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 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.

Tooling Spotlight: ThermoGrip® Tool-Holding System

 

The Leitz ThermoGrip® heat-shrink tool-holding system is included in the CNC Machining 2019 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 month’s MVP is ThermoGrip CNC Tool-Holding System.

The Tool:

The Leitz ThermoGrip® heat-shrink tool-holding system offers unrivaled precision. The one-piece chuck design eliminates excess tool run-out common to collet and hydro tool-holding systems. Heat shrink technology allows for higher machine output, while yielding optimized cut quality and significantly extended tool life.

Heat shrink chucks offer the simplest and most rigid link between the machine spindle and cutting tool. Heat shrink chucks are inexpensive, one-piece tool holders, without moving or mechanical parts to wear or maintain.leitz, thermogrip, tooling, woodworking toolsThe 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.

What makes it better:

  • Highest torque transfer; essentially a one-piece tool and HSK-F63
  • Safe, rigid balanced to 36,000 RPMs
  • Optimized tool performance, finish quality
  • Increased cutting speeds (by 30%)
  • Improved machine productivity
  • Compact, solid design with no wear parts; right or left rotation
  • Easy cleaning/maintenance; unlimited lifespan
  • Reduced tooling costs; fast tool changes

When to use it:

With CNC and other precision machining.

The results:

The annualized savings utilizing Leitz ThermoGrip can be astounding. You will reduce tooling costs by a minimum of 25% and increase machine and operator productivity by at least 20%. ThermoGrip users have noted annualized savings of at least $15,000 per shift, with expanded production capacity. The ThermoGrip system generally pays for itself within months, and the maintenance-free chucks provide virtually unlimited service life.

Add this MVP to your line-up.

Download our ThermoGrip PDF.

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

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.

Leitz at IWF 2018 – Solutions in New Dimensions

In addition to displaying new and innovative tooling solutions, Leitz Tooling is driving home the important message of Right Tool, Right Service at IWF 2018. As a thought leader in the tooling space, Leitz is helping manufacturers maximize their investment in tooling by ensuring the right tool is selected for the machine and the application, and that the tool is properly serviced for optimized use and longevity. 

“Tooling selection, especially in today’s smart manufacturing landscape, is a 360-degree decision. You need to have a tooling partner that has your ongoing best interests and desired outcomes in mind,” comments Michael Lind, Leitz CEO. “The right tool results in quality and productivity; the right service ensures long-term success.”

Leitz educates manufacturers on what to consider when selecting a tool, how to improve the partnership between the tool and the machine, and the best service practices to get the most from their tooling investment.

Visit the Leitz booth #5752 at IWF 2018 to learn more.

Want to chat before the show? Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch:

Leitz Attends the 2018 Fensterbau/Holz-Handwerk Trade Fair in Nürnberg, Germany

With 110,000 visitors and 1,329 exhibitors from 42 countries the exhibition duo of HOLZ-HANDWERK an FENSTERBAU FRONTALE 2018 represents one of the largest wood manufacturing shows in Europe. The show has an emphasis on all things related to window and door manufacturers.

Leitz participated in this year’s trade fair, which took place March 21 – 24, 2018, presenting solutions and concepts that display technical innovation and focus on added value for our customers.

In addition to recent additions to the Leitz program, such as ProfilCut Q Diamond and WhisperCut panel saws, Leitz has also partnered with the hardware manufacturer, Roto-Frank, and other companies, to develop a new, high performance sliding door: Inova. The Patio Inova sliding door and sliding window system is specially designed for use in extreme climates.

Secondly, after an 8-year run, the ClimTrend tilt-turn window/door system has seen an upgrade to ClimaTrend Style, offering a modular design, higher performance,  slimmer sight-lines and more efficient manufacturing.

Learn more at leitztooling.com.

The Role of Tooling Technology in Cabinet & Cabinet Door Manufacturing

By Mark Alster

Kitchen cabinets are a central focus of modern home designs, as the kitchen is perhaps the most used room in the home. We cook, dine, socialize and entertain in our kitchens. The kitchen becomes the centerpiece of the home, and many of today’s open floor plans incorporate the kitchen into the primary living space. The cabinets are a focal point in any kitchen and must be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.  

Hardwood construction dominates high-end cabinetry, however, European influence and modern laminates provide affordable alternatives that offer an upscale look and feel.

Regardless of the material used, construction quality is of paramount importance, and each presents certain manufacturing challenges. In either case, correct tooling technology will assure the desired finish quality and optimal manufacturing efficiency.

