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ITC Tooling has taken delivery of a Walter Helitronic Micro CNC grinding centre that will provide additional capacity for the manufacturing and re-grinding of carbide and HSS cutting tools.

It will also provide additional capacity for the manufacturing and re-grinding of high specification drills and reamers in the 0.5 to 12.7mm diameter range.

An additional Helitronic Micro and Helitronic Power are on order and awaiting delivery.

The latest acquisition phase will take ITC’s total of Walter Helitronic tool grinders to 12.

The new machine incorporates linear drives that enable it to meet a linear accuracy of 0.0001mm and a resolution accuracy of 0.0001deg.

ITC first bought this machine to meet a capacity demand for its cutting tools, as its small-tool production was a bottleneck, as well as to enhance the quality of its products.

As opposed to previous machines, the Helitronic Micro has three grinding spindle heads for up to 12 grinding wheels, designed for flexibility in application.

This also enhances the quality of ITC tooling, as with the additional wheel, one wheel can be used solely for radius machining, another for flute machining and so on.

To ease the bottleneck created at ITC by the high demand for high-quality cutting tools, the company will be running regular batches of 500 to 800 cutting tools through the new grinding centre.

To this end, the new Helitronic Micro incorporates a Fanuc six-axis robot system for loading tools to the machining envelope.

ITC production manager Kevin Ford said: ‘We have only had the machine a matter of days, but we can immediately note that cutter loading time with the integrated robot is 10 seconds as opposed to 17-20 seconds on our other machines.

‘Additionally, the robot can grip the tool exactly where we want it to and this further strengthens the consistency of a batch of tools.

‘It also simplifies the production of awkward or non-uniform tools that may encounter difficulties with the double-push system on most grinding centres.

‘Additionally, the Walter Helitronic Micro has a self compensating system built-in, to continually measure thermal growth and compensate for any deviations.

‘This is another aspect that ensures a consistently accurate batch of tools is produced,’ he added.

ITC is a round tool specialist with an objective to provide the correct cutting tool at the right time. ITC is confident that its products are the best available. To achieve this, we continue to invest in the right team of time served engineers, equipped with a full CAD-CAM facility dedicated to the design and manufacture of precision cutting tools. Whatever your requirement, from a one-off special to 1000 pieces, ITC can provide your company with a cutting tool that works.

ITC’s state-of-the-art production facility includes CNC grinding machines from world leading manufacturers. We have invested in a centralised oil filtration system to ensure optimum grinding conditions and our inspection department includes computerised laser measuring equipment to maintain the high standards for which ITC is renowned.

We source and stock the best available products from around the world, and hold over 100,000 HSS Co and Solid Carbide tools on the shelf ready for immediate despatch. ITC can also provide a fast modification service – even same day in some cases.

We provide same day despatch on standard stocked lines, whatever your industry sector may be. From production sub-contractor to tool room, through aerospace, motor sport, and the medical industry, from milling, drilling and reaming to de-burring, ITC has the tools and expertise to solve your problem.

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