By Frederick Mason (editor) - Published in Machining Magazine
Multiple cutoff and grooving inserts fit one toolholder
High Point Precision Products Inc. is primarily a Swiss-style job shop in Sussex, NJ that makes medical screws, dental implants, and similar small medical and dental parts. The company employs about 25 people and runs nine Swiss-type screw machines turning out work under 1-in. diameter.
Bill Janos, of the secondary department, reports that in years past the shop used to purchase stick tools with brazed carbide blanks and the setup person or operator would grind the form required on the blank for a cutoff or grooving tool. "Today that skill is hard to come by and too much time was being wasted on preparing the tools rather than running the job. In the last couple of years, we have switched over to carbide inserts for both standard and special shapes."
Among the several domestic and imported varieties of carbide insert tooling designed for Swiss automatics, High Point Precision has settled on the tools from NIKCOLE Inc. (Fairfield, NJ) NIKCOLE's Mini-Systems line of holders and inserts, according to Janos, "is easy to use, has a wide selection, and no other tool company is in the same ballpark on price. With the inserts, repeatability is 99% so we waste no time in tool grinding."
With the tool systems from some other carbide tool companies, says Janos, "you’ll need a different toolholder for each insert type, such as cutoff, turning, grooving, threading, etc. With the NIKCOLE line, every insert type fits the same toolholder using the same screw except for the difference between left-hand and right-hand tools. This reduces the toolholder inventory required."
NIKCOLE Mini-Systems provide two cutting edges in one insert in extremely narrow widths. Standard inserts are stocked in widths from 0.019-in to 0.125-in. in coated and uncoated grades. Any non-stocked width in that range is available on special order. "On long-running jobs, we order a lot of specials," says Janos. "Typically delivery is four to six weeks for specials but one special order came in two days. On standard width tools, if you fax a PO and it is in stock, you get the tools the next day. Standards are almost always in stock."