Which Tool Offers the Highest Performance When Machining Fiber-Reinforced Composites?

 

The Leitz Diamond Router bits are included in the 2019 CNC Machining Year End Promotion. Learn more about the special pricing and offer details here. Contact the Leitz Customer Service Team direct at 616.431.4096 or email insidesales@leitz.org for more info.

When you combine machining and fiber-reinforced composite materials, such as carbon fiberboard and glass fiberboard, it can be difficult to achieve accurate and repeatable results. These materials present additional challenges to maximizing tool life and cut quality. Composite materials can wear down tools quickly. As tools become dull, they catch the fibers in the material, resulting in tears instead of clean cuts.

The Vienna University of Technology created the Fibercut Benchmark, a large-scale comparison of tooling performance, with the goal of determining which tool is most suitable for machine fiber-reinforced composite materials. The engineers from Vienna University of Technology evaluated the tools on the basis of fraying, delamination, and cracks and splits on the workpiece. In one hundred and twenty-four individual machining tests, they utilized three different workpiece materials: carbon fiberboard, glass fiberboard, and aramid fiberboard.  Eighty-six boring and cutting tools from sixteen different producers in total were tested. In the course of the Benchmark Study, each tool had to perform twelve processing tasks per test.

The tooling from Leitz out-performed the others machining these materials.

In individual tests with carbon fiberboard and glass fiberboard, Leitz submitted a diamond-tipped shank tool with an alternate twist. Andreas Kisselbach, Head of Research and Development at Leitz, explained, “Especially fiberglass being a very abrasive working material, tungsten carbide tools dull and quickly reach the end of their useful life.” In practice, diamond cutting materials are much more suitable when machining glass fiberboard.

Leitz solution with carbon fiber

Diamond tools typically outrun carbide tools by more than 20x and dramatically cut tooling and processing costs. Of course, special consideration must be given to proper application, operation, and service of diamond tools. The best tooling value can only be accomplished through precision service which increases the total service cycles and overall productivity of each tool. Precision tool service will also yield longer service life between sharpening or repair, resulting in fewer tool changes, less machine downtime and improved productivity.

Leitz diamond routers provide longer tool life, greatly improved service life, and high processing speeds to increase productivity and efficiency without compromising quality. Available in diameters as small as 3/8″, 2+2 and 3+3 wing design, and in various cutting lengths.

Leitz diamond tooling is maximized through experienced service technicians who use the finest grinding machinery, precision measuring and inspection equipment, dynamic balancing equipment, and the most current grinding know-how available to keep your cutting tools performing at optimal levels.

Achieve optimal results with Leitz diamond tooling solutions and realize the best return on your investment with expert support services from Leitz.

Contact Leitz at insidesales@leitz.org or (616) 431-4096, or fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch.

Carving Your Thanksgiving Day Bird: Tools of the Trade

 

While Leitz prides itself on providing the finest cutting tools, which very likely helped build your dining room furniture, we cannot recommend using Leitz tools at the Thanksgiving table. We are however deeply thankful for our industry friends, colleagues, customers and partners who use Leitz products to shape and build a better world. We wish you and yours a great Thanksgiving celebration!

From a consultative and educational standpoint, we can offer the following information to help you prepare for this important. We’ve rounded up the top articles covering everything you need to know about carving your turkey. Just one suggestion, leave the saw blades at the shop.

What’s the Best Knife for Carving a Turkey?

Outdoor magazine cooked up three turkeys and risked their fingers for us and conducted a knife to knife test – view the results here. We want to know who ate all of the turkeys.

Esquire magazine offers up two suggestions for knives.

Lastly, from people that really know what they are doing, check out an interview with Corey Milligan of New West Knifeworks in Jackson Hole, Wyoming from the Splendid Table.

How to Carve Your Turkey

Our friends at Real Simple have made turkey carving… well, simple. Pull up this step-by-step guide on the big day and impress even your most scrupulous family members. Bonus, there is even a video.

