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    Tooling

    ITC meets ‘complete needs’ of subcontractor

    • By MTDCNC
    • September 17, 2020
    • 4 minute read

    When Steve Knowles founded Newport CNC over ten years ago, Steve bought his first machine and worked evenings and weekends whilst keeping the day job. Steve’s first port of call was a HAAS VF4SS and high-end cutting tools from Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC).

    Building its early success in the high-end automotive industry, Newport CNC has recentlty made several investments. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Newport CNC planned to move to a new factory and purchase its fifth HAAS, an ST20Y turning centre. The subsequent shutdown created several obstacles, but the five-employee business has now moved into its new 4,700sq/ft facility.

    Commenting upon the challenge, Steve Knowles says: “Despite the pandemic, we are confident that our new machine and facility will help build an even stronger business.”

    One of the bedrocks of the business from day one has been cutting tools from ITC and alluding to this, Steve continues: “I have used ITC tools for over 20 years and they have never let me down. When I started this business, my first port of call was Gary Bambrick at ITC. More than 80% of our work is aluminium machining and the ITC solid carbide aluminium cutters are beyond compare. I’ve had sales reps from virtually every tooling company trialling tools down the years and none can match the tool life, productivity, surface finishes and overall performance of the ITC range. Over 80% of our tools are from ITC and we have little interest in wasting time trialling alternate tools; time has proven we are applying the best tools available.”

    The Milton Keynes Company typifies subcontract machining by manufacturing everything from commercial airline seats and high-end automotive work through to participating in the recent Ventilator Challenge. With 3, 4 and 5-axis machining and Y-axis turning, Newport CNC is equipped to meet the demands of industry.

    For years, the ITC 3081 Series for aluminium has been the go-to cutter. “We started with several ITC solid carbide end mills, but found our sweet spot with the high-feed 3081 Series. The metal removal rates and the surface finishes are outstanding. We are using these end mills for everything from high removal roughing through to pocketing, profiling and finishing.” With such a glowing reference for the 3081 Series, Newport CNC now uses diameters that include 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 16 and 20mm with a selection of square-end and corner radii from 0.5 to 3mm.   

    As the company has evolved, so has its reliance on the wide range of ITC products. The company has adopted the Britcut Series of end mills in diameters of 4, 6, and 10mm. With centre cutting, a facet relief and a 30-degree helix, Newport CNC has opted for the TiAlN coated tools for a variety of material types. The success of both the 3081 Series and the Britcut range has paved the way for the introduction of the 3152 3-flute short length AlTiN coated end mills, the 2112 and 2012 Series of ball nose end mills for profiling and also the 4071 Series of chamfer tools.

    ITC has been a longstanding distributor of Widia solid carbide end mills that have been a perfect complement to the UK manufactured ITC range, so when ITC widened its scope by adding the Widia indexable tools to its armoury, Newport CNC trialled the Widia VSM11 high feed 40mm diameter face mill. Comparing the Widia VSM11 against an industry-leading manufacturer, the VSM11 outperformed the competitor with a tool life improvement of 30% and a productivity increase of 40%, all whilst reducing the cost-per-insert against the previous tool.

    ITC Caters for All Scenarios

    “We have a standardised tooling strategy on each machine. With a 24-tool capacity, the first 10 positions are standardised on all machines. The first tools will be the 80mm and 40mm Widia VSM11 face mills with XDCT aluminium grade and geometry and also the XDPT steel insert designation for rough machining and facing every job that comes through the door, regardless of whether its aluminium, steel, stainless or heat resistant alloys. It also keeps our inventory and costs to a manageable level.”

    “Positions three through to 10 will be ITC solid carbide end mills. In our other tooling positions, we have 3 and 6mm ball nose tools for profiling and finishing. This strategy allows us to standardise positions whilst giving staff familiarity. This streamlines programming and setups and we can thank ITC for having an extremely diverse range of high-quality tools that can support our business regardless of what comes through the door.” 

