Is Your Sawblade Restricting Optimizing Line Efficiency?

The Stiles System TM Opti-Kap and Dimter machines operate at high RPM’s, setting the standard for high-speed optimizing (defecting & sizing) of component pieces. However, most saw blades are not approved for use and do not perform well at this high RPM and cutting speeds.

Leitz optimizing blades are among very few blades approved to safely operate at up to 5,100 RPMs, and designed to continuously outperform competing blades. Customers who have made the switch to Leitz optimizing blades, provide very positive feedback:

“That’s the best blade we’ve ever used.”

“Who knew an optimizing saw could cut so clean!”

“My optimizing line now performs at optimal efficiency!”

Can Leitz help optimize the efficiency of your high-speed Optimizing line?  Yes, we can!

Leitz Tooling Systems strives to continuously improve our manufacturing partner’s efficiency, productivity, and profitability through consultative support, education, and cutting-edge technology.

Consultative Support – Leitz technical personnel continuously analyze your manufacturing environment, ensuring machine throughput, product finish quality, dust evacuation and scrap loss are all optimized.

Education & Training – Oftentimes inefficiencies are created by lack of operator experience.  Leitz “consultants” take the time to educate and guide operators to the safest and most efficient means of producing their products. 

Tool and application engineering – We understand your unique production goals and constraints.  We work closely with your engineers, production managers, and operators, to design custom solutions that optimize your production environment.

Machine set-up and ongoing support- Leitz personnel will be present and readily available to support you at any time, from new machine installation to daily production headaches, we will provide essential onsite support and guidance.  We will also ensure your tooling is serviced and maintained at a level which provides optimal performance and ROI. 

TOOLING controls your machinery and process efficiency.  Working with Leitz ensures your tooling works for you! 

Talk to your local Leitz representative today about how the right tools can improve your manufacturing process and your bottom line.

Fill out the form below or give us a call at 616.431.4096 and we’ll be in touch.

A Sawdust-free Wood Shop? It’s Achievable with Dust Extraction Solutions from Leitz.

“Sawdust” is not only a daily clean-up and downtime issue, but excess dust can also lead to serious consequences for your employees, equipment, facilities, productivity, and the quality of your products.  The airborne dust within your facility is inhaled by employees, sucked into machine motors, and coats everything within the facility, all of which lead to serious health, maintenance, and safety issues citable by OSHA.

Wood dust is considered carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)(IARC). IARC states that wood dust causes cancer of the upper respiratory system and is linked to health issues related to the inhalation of bacteria, mold, or fungi within the wood.  Wood dust is also associated with toxic effects, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, dermatitis, and respiratory system effects which include decreased lung capacity and allergic reactions. (Canadian OSHA 2017)

Dust on the workspace floor can cause slip and fall accidents, which account for more than 65% of (95 million) lost US workdays per year (US Dept of Labor). Dust is also highly combustible and can cause catastrophic explosions resulting in employee injury or death and destruction of facilities.

You may have invested in the best dust collection system available, with automated gates and spark arresting technology, but the problem originates at the cutting tool.  Most cutting tools are engineered to eject dust into the cutting path of the tool, and most machine “tool hoods” fail to efficiently trap and extract dust from the cutting process.  A large percentage of the dust simply flows in the airstream around the tool and is ejected back into the workshop.

Leitz utilizes dust flow control tool gullet designs (DFC) to neutralize dust velocity and trap it within the hood.  Once the dust velocity is neutralized, Leitz aerodynamic dust hoods efficiently extract virtually all of the dust from the cutting process and send it into your dust collection system.  Hoods are designed with easy tool access, and adjustable gate features, for ease of use and maximum encapsulation of the cutting process.  Leitz dust hoods are also available with noise-canceling technology, which reduces cutting related sound by as much as 5dB.

 

 

Leitz has long been a leader in engineering custom dust control solutions which provide a clean and safe environment for employees, improve product quality, and optimize process efficiency.  Whether you need to upgrade existing machinery, or have new machines in the budget, put our 20+ years of dust extraction engineering experience to work, ensuring the safest and most efficient tooling and dust extraction solutions possible.

Eliminate a costly and potentially hazardous contaminant from your manufacturing process with Leitz.

Fill out the form below or call 616.431.4096 to schedule a consultation with your local Leitz representative.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Maximize the Benefits of Diamond Tooling with Continuous Education, Expert Service, and High-Quality Tooling

A premier office furniture manufacturer located in the Midwest increases the benefits of diamond tooling through education, service, and quality tooling.

Diamond tooling offers several benefits over traditional carbide tooling. However, if you are not getting longevity out of your diamond tooling, the cost benefits rapidly diminish.

This is the exact issue a market-leading office furniture manufacturer was experiencing. Unusual amounts of wear and damage to their diamond tooling and exceedingly long turn-around times from their tooling service provider were increasing production expenses and ruining efficiency.

Working with their Leitz representative, the manufacturer was able to identify and implement four areas of strategic improvement.

