0 ready balancing machine, Dean continues: “We are very big on investment in new technology and with this machine, we can link it to the network. When we go forward to the customers, we can provide complete traceability of our tooling. So, when a customer has a tool from us, we know exactly where it has come from – what date it was manufactured, what machine it was made on and much more, this is very important in the industries we work within.”

    With PCD cutting tools commonly used in high-speed machining applications such as aluminium and CFRP machining, balanced tools offer a multitude of benefits. As Dean says: “You cannot overstate the importance of balanced assemblies. When you look at machine tools nowadays, especially the ones machining aluminium – the surface speed of our cutting tools are beyond what the machines are capable of. If you can imagine running your car wheel at maximum revs of around 1400rpm, you wouldn’t imagine having an unbalanced wheel. Some modern machines are now capable of speeds up to 60,000rpm with standard machines from 15 to 20,000rpm. If you put an unbalanced assembly in that, you won’t achieve the tolerances, the surface finish or the integrity of the part you are looking for. It will also ruin your spindle and this is why tool balancing is an integral part of what we do at Exactaform.”

    Looking closer at the shrink-fit machine and its ease of use, Dean says: “In terms of how easy this machine is to use, there is a barcode scanner that allows you to scan the code on the tool holder. It then tells you where to move the coil. You bring the coil down for the prescribed amount of seconds – and it’s that simple. There were many different companies we looked at and several different options, but the Haimer system is by far and away the easiest to use and the simplest of systems.”

    Highlighting the difference this makes on the machining process for the end-user Dean states: “There are tools on our laser machines that are chasing 2 or 3µm. If you didn’t have a balanced assembly and if you didn’t have a shrink-fit holder, there is absolutely no point in going to the lengths of having high precision machines that can make the tools so accurately – and then not put them in the right assembly. If you did that, you would forever be chasing variables. Haimer equipment eliminates variables. We are using the equipment alongside a DMG MORI machining centre that is helping us to develop our range of tooling. To do that, we need to take out all of the variables. We have a Kistler dynamometer, the Haimer shrink-fit machine and the balancing machine. We take out all of the variables, so we know that we are testing the tool and not all the variables.”

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/23160444/IMG_9541-640x360.jpg

    Haimer makes Exactaform tools dynamic

    As a company that was founded 40 years ago, Exactaform is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading independent PCD cutting tool manufacturers. Founded by John Inglis, the company started its journey with John renting a small optical profile grinder. Exponential growth and multiple machine purchases soon set the business on its way to success. 

    Four years ago, the company moved to a purpose-built facility on the outskirts of Coventry. Commenting upon where the company is today, John Inglis tells MTD: “90% of the staff we have, we trained. Investment in technology and apprentices are the future, but partnerships are equally important. We have 11 Vollmer machines which have been the backbone of our production for years. Laser machines have been coming onto the market, so we bought a DMG MORI Lasertec machine, but one thing that is of major importance to us is that all our tools are balanced. I recognised the importance of balanced tools, looked at the market and found the best machine for tool balancing, and the machine that is the easiest to train people to use is the Haimer Tool Dynamic.”  

    Confirming John’s commitment to tool balancing, Exactaform’s Dean Townsend says: “We work very closely with several partners and this is very important as we are in a market where we are chasing microns on a lot of components that we are machining. To achieve that, we need to have the right equipment. So, we recently bought a Haimer shrink-fit machine that goes alongside the Haimer Tool Dynamic balancing machine we have. We know we are using the best shrink fit technology and the best balancing technology, so when the customers demand tight tolerances, that is what we achieve.”

    Commenting on the Industry 4.0 ready balancing machine, Dean continues: “We are very big on investment in new technology and with this machine, we can link it to the network. When we go forward to the customers, we can provide complete traceability of our tooling. So, when a customer has a tool from us, we know exactly where it has come from – what date it was manufactured, what machine it was made on and much more, this is very important in the industries we work within.”

    With PCD cutting tools commonly used in high-speed machining applications such as aluminium and CFRP machining, balanced tools offer a multitude of benefits. As Dean says: “You cannot overstate the importance of balanced assemblies. When you look at machine tools nowadays, especially the ones machining aluminium – the surface speed of our cutting tools are beyond what the machines are capable of. If you can imagine running your car wheel at maximum revs of around 1400rpm, you wouldn’t imagine having an unbalanced wheel. Some modern machines are now capable of speeds up to 60,000rpm with standard machines from 15 to 20,000rpm. If you put an unbalanced assembly in that, you won’t achieve the tolerances, the surface finish or the integrity of the part you are looking for. It will also ruin your spindle and this is why tool balancing is an integral part of what we do at Exactaform.”

    Looking closer at the shrink-fit machine and its ease of use, Dean says: “In terms of how easy this machine is to use, there is a barcode scanner that allows you to scan the code on the tool holder. It then tells you where to move the coil. You bring the coil down for the prescribed amount of seconds – and it’s that simple. There were many different companies we looked at and several different options, but the Haimer system is by far and away the easiest to use and the simplest of systems.”

    Highlighting the difference this makes on the machining process for the end-user Dean states: “There are tools on our laser machines that are chasing 2 or 3µm. If you didn’t have a balanced assembly and if you didn’t have a shrink-fit holder, there is absolutely no point in going to the lengths of having high precision machines that can make the tools so accurately – and then not put them in the right assembly. If you did that, you would forever be chasing variables. Haimer equipment eliminates variables. We are using the equipment alongside a DMG MORI machining centre that is helping us to develop our range of tooling. To do that, we need to take out all of the variables. We have a Kistler dynamometer, the Haimer shrink-fit machine and the balancing machine. We take out all of the variables, so we know that we are testing the tool and not all the variables.”