And of course, no Thanksgiving dinner blog is complete without information from the domestic expert herself, Martha Stewart. Here is a step-by-step slideshow of how to carve your turkey in the most traditional way possible. It’s a good thing.

Enjoy Your Feast

Now that you know which tools to use and how to use them, you’ve got what you need to be the hero at your Thanksgiving Day table.

Proper Tool $ervice yields Critical Cost $aving$

 

Are you really buying the lowest cost-cutting tools? Caution, tool cost is not based on the lowest initial price, it’s based on the total efficient productivity provided by the tool.

The Real Cost of Tooling

Here’s how you should be calculating your tool costs:

New tool price + total service costs + tool change over costs / total linear feet of production achieved over the life of the tool.

The actual tool cost really comes down to the cost of cutting each piece of material. The key cost variables are total productivity between sharpening cycles and maximizing the total number of efficient service cycles.

If you simply evaluate tooling cost based on the initial purchase price and assume you are saving money by buying lower-priced tools. In reality, you are likely buying lower-performing tools, more frequently, and therefore, at a higher overall expense.

Better Tools + Better Service

Leitz is intensively focused on providing the lowest cost tooling, by ensuring our premium quality tools are used in the correct manner and returned to like new condition at every service interval. By sharpening tools on precision CNC grinding equipment and adhering to Leitz principals of proportional and relief grinding, we ensure your tools operate at top performance over the greatest possible service life.

Leitz proportional grinding procedures ensure the sharpest possible cutting edge while removing the least amount of cutting-edge material, thereby maximizing total available sharpening cycles.

Leitz proprietary tool relief geometry, and service relieving procedures ensure premium cutting-edge quality and sufficient tool clearance which minimizes friction heat build-up and thermal breakdown of the cutting edge.

High-tech final inspection and dynamic balancing equipment ensure you will NEVER be shut down due to tool geometry or performance issues.

If you’re searching for the lowest cost tooling solutions, Leitz will always provide the least expensive solution over the life of your tools!

Interested in learning how you can extend your tool life and save money? Contact Leitz at insidesales@leitz.org or (616) 431-4096, or fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch.

Tooling Spotlight: Blackened Rip Saw Blades (BlackTron)

 

The Leitz Blackened Rip Saw Blades (BlackTron) are included in the 2019 Solid Wood Processing Year End Promotion. Learn more about the special pricing and offer details here. Contact the Leitz Customer Service Team direct at 616.431.4096 or email insidesales@leitz.org for more info.

In our tooling spotlight, we break down what you need to know about our most effective tooling solutions. This MVP is the Leitz Blackened Rip Saw Blades (BlackTron).

The Tool

Our principal focus is designing blades that optimize finish quality and service life, through the use of premium quality carbide, tight manufacturing tolerances and proprietary features which reduce vibration, noise and heat build-up. The ultimate advantage to the customer is a blade that cuts clean, runs quiet, and returns the best value.

The BlackTron saw blades are available in a wide range of driver dimensions to fit premium millwork machines and in multiple kerf and plate measurements.

What Makes it Better

BlackTron coating resists the build-up of pitch and resin. Keeping the plate clean reduces heat build-up in the tool, which reduces thermal breakdown of the carbide tips.

BlackTron coated blades tend to run +35% longer than uncoated blades, which is especially beneficial when running long arbors of gang saws, which require significant tool changeover time.

The clean saw plate also allows Leitz to use a thicker plate, relative to the cut width (kerf), which improves stability and performance.

When to Use It

Cutting along the grain in natural woods for glue-line finish. Use on straightline and gang rip saws when working with soft- or hardwood materials.

The Results

BlackTron coating resists build-up of resin, and heat, while significantly enhancing tool life.

Add this Tooling MVP to Your Line up

Download the Compact Tooling Catalog and view page seven for BlackTron specs.

Contact Leitz at insidesales@leitz.org or (616) 431-4096, or fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch.

Tool Up for 2020 with Special Pricing on Leitz Tooling Solutions

 

Special promotional pricing now through the end of the year.

Take advantage of special promotional pricing on premier Leitz Tooling Solutions for both solid wood processing and CNC machining now through the end of the year.