Tooling Quality

More PCD tip height on a tool’s cutting wing = more serviceable tool life. A taller PCD tip height will allow you to sharpen the tool more times before having to replace the tool. There are currently no industry standards for custom tool tip heights, so it’s important customers understand this significant tooling characteristic. Leitz designs their custom tools with maximum amount of usable tip height more than any other tooling provider and, therefore, provides the customer with more efficient, lowest applied cost tooling solutions.

Continuous Education

Diamond tooling is harder than carbide tooling. As such, it is also much more brittle. Most machine operators lack an understanding of the gravity of the cost difference between diamond and carbide tooling as well as how to properly handle diamond tooling to ensure the longevity of the tools. Leitz is providing ongoing education to teach the operator team how to handle and protect diamond tooling and increase tool life.

These photos show PDC damage due to improper tool handling. There is layered breaking within the PDC layer itself, similar to how shale rock would break. This can only be caused by side impact to the PCD.

Material Improvement

In addition to damage from mishandling, through extensive tool evaluation after running, including high-resolution photographs, the Leitz service team was able to identify and document frontal impact damage to the tool caused by impurities in the materials being cut. The manufacturer was able to return to their material provider and discuss reimbursement for damage and investigate alternative material options.

These photos show PCD damage due to impurities in the material. Damage is straight down through the entire layer of PDC and into the tool body.

Expert Service

Because of the multiple Leitz service centers located around the country, Leitz can provide a faster turn-around time for tool servicing. The manufacturer is now able to carry less tooling in-house with results in cost savings on their overall tooling inventory.

Although the furniture manufacturer was using a quality competitor, Leitz has provided a total tooling solution for the customer that will deliver more efficiency and maximize their investment. By understanding the difference in tooling service and handling, the manufacturer has watched their efficiencies grow and has realized positive downstream effects from the changes implemented during the manufacturing process.

Let’s talk about increasing the benefits of your PCD tooling through better service and education. Contact Leitz at (800) 253-6070 or fill out the form below.

Intelligent Tooling Driving Production

By Mike Lind

How intelligent tooling will operate in the smart factories of the future, starting today.

The Connected World and the Internet of Things

The world we live in is more connected than ever before. You may have heard the term ‘internet of things’, which generally means the internetworking of all things around us, from devices to buildings, to vehicles. We have refrigerators that can offer recipe tips based on the products within them. We can change the temperature in our homes with thermostats that can be adjusted remotely, and almost every late model vehicle has an on-board computer that provides on-demand system performance information. Smart devices are everywhere these days; even the meat smoker in your backyard can be monitored from your cell phone.

Industry 4.0: Linking the Panel Processing Industry

Today we are using cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, and cloud computing to develop the basis for the “Smart Factory”. The current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies will, sooner rather than later, become the norm in manufacturing.

In fact, there is already a huge amount of market presence in our wood products industries related to Industry 4.0. Trade shows and industry conferences are themed under the Industry 4.0 banner–most recently at Ligna in Hannover, Germany, our AWFS show in Las Vegas and the Holz-Handwerk Fair in Nuremberg, Germany. Each of these events had an inescapable Industry 4.0 presence. The smart factory is a highly focused topic for large companies who are the drivers and facilitators of the technology. And in our industry, the equipment manufacturers are putting a huge emphasis on Industry 4.0 through various platforms, touting the benefits it should provide.

We are seeing office furniture producers, kitchen cabinet giants and other market segment leaders as the early adopters of the technology. However, it is important to recognize that the smart factory, while rapidly evolving in the wood products industries, is still very much in the developmental phase. For everything to come together all the parts–including machines, software, and tools with embedded devices and readers–must work in concert together.

Managing the Data

The processes in woodworking are becoming more intricate and sophisticated. The increasing diversity of materials and surfaces (various species of wood and combinations of wood, aluminum, plastic, etc.) have very specific machining requirements. Batch size 1 production or new approaches for individualized mass production are ramping-up the need to understand what is happening in the machining environment at all times. Machines and the systems that run them are becoming more and more complex.

The probability of mistakes is more present than ever, and the impact and severity are heightened as process demands increase. Despite publishing information for proper cutting speed, feed rates and the like in catalogs, literature, and even in user guides provided with the tools, we still see evidence of improper tool use every day from customers around the world.

We are coming to the limit with the operator skill required and mind power available to manage the data in front of us and to manage it in a way that produces the desired products in an optimal and safe environment.

The Role of the Tooling Manufacturer in the Integrated System

Tool makers like Leitz are playing a role in enhancing the overall system. Through Embedded Chip Technology, RFID devices, and integrated QR codes, the tool becomes the gateway to a central database of information that improves process efficiency and reduces mistakes.

The basic results include:

  • Cataloged tool specifications and running parameters that remain with the tool always.
  • Real-time information captured during the operation of the tool and maintained as a quasi-database throughout the life of the tool.
  • Mistake-proofing of applications and programs through simulation and warning indications when a tool runs outside of design parameters.

