Threading and thread milling need accurate tooling

There are many way to produce threads and machining it provides some advantages (depending on the situation). I wanted to know more about that thechnology and went to Xactform in Neuchâtel (Switzerland). Amazingly this company has a unique technology to produce tools and covers the world market without being well known (Have you already heard about it?). Meeting with Claude Alain Ferrière, Head of Marketing.

Private label
In addition to the sales through dealers, the company also produces a lot for other companies and brands. This is historical and fit well with the vision of a small genius company that doesn’t really want to sell its products. As often with technical stuff, people in the area are not really sales oriented. But things change!

A new strategy
Xactform is recognized by users as being a good quality Swiss product at a very good price quality ratio, this due to its unique way to produce its tools. Now the company is ready to spread its wings and fly a little bit more by itself. The Xactform brand is being rebuild and presented everywhere. After Hannover Messe, they will also go to EMO in Milano and their people are always on the market to explain the benefits of the technology.

Why machining threads?
There is only in high precision turning that this technology is not really used because the speed of everything in that field is very high and the parts are very small. In this case the benefits are not a lot better. For any other case, there are only advantages to machine threads, for instance:

  • Speed and productivity increase
  • Length or section reduction
  • Miniaturization
  • Machining of thin walls
  • No risk of breakage and tool struck in the material

What makes the difference?

To produce the many different tools that are in the catalogue of Xactform (about 1400 different tools), they are producing the grinding wheels in-house. This is the secret of Xactform…. And there will be more explanation in Eurotec’s next issue.

Meanwhile if you’re facing some threading troubles, do not hesitate to contact them, they certainly have a solution.

Xactform SA
Avenue des Portes-Rouges 163
2000 Neuchâtel
Tél: +41 32 729 1000
Web site:
Information: [email protected]
Orders: [email protected]

Perfect holes 8 times smaller than a hair!

When microtechnolgy goes to micro bores, the results are stunning. I’ve been carrying  on my trip to visit companies that have “magic” in the hands to write articles for next issue. This week I had the opportunity to discover MBS (Micro Bore Sizing) with Microcut in Lengnau (Switzerland).

Customer and Technology-driven company
Microcut Ltd. Is specialized in providing standard and customized machines for processing small bores down to 0.015 mm. The bore size, geometries and surface quality can be optimized to meet specific requirements.

The machines seems quite simple but incredibly efficient. You can have some automated machines with multiple heads to do several operations on the same part. These parts can be cylindrical or non cylindrical. They are positioned on a rotating table that is designed to fit the geometry of the workpieces.

Another definition for accuracy
Hey accuracy means a lot and nothing. If we’re discussing with people doing roads, a few centimeters is accurate. In high precision turning we speak about a few microns, what about MBS?


  • Dimensional is the less precise of this list with a range of 1 Micron
  • Roundness can be smaller than 0,1 Micron
  • Cylindrical precision smaller than 0,4 Micron
  • Surface roughness Rz 0,1 Micron

Why being so precise?
For instance a nozzle for injection.. is it important that the hole is perfectly circular? In fact that’s not the right question, the shape could be any strange form, but it is of a high importance that any nozzle has the exact same shape… and that’s what MBS allows.

Need some information on that technology? Do not hesitate to go there:

Will enter into more details in the next issue of Eurotec.

Microcut Ltd
Rolliweg 21/P.O.Box 448
CH-2543 Lengnau BE

Phone: +41 (0)32 654 15 15
Fax: +41 (0)32 654 15 16
E-Mail: [email protected]

TCT Live & MM Live – Key Focus on Education for the Industry

At the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 20th – 21st October 2009, the TCT Live and MM Live show will have a key focus on Education for the Industry. The shows will boast three seminar theatres covering a wide range of technologies and two auditoriums dedicated to advancing knowledge within the Additive Manufacturing and Micro Manufacturing industries.