Solid Wood Processing Promotion

Stock-up on these high-quality, standard necessities for your millwork. Promotion includes:

BlackTron Saw Glue-line Ripsaw Blades

BlackTron coating resists build-up of resin and significantly improves tool life. Use for ripping solid hard woods for glue-line finish. Special pricing for Raiman and Mereen-Johnson machines.  Standard saws for other machines available upon request.

Corrugated Profile Cutterheads

Standard dimensions for HSK85W spindles available with 20° cutting angle for MDF and soft wood applications and 12° cutting angle for hard wood applications.

HS Knife Stock

Multiple grades of high-quality corrugated bar stock for easy, consistent grind quality

View full promotion details.

CNC Machining Promotion

Tooling is the determinant between limiting or optimizing your machine’s efficiency, which directly impacts your return on the significant investment you made in your machine. Promotion includes:

Diamond Router Bits

DiaMaster PRO Router Cutters

Extended performance and efficient sizing and nesting cuts in panel products and abrasive materials.

DiaMaster EdgeExpert

Extreme alternate shear angle for long tool life and best possible finish when machining delicate laminates, foils, and veneers.

leitz, thermogrip, tooling, woodworking tools

ThermoGrip® Tool-Holding System

Maintain the perfect tool centerline to provide excellent cut quality while yielding upwards of 25% longer tool life and allowing significantly higher processing speeds.

View full promotion details.

For more information and to order contact the Leitz team at 616.431.4096, email insidesales@leitz.org or fill out the form below.

Tooling Spotlight: Bevel Cutterheads

 

In our tooling spotlight, we break down what you need to know about our most effective tooling solutions. This MVP is the Leitz variable angle bevel cutters.

The Tool:

Leitz variable angle bevel cutters represent the next generation of flexible high-performance tooling solutions.  Featuring field-replaceable PCD tips or shear-set radial inserts, Leitz variable angle bevel cutters provide infinite angular cutting possibilities in natural woods and highly abrasive manmade materials.

What makes it better:

The Leitz bevel cutterhead system offers individual advantages for every potential application and thus helps to achieve a clear production and quality superiority. The system is not only flexible and sustainable but also improves production efficiency.

When to use it:

Leitz variable angle bevel cutters offer unmatched flexibility. Suitable for various materials from solid wood to wood-derived materials and plastics. They can be used on machines for manual feed, throughfeed machines, and CNC machining centers.

Turnblade knife system – Traditional standard straight-knife version for use in all applications.

HeliCut knife system – 4-sided, radius face inserts, shear-set with compression, provide particularly good cutting quality and excellent value in solid woods.

WhisperCut knife system – Replaceable (sharpen-able) shear-set PCD tips with compression provide excellent performance in abrasive materials.

 

The results:

Adjustable variable angle bevel cutters consolidate the need for various cutters set to exact angles.

Replaceable PCD or micro-grain inserts provide an economic solution for processing all material while maintaining exact tool tolerances.

Precisely adjustable cut angles ensure minimum machine downtime and first-piece perfection.

Up to a 40% time saving through newly designed adjustment mechanism.

Add this MVP to your line-up:

Download our Bevel Cutters brochure.

Contact Leitz at insidesales@leitz.org or (616) 431-4096, or fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch.

How an Organization’s Growth Resulted in a Partnership for Continued Improvement

Technology plays an essential role in efficiency and productivity for today’s major manufacturers. Yet, when many manufacturers hit capacity, it’s assumed the only way to meet production schedules is to add extra equipment. The goal is to maximize current floorspace without having to add extra equipment or move to a larger, more expensive location until it’s necessary.

A growing, nationally recognized cabinet door and drawer box manufacturer was at production capacity and needed to make adjustments to meet their growing demand. In addition to adding two new CNC machines, they saw the opportunity to review their current machinery and technology and explore what could be done to optimize their entire operation. The manufacturer had been working with Leitz for tooling service and met with their representative to discuss what else they could be doing to get the most from their current machines.

A close look at MDF doors that have been cut with Leitz diamond tooling. These doors are ready to be sanded, glued, and have their foil pressed on.

Their Leitz representative recommended moving from an insert tooling system to the Leitz diamond routers and the Leitz ThermoGrip tool holding system. The newly implemented diamond routers system reduced machine downtime and increased tool life. Additionally, the ThermoGrip tool holders gave the customer a cleaner cut without the lines and imperfections they were experiencing with their other tool holding system, cutting down on multiple run-throughs and rework of the product.

With better quality cuts and increased tool life, the customer is not only saving money but has expanded their production capacity by approximately 50% on their current machines, more than doubling the number of truckloads of product they dispatch daily.

Additionally, the customer achieved a 30% improvement in tool life using the ThermoGrip system.

A comparison of the carbide insert tools the customer was using (left) and the Leitz diamond tooling in the ThermoGrip (right).

The solution from Leitz resulted in the highest level of production capacity without having to invest in more machinery or a bigger facility.  By looking beyond machinery, easy-to-implement changes in their tooling technology have made a huge impact for the Leitz partner customer.

Leitz is not only an industry leading manufacturer of advanced cutting technology but also a leading consultative technical provider. Leitz guidance is based on insight gathered from our multi-industry, worldwide perspective, and experience.  Our expert review, fueled by our belief that we can improve any cutting process, backed by our unconditional quality and performance guarantee, ensures our partner customers achieve the continuous improvement vital to their future.


Would a partnership for continuous improvement help you solve your next manufacturing challenge? Fill out the form below or call 800.253.6070 to get in touch with your Leitz representative today.

What You Need to Know for a Successful Transition to CNC-Based Manufacturing

 

Take advantage of special promotional pricing on premier Leitz Tooling Solutions for both solid wood processing and CNC machining now through the end of the year. Contact the Leitz Customer Service Team direct at 616.431.4096 or email insidesales@leitz.org for more info.


Manufacturers commonly buy CNCs because these flexible machines promise to replace several manual machines and dramatically improve the capabilities and efficiency of the production shop. This transition is, of course, very achievable, but because of inaccurate tooling and application choices, many buyers are missing out on fully optimizing their CNC machine performance.

When key machining principals such as proper part fixturing, achieving ideal cutting velocity and chip load are overlooked it can significantly affect process efficiency and ROI. Developing strong relationships with your router supplier and qualified tooling experts will prevent catastrophic errors and expedite the integration and optimization of this critical machine technology.

Utilizing existing hand routers and shaper tools

Many first-time CNC buyers will continue to use their inexpensive carbide-tipped tools on their new high-tech machine. These brazed carbide tools may “work,” but are generally not rigid, precise, balanced or durable enough to provide ideal CNC performance. Brazed carbide tools are, by necessity, much softer and less wear resistant than solid carbide or carbide insert tools. Tools designed around the CNC’s operational specifications and your output will yield more efficient and higher quality results.

Solid carbide router options

Solid carbide tools are also available in a range of hardness and durability levels that cannot be differentiated by eye. Carbide is essentially tungsten particles held together with a cobalt binder. Softer, less expensive routers are formed with 10% cobalt glue; harder more durable carbides generally have 3% cobalt concentration and may also include trace elements which resist thermal or mechanical dulling.

CNC operators may inadvertently settle for “softer/less durable” solid carbide tools because they’ve broken harder versions. Understanding why these higher quality tools broke (vibration, part movement, improper chip load, etc.) and addressing the issue will help you extend tool service-life and lower annualized tooling expenses.

Coated carbide tooling

Carbide coating options that improve surface lubricity, heat deflection, or increased cutting-edge hardness offer the next level of enhanced performance. These coatings are relatively inexpensive and generally provide much greater value to the user. Depending on how the tool must be sharpened, these coatings can sometimes provide extended performance over multiple service cycles.