The key concept with intelligent tooling is to make information available without the need to open the instruction manual. Every tool has a unique serial number; once you know the serial number, all the necessary information to run the tool is at hand for both man and machine.

leitz intelling tooling with QR codeRFID chips can contain a 3-D model with the exact geometry and dimension of the tool, so the machine software can simulate the machining process, ensuring safety during tool changes, and preventing crashes due to incorrect programming. Process-specific information can be kept as part of the tool data, facilitating set-up, increasing spindle up-time and decreasing the possibility of creating expensive scrap.

For this approach to be successful, an integrated system of tool, machine, measuring instruments, sharpening equipment, and data must work together. Starting with tools with chips or QR codes installed on machines, the machine then reads and utilizes the running parameters and programming information. Information is fed into computer systems or cloud computing networks. Alerts are sent to mobile devices when problems arise (e.g. machine parameters are exceeded). When the tools are removed from machines and sent for service, the event is logged into the database (location of tools can be determined). Relevant tool information (specifications, drawings, service instructions) can be accessed at the service center. When the tools have been serviced, any changes in specifications (diameter, reference points) are added to the tool database. The tool is reinstalled on the machine. Updated tool specifications are read by the software on the machine, and the cycle starts over. When the tool is serviced, key information can be synchronized with the company ERP system, including service tickets, on-hand inventory, and running status of tool life cycle with the ability to alert and send an order for new tools. And, we can monitor this entire process with an app like those that we use in our daily life.

 “Synchronizing Process Components” or something that communicates the orchestration that has to occur for the desired end result.

The tooling alone is not the driver. The process is only efficient and stable if all the parts – machine, tool, software, operator – are in accordance through proper communication. When expertly implemented, intelligent tooling offers several advantages:

  • Production quality improvements from optimized settings
  • Simplified tool set-up that is expedited due to information available on-demand
  • Process reliability because all the steps are verified and adjusted prior to running parts
  • Increased availability of resource = optimized utilization – not more, not less
  • Energy efficiency – dull tools are replaced at the right time, requiring less power consumption
  • Process know how
  • Expert system
  • “Learning-in” material and tool combinations
  • Every service and sharpening recorded as “tool history”
  • Sharpening procedure is documented and stays with the tool so that no mistakes are made in the service shop
  • Easy tracking and monitoring of tools, reducing the amount of capital employed
  • Automatic tool ordering, decreasing administration and paper

As our world rapidly changes around us, new business approaches and models are required. Owners, managers, and stakeholders need the freedom to concentrate on producing wood and wood-related products without process headaches. Intelligent tooling in the smart factory environment offers solutions that allow for a focus on the business at hand – producing doors, windows, furniture, cabinets and other products, in the most efficient way possible.

Tooling Spotlight: WhisperCut Cutterhead

In our tooling spotlight, we break down what you need to know about our most effective tooling solutions. This month’s MVP is PCD WhisperCut Pre-Mill cutterheads. leitz whispercut edgebander woodworking woodcutting wood manufacturing tool

The Tool:

Leitz WhisperCut is the premium low-weight PCD jointing head for edgebanders, and the first to utilize field replaceable/sharpenable precision diamond inserts.  The light-weight aluminum alloy cutter body reduces machine spindle wear while damping cutting noise by as much as 5dB(A).  WhisperCut technology provides the most efficient and economical pre-milling solution available.

What Makes it Better:

Features Benefits
Field replaceable/sharpenable PCD inserts ·         Replace inserts instead of heads, at a far lower cost

·         Significantly reduced tooling inventory, replacement knives only

·         Send knives for service instead of heavy steel cutterheads

Light-weight body ·         Reduced spindle bearing weight

·         Jump spindle moves smoothly in and out of cut

·         Absorbs and reduces cutting noise -5db(A)

·         Safe, easy handling

High shear (Edge Expert) versions available ·         Optimal cut quality due to dramatically reduced cutting pressure

·         Exponentially longer tool life due to reduced cutting pressure

·         Exceptional cut quality in fragile or textured laminates

·         Reduced or eliminated plucking of loose core material

DFC gullets ·         Improved chip evacuation and reduced knife wear/damage

When to Use It:

For pre-milling in preparation for edgebanding, on both classic and CNC based edgebanders.  Custom versions are available for jointing, rebating, v-grooving and angular cuts in abrasive materials.

Suitable Raw Materials:

  • Particleboard, MDF, and abrasive materials
  • Uncoated, veneered and laminated materials
  • Paper-coated, fiber reinforced plastics (glass fiber reinforced, carbon fiber reinforced plastic etc.).

The Results:

Exceptional finish, tear-free edges, and a straight edge on double-sided laminates.

Add this MVP to Your Lineup:

Download our WhisperCut PDF.

Contact your local Leitz consultant at (800) 253-6070, or fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch.