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ITC Tooling has supplied new Hanita tooling to GPR, a subcontract manufacturer that serves the MoD, telecoms, nano-technology, and harsh-environment sectors.

Several new machine tools were ordered by the CNC turning and milling machine shop to give capacity for a new MoD project.

ITC claimed that one area that noted good results and complemented the machine tools was the tooling.

It added that, by selecting ITC tooling, GPR experienced immediate improvements in tool life, productivity and surface finish.

However, the benefits of the tooling could not be fully realised on the company’s 7000rev/min machine tools until the company acquired its 12000 rev/min Haas machining centres.

Late in 2008, GPR won a contract to produce about 4800 instrument cases.

Despite only running one shift, the company operates its Haas VF2 and Mini Mill for up to 18 hours a day, five days a week to produce more than 450 cases per month.

Commenting on the tool life of the cutters, Vernon Ward, technical and quality manager at GPR, said: ‘We are only now on our second 12mm Hanita 49N9 ripper.

‘Considering the tool has been part of a cycle running almost 18 hours a day since September, at 1XD depth of cut and a 7m/min jig feed, this is remarkable.’
He added: ‘We have a number of jigs that enable us to put four billets on the machine bed at any one time, with four parts being machined from each billet (16 parts).

‘While we machine the backs on the VF2, the Mini Mill conducts the end and side operations.

‘As unmanned machining is a necessity for us to fulfil the order, every cutting tool on the job is from ITC with the exception of thread-milling tools.’
The aluminium components were previously machined with tools provided by an alternate supplier.

The cutters continually failed and were incapable of working at the 12000 rev/min speeds of the new machines.

Ward said: ‘The performance of our previous tooling was inconsistent and unreliable.

‘So, we implemented a full programme of ITC tooling.

‘This enhanced cycle times, reduced downtime and most noticeably improved surface finishes and component quality.

‘We reduced our cycle times for 16 parts from more than 10 hours to 8.5 hours by implementing standard ITC cutters.’ He added: ‘Our ITC representative, Dave Cleeve, reviewed the process and suggested we try the Hanita 5103 Alusurf range of cutters.

‘We introduced the 3mm and 6mm diameter, three-flute slot cutters as well as the 4mm and 5mm diameter ITC 2052 series two-flute cutters.

‘This further reduced our cycle time from 8.5 hours to 7.25 hours.

‘With batches of 450 per month and a total of 4800 parts, the saving over the life of the job is more than 800 hours.’
The ITC cutters are complemented on the cases by a number of Hanita slot cutters also supplied by ITC.

GPR utilises the 49N9 series of ripper cutters as well as the 7N22 1mm and 2mm diameter long series slot cutters.

Ward said: ‘We had a problem pocket milling with previous cutters as they were either too long or too short.

‘The cutters that were too long gave us considerable chatter that led to poor tool life and an imperfect surface finish.

‘The Hanita tools are the ideal length and they have improved the processes measurably.’ The ITC cutters have also been introduced to production of longbow handles at GPR.

Producing between 50 and 75 longbows every year, GPR introduced a 16mm diameter Hanita 49N9 aluminium ripper from ITC to machine the parts.

The results were claimed to be outstanding with stock removal on the aluminium 6082 handles improved.

Cycle times were cut by 20 per cent and tooling costs for the job reduced.

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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