Diamond tooling

Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) routing tools can provide the lowest tooling cost per unit of production, but the higher initial tool cost and risk of damage can be intimidating. We recommend transitioning to diamond tools only after you are comfortable with the operation of your CNC and are enjoying problem-free routing with solid carbide tools. We also recommend forming a partnership with a PCD tooling supplier who can guide you through the proper utilization and care of these delicate yet durable tools. The baseline cost comparison for PCD vs. solid carbide routing tools is generally less than 7:1, but the average performance comparison should exceed 15:1. Used correctly, PCD tooling will dramatically reduce tooling inventory and required tool changes, while maximizing machine uptime and process efficiency.

Tool holding

Tool holding generally drives most CNC processing issues. Machine tooling start-up kits generally include basic collet chucks in one of three common collet versions (ER32, ER40 or SYOZ25/RDO35). Collets provide dimensional flexibility, allowing an operator to hold cutting tools with 1/8” to 1” diameter shanks in the same chuck body. Collets are, however, the first weak-link in an otherwise very rigid and precise machining process. The multi-directional torque applied to the collet when tightening or releasing tools can push the tools out of concentricity, and slight rotation or slipping of the tool will create internal damage which compounds tool run-out. Even the premium SYOZ25 collet system, which due to its 52mm grip length and 2.5-degree taper is the most precise option, can induce tool eccentricity and allow tool deflection. Collet systems also require significant maintenance and wear out over time, but issues which lead to poor tool performance are not always easy to visualize.

Eliminating collets

There are several collet-free chucking options available, but the easiest and most effective is Leitz ThermoGrip heat-shrink chucking system. ThermoGrip uses the thermo-mechanical properties of steel to grip tool shanks under tremendous pressure, effectively yielding a one-piece chuck and tool. Leitz ThermoGrip CNC chucking system provides the most rigid and precise CNC tool holding possible, optimizing cut quality, throughput and safety, while conservatively yielding $15,000 in annualized savings per machine shift. ThermoGrip ensures perfect tool concentricity under working loads, resulting in greater than 25% increase in tool life and at least 10% improvement in machine throughput at optimal finish quality.leitz, thermogrip, tooling, woodworking tools

We challenge customers to test their existing top running router bit style with the ThermoGrip. Once installed, their operator will immediately report:

  • Much quieter cutting
  • Outstanding cut quality
  • The ability to increase feed speed, without degrading the quality
  • Significantly longer tool life

 

Ultimately, this test is eye-opening for most customers, and a major step in optimizing the efficiency of their routing processes.

In conclusion

In order to optimize your CNC-based manufacturing process, you must be aware of available cutting tool related technologies and understand how to properly implement and utilize the technology. Tooling is the single machine accessory which can either limit or optimize your manufacturing efficiency and success. Having a knowledgeable tooling partner, with a worldwide perspective, will greatly enhance your ability to continuously improve your internal processes and keep your company at the forefront of the industry. How can Leitz help you?

Talk to your Leitz Representative about a partnership for continuous improvement. Fill out the form below or call us at 800.253.6070.

How Jefferson Millwork & Design Inc. Optimized Their Production Process with Expert Tooling

While it’s easy to put the majority of focus on the machine, your tooling has a major impact on your production efficiency. It creates a vicious cycle when tooling needs to be constantly serviced or replaced. Tools going out the door for frequent service results in an unnecessarily large tooling inventory just to keep machines running.  Additionally, tooling that wears out quickly forces manufacturers to buy new tooling more often.

When Tom Jewell with Jefferson Millwork & Design Inc, a nationally recognized, award-winning architectural and cabinet woodworking manufacturer, contacted Leitz for information on new router bits, their Leitz representative went beyond only providing pricing. After hearing Tom’s issues with dust collection and how quickly they were running through router bits, their Leitz representative offered to come to their location, review their application, and develop a plan to resolve the problems that were slowing down and adding cost to the manufacturing process.

Jefferson Millwork & Design Inc implemented Leitz Diamaster Pro diamond router bits and the Leitz ThermoGrip chuck. They are now experiencing a 6-7x improvement in the life of the tool. The longer tool life has helped them cut costs and reduce the downtime required to replace the bit while improving product quality. The Leitz ThermoGrip tool holding system uses an inductive heating concept to provide stronger, more concentric tool clamping. This leads to increased tool life, better surface finishes, and improved cost efficiency.

Inefficient dust collection was also plaguing Jefferson Millwork & Design Inc’s manufacturing process. To clear dust, the machine had to be shut-down and the dust manually blown off of the table. Adding an extra step and completely stopping production each time dust collection was required was a costly inefficiency that slowed output. Leitz installed a turbine to help with dust collection and eliminate the extra step and production shutdown.

By working hands-on with Tom and the team at Jefferson Millwork & Design, their Leitz representative was able to identify key areas to optimize the overall production process. Because of Leitz’ commitment to partnering with customers to ensure they are as profitable and successful as possible, the customer is saving time, saving money and has an improved cut quality. Jefferson Millwork is so pleased with the results, they are implementing an additional three set-ups and running the Leitz solution on all their applications.

Form a partnership for continuous improvement with Leitz. 

Get in touch with your Leitz representative by calling 800.253.6070or filling out the form below.

Technical Partnerships for Continuous Improvement

Continuous process improvement is a commitment which may require external input

In order to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive and complex global market, manufacturers must commit to continuously improving their products and processes.  However, companies must also understand that continuous improvement involves both internal optimization of their existing processes and an eye toward new technologies which can further enhance these processes.  This can be extremely difficult to achieve since it requires a fresh and unbiased review of internal processes and keeping up with the world of rapidly changing technology.  Even if the continuous improvement team can review internal operations in an unbiased manner, they may miss important application details which are engrained in previous procedures or simply misunderstood.  Similarly, applicable new technologies are often difficult to conceptualize and integrate, because “we don’t know what we don’t know”.

Once new technology becomes available, companies frequently have difficulty rationalizing the benefits of the investment or choose to invest in less expensive technology which may not provide the same value.  Even when the ideal technology is implemented, failure to completely understand proper integration and use can limit the return. Technology and machining will only go so far to ensure efficiency and product quality. A fully optimized manufacturing process strategy must include consultative support and education from vendor partners.

The value of consultative support

In all cases, consultative technical partners can provide critical support and guidance to the continuous improvement team.  Much like paid consultants, and often used by consultants for the same purpose, advisory technology providers have vast experience within their area of expertise.  An experienced partner will take the time to educate and guide manufacturers to proven improvements and solutions–even if they fall outside of their product lines.  A great consultative technical provider understands that a strong partnership, based on the value of their technical advice, will often lead the customer to logical decisions to purchase their products whenever possible, ultimately putting finding the right solution before making a sale.

Technical education is key

Oftentimes, inefficiency is a product of misunderstood application parameters or complacency regarding alternative solutions and improved technology.  Taking the time to educate customers on critical cutting parameters such as tool rim speed, chip load, proper part holding, proper tool holding, dust evacuation, and heat management can dramatically affect processing efficiency. Education is important for every person involved with the manufacturing process, from management to the team on the shop floor, and can be delivered in a classroom setting or as a practical application on the shop floor.

Developing, rationalizing and introducing customers to new processing technologies fills in the “what we didn’t know” gap.  The experience gained by working with many industry manufacturing partners provides insight as to which technologies truly work, and an understanding of how to optimize each.  Each step helps reduce the customer’s perceived investment risk and ensures favorable ROI from the technology.

The Leitz approach

Leitz is not only an industry leading manufacturer of advanced cutting technology but also a leading consultative technical provider. Leitz guidance is based on insight gathered from our multi-industry, worldwide perspective, and experience.  Our expert review, fueled by our belief that we can improve any cutting process, backed by our unconditional quality and performance guarantee, ensures our partner customers achieve the continuous improvement essential to their future.

Are you the top producer in your industry segment?  Are your manufacturing processes optimized?  Do you have the capacity to regularly conduct an unbiased review and improve these processes? Leitz does.  How can we help you continuously optimize manufacturing efficiency and profitability?

Form a partnership for continuous improvement with Leitz.