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Achieving higher productivity on CNC routers with correct tooling

Achieving higher productivity on CNC routers with correct tooling

For medium sized factories that are always looking for higher productivity with consistent quality a CNC machining center is the solution for their requirements. Small units purchase an entry level 3-axis machine whereas medium level units try to augment their production by adding an aggregate or by going in for a 5-axis machining center or a nesting machine with a flat bed.

CNC processing has normally been done at slower feed speeds and using basic entry level tools which has affected the productivity and not being able to use the capacity of the machine at its optimum levels.

The objective of this article would be to take a look at some of the common processing requirements where productivity is not being achieved during machining and the optimum tooling solutions that can help overcome these production bottlenecks.

Sizing of boards on CNC Routers

When processing prelaminated boards or boards with HPL, the general practice has been to use Turn blade knife tools for a roughing and finishing cut or use a Spiral roughing cutter in combination with a finishing tool in the Turn blade knife design.

This has been preferred since it is only required to maintain sufficient inventory of the turn blade knives.

The result is a loss of productivity since the machine can be run only at low feed speeds of 5 to 6 m/min and has to be frequently stopped for changing the knives.

In most cases the Turn blade knife Router cutter is used for both roughing and finishing operations which results in high wear out on the knives.

When sizing boards with 0.8 mm or 1 mm HPL wear out is very much higher on the Tungsten Carbide knife edges resulting also in breakage of the knives and sometimes breakage of the tool itself.

All these factors result in productivity losses and maintenance of a large inventory of turn blade knives.

The solution is to use Diamaster Router Cutters. The advantages when using Diamaster Routers Cutters are −

  • Separate roughing and finishing cut is not required. The Diamaster Router cutters have a spiral cutting edge arrangement
    with alternate shear angle. This gives a chip free finish on the top and bottom laminate and a good edge finish suitable for edge banding is achieved.
  • When using a turn blade knife, the machine has to be stopped twice once to change the cutting edge and the second time to change the knife itself. Life of Diamaster Router Cutters are about 15 times more than that of the Carbide Router Cutters and so machine stoppage time is considerably reduced.
  • The Diamaster Routers are available in Z 2+2 version for medium level production and in Z 3+3 with DFC for high speed production.