The Challenges

Manufacturing wooden five piece cabinet doors meets the same raw material challenges traditional furniture makers face. The various wood species commonly used in cabinet manufacturing have different hardness ratings and grain structure, which must be addressed through proper tool design and operating parameters. Failure to design or utilize cutting tools, with respect to the cutting characteristics of the various wood species, will result in defects such as plucking, tearing, splintering of the workpiece and significant repair work or scrap loss. Add the fact that door components are generally manufactured across three different machines (moulder, shaper, tennoner), and the various tools must be accurate enough to provide mating joints which are both visually perfect and structurally sound.

Because of the primary components, including particleboard, surface laminates, and edgebanding, and the basic manufacturing process being accomplished using a CNC or saw and edgebander, European-style slab doors may seem easier to manufacture. However, challenges can still arise due to the quality of the particleboard, characteristics of the laminate, and style of edgebanding that is used. Common particleboard with a large-flake loose core can be very challenging to machine without plucking the core and adversely affecting the integrity of the banded edge. Modern laminates feature textured surfaces, made from wear resistance components, which are increasingly difficult to process. Finally, the banding process is becoming more critical, as manufactures strive to achieve a perfect, seamless edge between the laminated and banded surfaces.

The Solution

Using tooling technology, the solutions are relatively simple, and evolve around one key principal; cutting pressure is the root cause of most cutting defects, including plucking, fuzzing, ripped grain, crushed grain and chipped laminates. Cutting pressure can be controlled through the proper application of cutting tool geometry.

The solution must begin with thoughtful tool design, which employs the correct cutting angles for the raw materials being processed. Generally speaking, the harder the workpiece, the lower the cutting angle must be in order to prevent pre-splitting and defects ahead of the knife. Achieving ideal cutter speed and chip-load is critical, as the velocity of cut and amount of material being removed are the keys to maintaining ideal cutting pressure and heat dispersion. Utilizing shear to slice through the workpiece lessens the “chiseling” effect of the knife while reducing cutting pressure and providing better internal support of the material being processed.

Continuous Improvement Focus

Tooling technology continues to increase production efficiency, through improvement in precision, design, sustainability and cutting materials.  Leitz produces precision tooling systems, using advanced cutting materials and designs, which are both flexible and adaptable to meet modern production demands. We apply advanced cutting technologies in a manner which continuously improves the manufacturing process, by optimizing quality output and manufacturing efficiency. Moreover, we work to educate manufacturers as to the availability and proper implementation of current cutting tool technologies. Understanding how tooling can limit or accelerate your manufacturing efficiency is critical, as the investment in cutting-edge tooling technology will always return greater value to your bottom line.

Learn more about Leitz profiling tools.

Download the ProfilCut Q and ProfilCut Q Premium brochure.

Mark Alster has been in the tooling industry for over three decades and is the Central North Regional Manager for Leitz. Mark is passionate about advancing the cutting tooling industry and applies his knowledge and twenty-two years of experience with Leitz to help Leitz customers implement industry-leading advancements. Mark currently serves on the AWFS Board of Directors.

Three Ways to Partner with Your Tooling Provider for Overall Production Success

If you ask the right questions – or more importantly, if the right questions are asked of you – your tooling provider is key to driving success on the manufacturing floor.

Collaborating with your tooling provider throughout your production process, from the purchase of new machines to on-going maintenance, offers significant value to your organization and helps to ensure application success. A knowledgeable tooling provider who offers consultative services can help you save money by implementing solutions with the lowest applied cost, drive efficiency with the right tooling systems and tool management, and reduce downtime and scrap. Continue reading “Three Ways to Partner with Your Tooling Provider for Overall Production Success”

How Cutting Tool Providers Play a Role in Lean Initiatives

By Michael Lind, CEO of Leitz Tooling

You don’t have to be on a full-blown “Lean-Journey” to embrace the building blocks of Lean…

Like all good companies who are committed to continuous improvement, you can positively impact your business by implementing fundamental Lean Manufacturing concepts immediately with minimal outside training. Here are a few ways that your tooling provider can help you.

Continue reading “How Cutting Tool Providers Play a Role in Lean Initiatives”

A Year of Tooling Innovation – Looking Back at 2017

What a great year it has been! Thank you to our customers, partners, and employees for making 2017 another banner year for Leitz USA. We’re looking back at our top moments in 2017, the posts and stories that you liked the most, and looking forward to another great year in 2018.

Intelligent Tooling took the stage at Ligna 2017 and will continue to be a factor for innovation in 2018 and beyond. Mike Lind, Leitz CEO, discusses the role of the tool maker in intelligent tooling and how intelligent tooling benefits production with CCI media editor Karl Forth in this webinar originally recorded in June.

Continue reading “A Year of Tooling Innovation – Looking Back at 2017”