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Subcontract manufacturer Monolution has reduced the cycle time on a contact lens gripper tool from one hour and fifty minutes to fifty-two minutes by using a Taegutec 20mm diameter Bull Mill.

Monolution machines epoxy board, aluminium, stainless steel, carbon fibre, titanium and composites.

As the diversification of the work and the material types grew since the company was founded three years ago, the eight-employee business needed higher quality cutting tools to match the feeds and speeds of its machine tools and to suit the nature of the workload.

Dean Cleverley, director of Monolution, said: ‘We initially tried Taegutec’s 20mm diameter Bull Mill on a contact lens gripper tool.

‘The Bull Mill increased the speeds and feeds beyond belief and it immediately reduced the cycle time from one hour and fifty minutes to fifty-two minutes.

‘Machining at 5m/min, the cycle time was slashed by more than 50 per cent, so we decided to look at introducing the tools to our other processes.’ The results caused Monolution to move from its previous supplier to Taegutec’s 20mm and 50mm diameter Bull Mill cutters.

Monolution operates one shift and the machines run unmanned overnight.

Monolution’s confidence in the tool-life of the Bull Mill has allowed lights-out machining on steel and more difficult materials.

The Bull Mill can be left to machine steel for more than 15 hours without insert failure, which allowed Monolution to clear a backlog problem.

The Bull Mill also improved productivity for a set of steel wishbones for the motorsport industry.

The wishbones had a total machining time of 24 hours with 12 hours of machining on each side.

The Bull Mill reduced the machining time by a total of four hours (two hours each side).

Cleverley added: ‘The success we witnessed with the Bull Mill on our steel machining led us to look at introducing Taegutec tools to our aluminium parts.’ A lot of mould work requires cavity machining and the problem for Monolution with deep cavities was cutter reach, rigidity and stability.

The company introduced a 26mm-diameter R1 cutter and holder with polished ground inserts to its large aluminium moulds.

This resolved reach, rigidity and stability issues.

The cutter has a 200mm reach and cuts aluminium moulds at one to 2mm depth of cut at up to 6m/min feed rates.

Cleverley added: ‘The 200mm reach cutter with special Taegutec holder gives the cutter 100 per cent concentricity and its stability has enabled us to increase our speeds and feeds considerably.

‘Above all this, the major benefit is tool life.

‘I cannot recall the last time we changed inserts on the aluminium cutters.’ Monolution now holds consignment stock of Taegutec products including cutters, tool holders, inserts and the heat-shrink system.

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