To share knowledge
This year more than ever before, companies are looking to source cutting-edge techniques and gain expert knowledge to help them stay ahead of the competition. With this in mind all seminars and conferences at TCT Live and MM Live are completely free to attend and are accessible to all visitors.

TCT Live
The Additive Manufacturing Conference is one of the most renowned conferences on the subject in Europe. Professionals from all over the world travel to TCT to hear from the leading experts who strive to advance the use of additive manufacturing technologies throughout industry.

MM Live
Following its successful launch last year, the Micro Manufacturing Technology Conference has been expanded to run over the two days allowing a broader range of topics to be discussed by even more of the industry’s most accomplished professionals. A variety of topics relevant to all manufacturing sectors will be covered — from a state of the industry overview to in-depth discussions on micro moulding, micro milling, micro EDM and assembly.

TCT Live and MM Live 2009 will also see the return of the successful Technology for Jewellery Seminar, which will take designers through the full design-to-market cycle, from effective use of CAD (computer aided design), to prototyping models, casting, micro cutting, milling and welding.  Also returning is the ever-popular RP&M Technology Introductory sessions, presented by industry expert Graham Tromans, who will give newcomers to ‘rapid’ technologies an overview of what’s available and how to access them.

Other seminars
New for 2009 is the exciting introduction of four new seminars: Inspection, Digitizing and Metrology Seminar; CAD/CAM/CAE stream; RP&M in Architecture; and Technology for the Dental Industry. These seminars will highlight the technological breakthroughs in these sectors with case studies and demonstrations.

Visitors to either shows will have full free of charge access to all seminars. Visitors to the Additive Manufacturing Conference and Micro Manufacturing Technology Conference must be pre-registered online to be guaranteed access on the day.

For full conference and seminar programmes, please visit or, where registration can also be completed quickly and easily.

New VPGT insert

The VPGT insert issued by the ISO range and the different tool holders offered by Bimu deliver superlative machining characteristics as well as a diverse range of possible applications, one example being the ability to machine as a back (tailstock) operation. This entire package comes with a very attractive price tag.

Description of the insert
The specially designed cutting angles (11° stock removal) and the special swarf breaking feature on both working edges make the VPGT Bimu insert an ideal tool for bar-turning work. As a standard, the user can obtain various different versions of this VPGT insert:

  • without radius (for finishing operations)
  • with a radius of 0.08 mm (to extend tool life)
  • with a radius of 0.2 mm (eminently suited to roughing operations)

A multi-purpose insert
Part of the ISO range, the VPGT insert is ideally suited to all sliding head machines and can be mounted on tool holders with sections ranging from 7×7 to 20×20 mm. Since the insert is able to remove stock in such a versatile manner, it can be used in 3 directions, meaning that 2 distinct applications are then possible:

  • Front turning.
  • A plunging turn during a back-turning operation.

This new insert is already available on the market. Should you need further information, do not hesitate to ask Bimu.

Bimu SA
Rue du Quai 10
CH-2710 Tavannes
Phone +41 32 482 60 50
Fax +41 32 452 60 59
[email protected]

Wow, our planet is really full of magic companies

In order to prepare texts for next issues, I went to do some interviews in high precision companies.

First I went to RSM. This factory is located to La Chaux-de-Fonds and manufactures parts for watch industry and medical applications. They are working with about 40 machines, half of these are Almac machines and the other half are from Bumotec. M. Magistrini explained me how he works and he told me that the actual crisis lets him time to implement some projects he wanted to. “That way, when the economy restarts, we will be ready”.

Then I visited Dumont. This company is worldwide leader in manufacturing tweezers. They have a unique know-how and can produce tweezers with tips with a thickness 0,005 mm and width of 0,025 mm. Can you imagine a tweezers a large as a quarter of a hair? And when you pinch, the two tips are perfectly aligned? I tell you, I was dumbfounded! This company has nothing to do with the previous one, but guess what? They told me the same! “The actual crisis is an opportunity to seize some projects, that way when the business will restart we will be there”.

