Recently, lubricant company Blaser Swisslube has extended its ultra-modern Technology Centre which now occupies about 300 m2 of floor space at its head office site in Hasle-Rüegsau (Switzerland).
For the last four years, this is where the latest metalworking fluids to be developed are tested, and where the versatile machining operations of its customers and partners are recreated in a realistic way. The technology centre enables the machining specialists from Blaser to provide customers with cutting and grinding fluids that deliver an effective form of added value and which help to optimize their productivity, economic efficiency as well as the quality of their machining operations. Test results provide convincing evidence.
Two 5-axis machining centres, one turning and milling centre, a 5-axis tool grinding machine and two new CAD/CAM workplaces: Blaser Swisslube has now created optimum conditions for simulating and testing the latest machining technologies in its technology centre, founded at the end of 2008. “That enables us to provide our customers with even better levels of support, and to help them improve their productivity and economic efficiency, as well as to optimize the quality of their machining operations”, explains CEO Marc Blaser.
Example of result: deep-hole drilling 18 times faster
The aim of the project was to reduce the machining time required to drill a deep hole in tempered steel, an operation that had taken three minutes, while endeavouring to retain the same standard of quality. Until its collaboration with Blaser Swisslube, the Technical University in Aachen had been using conventional cutting oil for this machining operation.
- Starting Position
- Operation: Deep hole drilling, diameter 8 to a depth of 200 mm
- Pre-machining of pilot hole of same diameter to a depth of 16 mm
- Material: 42CrMo4 + QT, tensile strength 1000 MPa
- Machine type: Mazak Variaxis 500
- Tool: Kennametal and Titex drilling tools
- Cutting parameters: Vc 120 m/min, f 0.25 mm/revolution
To optimize these demanding drilling operations, a process of rigorous testing and adjustment was applied to tool, drilling strategy, machining parameters, metalworking fluid delivery and metalworking fluid. The water-miscible cutting and grinding fluid was pumped through the tool at high pressure (60 bar) to evacuate any chips occurring and to prevent the downtime otherwise caused by chip removal. The key thing here is to select a metalworking fluid with no tendency to foam, even at high pressures. Always prevent air bubbles from arising in the emulsion since these counteract the cooling action and also obstruct the flow rate that enables chips to be cleared effectively.
At the end of this project, the original time required of three minutes per hole was reduced to ten seconds for a depth of 200 mm – an 18-fold improvement in efficiency.
You can reach a video recording of the deep hole drilling operation here.
We will come back on some other amazing results from the Blaser technology center later.