Customer story for the development of tailored carbide bits
CERATIZIT S. A., Mamer, Luxembourg (headquarters), July 2008.
HILTI, the CERATIZIT key-account customer in the field of stone working is based in the Principality of Liechtenstein. HILTI has been buying all carbide bits from the carbide expert CERATIZIT since 1985. As: on the interface between the drill and the base material the carbide from CERATIZIT shows its strength, thus ensuring long tool life. Jan Doongaji, Senior Vice President Business Unit Drilling & Demolition at HILTI states: “It is exactly the products made of carbide from CERATIZIT that customers perceive as distinctive.”
“In the 1990’s HILTI, the worldwide market and technology leader in the professional drill business, together with CERATIZIT developed the idea of launching a welded solid head drill. That was the hour of birth of an intensive development cooperation”, remembers Dr. Wolfgang Böhlke, Head of the Wear Part Development at CERATIZIT Luxembourg. The solid head solution of the HILTI drill is still unique today. There are no single carbide pins and tips which are inserted into the steel body, but only one head which is brazed or welded onto the steel body.
Georg Schmid, Business Unit Manager of the tool production at HILTI explains: “As the drill head consists entirely of one carbide only, there is more freedom in terms of cutting edge geometry which subsequently results in better drilling performance.”
Unique solid head solution wins EPMA Award
The joining process is regarded as the most delicate step in drill production. Schmid: “Carbide and steel are rather unequal partners when it comes to properties like brittleness and thermal expansion. The critical area with regard to fractures is undoubtedly where the steel and the carbide are connected.” In order to avoid this problem HILTI and CERATIZIT developed a solid carbide drill with gradient structure. This means that the carbide is extremely hard on the tip but rather tough on the steel side. The gradient in the carbide combines two characteristics: good wear resistance on the tip and a stable welded connection with the steel shank. The solid head drill with gradient zones which was developed by HILTI and CERATIZIT together with the geometry C3X was even awarded a prize at the EPMA conference 2006 in Gent (EPMA = European Powder Metallurgy Association).
“The cooperation between HILTI and CERATIZIT also includes basic elements such as the development of new cutting materials“, says Dr. Till Cramer, Head of the Consumables Development BU Drilling and Demolition at HILTI: “HILTI strives for consistent differentiation in the market. The cutting material represents the key technology for the differentiation of a drill,“ says the drill expert. “We really appreciate CERATIZIT’s extraordinary willingness to implement such developments with us.” Vice President Doongaji adds: “It has also to do with trust and tradition. We have already developed several generations of drills together, which enables us to move on to the next level of competency together.”
Demands on the carbide in the drilling industry
The demands on the carbide result from the drill itself, and these demands are steadily increasing. The material to be machined is becoming ever harder, and the carbide bits are characterized by ever higher performance capacity. CERATIZIT head of development Böhlke says: “The demands on the carbide are basically maximum wear resistance when drilling very abrasive concrete and sufficient toughness when encountering reinforcements in the concrete. This also requires a stable welded connection with the steel shank of the drill.” And these capabilities are tested at HILTI in an exceedingly demanding laboratory for new developments that focuses on high quality. Dr. Cramer says: “In addition to drills HILTI also develops heavy duty hammers and combi-hammers. In this way the two components, tool and carbide bit, can be perfectly adapted to each other. Those who drill several hundred holes a day realize the difference.”
Drill production in Kaufering
The drills are actually not produced in Liechtenstein but in Kaufering in Bavaria. HILTI’s drills range from diameter 5 mm (length 120 mm) up to diameter 40 mm (length 920 mm).
HILTI relies on innovative solutions for construction sites
HILTI as a brand name long ago became synonymous with heavy duty drills and other tooling systems amongst professionals; the company employs 20,000 people and stands for innovative solutions for professionals at construction sites. And the results are stunning. In 2007 the HILTI group showed a double-digit growth for the fourth time in a row, launching more than 30 new products on the market every year.
The carbide expert CERATIZIT is synonymous with “hard material matters”
CERATIZIT S. A. – the company resulting from the merger between CERAMETAL and Plansee Tizit in 2002 – is a pioneer and global player in sophisticated hard material solutions. The company operates from Mamer, Luxembourg. In selected industrial sectors the 50% subsidiary of the Plansee group is the world market leader in unique and consistently innovative hard material products for wear protection and cutting tools. In the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, oil industry, medical systems, electronics as well as mould and die making customers benefit from this fact. 400 active patents are owned by CERATIZIT worldwide. In the year 2007 the company had a sales volume of 600 mill. euros and more than 4,000 employees.
HILTI drills with CERATIZIT carbide bits are supplied throughout the world.
On the interface between the drill and the base material the carbide from CERATIZIT shows its strength, thus ensuring long tool life.
Solid head drill with gradient zones in C3X geometry, 4-16 mm – the best powder-metallurgical development at the EPMA conference.
HILTI has been a CERATIZIT customer since 1985 and buys all carbide bits from the carbide expert.
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