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/17140424/Use-this-640x360.jpg

    ITC meets ‘complete needs’ of subcontractor

    When Steve Knowles founded Newport CNC over ten years ago, Steve bought his first machine and worked evenings and weekends whilst keeping the day job. Steve’s first port of call was a HAAS VF4SS and high-end cutting tools from Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC).

    Building its early success in the high-end automotive industry, Newport CNC has recentlty made several investments. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Newport CNC planned to move to a new factory and purchase its fifth HAAS, an ST20Y turning centre. The subsequent shutdown created several obstacles, but the five-employee business has now moved into its new 4,700sq/ft facility.

    Commenting upon the challenge, Steve Knowles says: “Despite the pandemic, we are confident that our new machine and facility will help build an even stronger business.”

    One of the bedrocks of the business from day one has been cutting tools from ITC and alluding to this, Steve continues: “I have used ITC tools for over 20 years and they have never let me down. When I started this business, my first port of call was Gary Bambrick at ITC. More than 80% of our work is aluminium machining and the ITC solid carbide aluminium cutters are beyond compare. I’ve had sales reps from virtually every tooling company trialling tools down the years and none can match the tool life, productivity, surface finishes and overall performance of the ITC range. Over 80% of our tools are from ITC and we have little interest in wasting time trialling alternate tools; time has proven we are applying the best tools available.”

    The Milton Keynes Company typifies subcontract machining by manufacturing everything from commercial airline seats and high-end automotive work through to participating in the recent Ventilator Challenge. With 3, 4 and 5-axis machining and Y-axis turning, Newport CNC is equipped to meet the demands of industry.

    For years, the ITC 3081 Series for aluminium has been the go-to cutter. “We started with several ITC solid carbide end mills, but found our sweet spot with the high-feed 3081 Series. The metal removal rates and the surface finishes are outstanding. We are using these end mills for everything from high removal roughing through to pocketing, profiling and finishing.” With such a glowing reference for the 3081 Series, Newport CNC now uses diameters that include 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 16 and 20mm with a selection of square-end and corner radii from 0.5 to 3mm.   

    As the company has evolved, so has its reliance on the wide range of ITC products. The company has adopted the Britcut Series of end mills in diameters of 4, 6, and 10mm. With centre cutting, a facet relief and a 30-degree helix, Newport CNC has opted for the TiAlN coated tools for a variety of material types. The success of both the 3081 Series and the Britcut range has paved the way for the introduction of the 3152 3-flute short length AlTiN coated end mills, the 2112 and 2012 Series of ball nose end mills for profiling and also the 4071 Series of chamfer tools.

    ITC has been a longstanding distributor of Widia solid carbide end mills that have been a perfect complement to the UK manufactured ITC range, so when ITC widened its scope by adding the Widia indexable tools to its armoury, Newport CNC trialled the Widia VSM11 high feed 40mm diameter face mill. Comparing the Widia VSM11 against an industry-leading manufacturer, the VSM11 outperformed the competitor with a tool life improvement of 30% and a productivity increase of 40%, all whilst reducing the cost-per-insert against the previous tool.

    ITC Caters for All Scenarios

    “We have a standardised tooling strategy on each machine. With a 24-tool capacity, the first 10 positions are standardised on all machines. The first tools will be the 80mm and 40mm Widia VSM11 face mills with XDCT aluminium grade and geometry and also the XDPT steel insert designation for rough machining and facing every job that comes through the door, regardless of whether its aluminium, steel, stainless or heat resistant alloys. It also keeps our inventory and costs to a manageable level.”

    “Positions three through to 10 will be ITC solid carbide end mills. In our other tooling positions, we have 3 and 6mm ball nose tools for profiling and finishing. This strategy allows us to standardise positions whilst giving staff familiarity. This streamlines programming and setups and we can thank ITC for having an extremely diverse range of high-quality tools that can support our business regardless of what comes through the door.”