And finally I had the luck to discuss with Rickli Micromechanics. This company acts in avery different kind of business but as the two others, they are specialised and passion drives them. They are producing abutments and implants in gold, platinum, palladium, iridium, silver as well as titanium, stainless steel, aluminium, brass, glass fibres and plastic material on Star high precision turning machines. Most of the machining they are doing is done using diamond tooling and there too, it’s a permanent research for quality an skills that makes the difference.

That was three companies, three different kind of products but finally the same clear vision about what they are doing and ready to make things happen. I’m eager to publish these stories (errr… first I must write them I know). We can say that’s the crisis, that’s true… but our world is full of companies that are already preparing the next step.

…and obviously the ones that will be ready will take the train first! Meanwhile you can go to their websites and know more about them.

Stay in touch, there is more to come…
Pierre-Yves Kohler

“International Best Factory Award 2009”

KASTO adds another trophy to their winning series with the “International Best Factory Award 2009” in the category “Manufacturing Businesses”

“If one wants to reach the top, one should follow the success of others.” The management method benchmarking follows this guideline and offers businesses support in taking a good look at the competition as well as oneself – this is the governing principle of the Export Akademie in Reutlingen, which – together with the journal Market and Medium-Sized Businesses – yearly organizes the benchmarking competition “International Best Factory Award/Best Service Award”. Since the start of this competition in 1996, the participating companies have been vigorously screened. Companies have to answer about 150 questions and the last three businesses left in the competition have to go through a personal interview. At the end of april, the vice-president of the Bavarian State Parliament, Mr. Reinhold Bocklet, honored the best companies in manufacturing and service for 2009 during a ceremony. This year’s award for the best company in the manufacturing business went to KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Achern and was personally accepted by the managing partner Armin Stolzer.

Family owned company
Since the family-owned business with a 165 year tradition was able to win against much bigger companies, the joy of the KASTO management about this award was even greater and this “International Best Factory Award 2009” continues the success of other technology and design awards in previous years. The reasons of the jury to award this much sought after award to the medium-sized business KASTO, which sets worldwide standards for sawing machines and storage technology in hard and software as well as service, speaks volumes:

  • lean and flexible organization and the ability to react quickly to market changes
  • worldwide presence due to sales partners and participation in international exhibitions
  • attractive profit sharing model resulting in loyal employees
  • innovation on all business levels is the central element of the company’s philosophy
  • The brand name KASTO is systematically strengthened and expanded. Important component is here the positioning of KASTO in the trade press.

KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG finished last year with record sales of € 156 mio and has right now 670 employees. KASTO is the worldwide leading manufacturer of metal saws and automatic bar stock/flat goods storage and retrieval systems and has installed approx. 130,000 metal saws and 1,400 automatic storage systems so far. The continuing high innovation capability is underlined by more than 140 international patents as well as renowned awards and prizes in Germany and abroad (finalist Entrepreneur of the Year, MWP award and Red-Dot-Award).

Need more information about Kasto?

Kasto Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG
Industriestr. 14
77855 Achern-Gamshurst
Phone ++49 (0) 7841 61 180
Fax ++49 (0)7841 61 300

Industry summit postponed

As a result of the current global recession, which has hit industry particularly hard, many potential participants have been unable to sign up for the Cumbre Industrial (“Industry Summit”) event, a technology fair with three sub-events under the names Subcontratación, Automatización and Trasmet, which was scheduled to take place in September this year.

New dates
It is not therefore possible to assure an event of the standard, quality and size required by the Bilbao Exhibition Centre to meet the business expectations and maximise the returns of exhibitors and visitors alike. To ensure success in the proper setting, the organisers have decided to postpone this veteran event until 2011.

The decision to hold over the event scheduled for this September was taken in the wake of an extensive survey of players in the relevant sectors. This benchmark event for capital goods manufacturing sectors will be reconvened in 2011 with a new design better adapted to the changing circumstances and commercial requirements of its target market, in line with the trend in economic and commercial affairs in the coming months.

Need more information? Go there!