Seco broaching tools help improve manufacturers productivity
Seco&rsquos new &lsquopull&rsquo broaching tools help improve power generation and aerospace manufacturers&rsquo productivity.
Seco Tools, the leading manufacturer and supplier of carbide cutting tools and tooling systems solutions is investing significant resources into developing its range of pull broaching tools aimed primarily at power generation and aerospace manufacturers.
With strong market demand for new jet engines and power plants, manufacturers serving these markets face increasing pressure to optimise productivity.
One of the most difficult and time-consuming processes in manufacturing these components is the broaching of blade root slots on turbine discs.
Resembling the shape of a fir tree or incorporating a dovetail profile, root slots accept the mating foot of turbine blades to hold them securely in place. Linear, or pull, broaching offers the most efficient and productive process to machine these features. Using this process, a broach containing a series of teeth removes metal from the disc. These teeth vary in size and shape and taper to become progressively more like the desired final shape of the part.
Historically, broaching tools have been made from high speed steel (HSS), a relatively soft material compared to titanium and high temperature alloys typically used to manufacture turbine discs.
As a result, multiple sets of broaches were required to complete a machining operation and often manufacturers needed to re-grind their broaching tools to achieve the desired results.
The drawbacks of this &lsquoslow&rsquo conventional approach meant amongst other things large tooling costs that manufacturers had to bear.
Seco began development of an indexable pull broaching system in the late 1990s.
The first major success followed in 2004, with an indexable broaching solution for a large power generation customer in Sweden. From there and with further research and development Seco introduced its broaching tool technology into the aerospace sector.
Compared to traditional HSS tools, Seco&rsquos indexable pull broaching system offers a number of benefits &ndash most notably increased cutting speed and the elimination of re-grinding operations.
With Seco&rsquos pull broaching system cutting speeds can be increased by up to 400% in steel and in nickel-based alloys up to 500%!
The tooling system itself could actually cut even faster, but is limited by the maximum speed of today&rsquos pull broaching machines.
Seco&rsquos pull broaching tool sales have continued to grow in both the power generation and aerospace segments and this growth looks set to increase rapidly due in large part to the R & D work being undertaken at Seco&rsquos Arboga plant.
The Arboga team has recently completed work on a new range of multi-edge s (MEIs) to add to the previous disc mill type of , and will soon be in a position to introduce a semi-finishing tool to complement the Jabro solid mill for the finish machining of fir tree features.
Seco currently offers roughing, semi-finishing and finishing tools for dovetail applications and a relatively new roughing tool for more elaborate fir tree broaching.