July 11, 2019
The benefits of re-tipping and re-cutting PCD tooling
Fixed Pocket PCD milling and interpolating tools are designed and built as a complete one piece product, combining a steel body and a holding interface. Additionally, PCD segments are brazed into the tool body. The PCD segments then go through the manufacturing process to meet the requirements of the finish tool geometries. This type of product is known in the industry as Monoblock tooling.
Once the tool completes its tool life cycle and the product is worn out, it is pulled from the manufacturing environment and evaluated. If the tool body is intact the product goes back to a PCD tooling manufacturer to be re-tipped and brought back to original condition. This process offers significant price savings to the end user compared to buying a new tool.
The re-tipping process is done by removing the PCD’s from the tool. The tool then goes through a cleaning stage and has new PCD segments brazed back into the tool. The tool then goes through the finishing process to meet finish tool requirements, is inspected, and then can be returned to the end user for its next manufacturing cycle.
Additional techniques for repairing PCD Milling/Interpolating Tools:
There are many needs in today’s competitive manufacturing industry to continue to drive additional cost down. We offer additional savings for our customers by re-cutting, rather than re-tipping, when applicable. This process begins with our engineering team reviewing the project and establishing new reconditioning tolerances on the cutting tool print. This defines new minimum diameters and step length dimensions that meet the finish part print requirements.
The additional savings that a re-cutting provides comes from that the fact that the re-cutting eliminates the need to replace the PCD segments. This process acts as an additional cost savings opportunity.
If the tool is not originally designed and manufactured by Star / Neher, then there is a need to evaluate the other suppliers tool body to ensure it has proper clearances. In some cases, we need to rework this existing tool body to allow the needed increased clearance between the tool’s body and finished PCD segments so that the tool can be re-cut successfully. If this re-work is needed then the tool will go through a re-tip process to remove the PCD segments, allowing our manufacturing team to re-work the body accordingly.
In most cases, the PCD re-cut process needs to go back to the re-tip processes after each time the tool has been re-cut. This ensures that the finished PCD tool can still meet the finish part print conditions.
If we continue seeing issues with PCD tooling being returned with the PCD segments chipped up then our advance engineering group can evaluate the overall process and possibly recommend changing the grade of the PCD for improvements to allow us to successfully recut the PCD.
Overall, the re-tipping and re-cutting (when available) leads to increased cost savings.
Jamie Dunneback – National Sales Manager, Round Tool Divisions
To learn more about PCD tooling click here.