Times are changing, the economy is growing, businesses of all kinds are struggling to find ways to minimize costs. Mold makers mistakenly focus their attention on the cost of tools, rather than how much they could potentially earn their business. Tools and tool inserts are becoming more and more expensive as the economy continues to grow. Your businesses bottom line can directly be affected by the fluctuation in the pricing of tools. Cutting tools and/or minimizing costs can help resolve this issue and boost productivity levels tremendously. Let’s take a look at the new way to produce tools.

Experts have shown that the actual costs involved in producing a part in the metalworking industry consist of the following categories; Machine Costs, which accounts for 27% of your businesses total cost. The net cost of everything from bookkeeping, to your workshop electricity bills cost, account for 22%. Primary labor costs account for 31%, the actual materials that your business acquires accounts for 17%, and surprisingly enough, the cost of your tools only cost approximately 3% of your total cost. Studies have shown that labor is the prime input, accounting for 31% of the total cost of producing a part. What this means is that if your mold making shop solidified a price reduction of 33% pertaining to the cost of your tooling, this decrease would only reduce the total cost per workpiece by 1%.

Tool life is also considered to be of equal importance as tool cost. Deciding on what to buy and what not to buy, in regard to your tooling inventory, is crucial for success. A 100% increase in tool life only reduces total cost per workpiece by 1.5%, purely due to the cost of tools being only 3% of the total cost.

Cost of Tooling

Cutting tools can have a significant impact on cost, as a result of a business’s decision to do so. Thus, this would ultimately affect a shops bottom line. What’s known as the “Lion’s Share”, pertaining to the cost of a part, is essentially the amount of time a machinist must spend to produce a particular part. Along with the amount of overhead that is allocated to that part within a certain time period.

By switching to a newer way to produce tools, you reduce the time required to produce a part by 20%. Which then would typically reduce your cost per part by as much as 15%. This would also free up 20% more machining capacity without any additional capital investment.

Consider the Logistics

Although a highly composite system, the manufacturing process is one that can be simplified. Costs can vary from tool to tool, as we explained, however there is a way for us to make this procedure less demanding. The primary machining tools consist of those with a multi-functional purpose. It is close to impossible for machines to be cost- effective if they can only perform one task. Using multiple machines to complete one part not only wastes a lot of time but costs your business an enormous amount of money. Limiting your machine costs can maximize efficiency, which would then maximize your businesses profit.

Newer designs of machines that perform multiple different tasks permit faster feeds and greater material removal rates, as well as limiting a machines horsepower. This would increase productivity, maximize efficiency and limit labor costs, creating a better overall working environment for your employees.

What constitutes a more efficient cutting tool is its ability to perform a specific task at an increased level. For example, if a machine contains 4 parts (or tasks) it will consequently perform only to that level. Thus, if a machine has 15 or more parts, it now has the ability to perform at a higher level, creating the opportunity to produce a product or insert at a faster rate.

What is known as “chatter” is often a systemic problem within a machine. Insufficient machine and spindle rigidity are a frequent contributor to tool life. A freer cutting action would immediately solve this issue. Newer tool designs decrease this likelihood of chatter, which would then increase tool life.

Resistance Coating

Consider coating your machines in roughing grades that feature newer forms of CVD-Al2O3 coating. When combined with post-deposition surface treatment, tools with this coating exhibit superior wear resistance and rigidity. This coating helps increase resistance to thermal cracking, which allows the tools to be ran at higher speeds. CVD-AI2O3 coating decreases a machines downtime, so that workers spend less time exchanging chipped tooling. This would then boost productivity and net savings in machine, operator and overhead costs. Below are some articles for further information on CVD-AI2O3 coating, including details on how this coating is applied, as well as the positive impact it has on machines.

Asking the Experts

Reaching out to the experts for support can be a major source of productivity enhancement. Getting advice on how to maximize efficiency, increase productivity, and ways to minimize costs can significantly improve the manufacturing process to produce materials. Even the slightest amount of guidance could potentially give your business the positive enhancement it needs to succeed. Creating high quality tools and using the highest quality machines to produce, can be difficult to come about. However, with persistence and proper guidance, the manufacturing of parts can go from expensive and demanding, to cost-effective and stress-free.

Key Takeaways

  • Always consider how much tooling can earn your business, rather than how much it costs.
  • In order to ensure an efficient part production process, the cost-effectiveness of syndicated tools and resistance coating are two key factors to consider.
  • Asking the experts is one way to tremendously increase productivity and provide valuable information during the tool selection process.

Articles Cited

Mostaghimi, J., et al. “Modeling Thermal Spray Coating Processes: a Powerful Tool in Design and Optimization.” Surface and Coatings Technology, vol. 163-164, 2003, pp. 1–11., doi:10.1016/s0257-8972(02)00686-2.

Kathrein, M, et al. “Doped CVD Al2O3 Coatings for High Performance Cutting Tools.” Surface and Coatings Technology, vol. 163-164, 2003, pp. 181–188., doi:10.1016/s0257-8972(02)00483-8.

Thanks for reading about the new way to produce tools. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime.