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Guhring Delivers Productivity Gains for HepcoMotion
Guhring Delivers Productivity Gains for HepcoMotion
Guhring Delivers Productivity Gains for HepcoMotion
Guhring Delivers Productivity Gains for HepcoMotion

Guhring Delivers Productivity Gains for HepcoMotion

Added to MTDCNC by Guhring Ltd on 08 May 2015

Recognised as the originators of the V slide and bearing guide system used worldwide for the control of linear, rotary and continuous motion. HepcoMotion is the largest manufacturer of linear motion products in the UK. With 75% of the company's production now being exported to foreign shores, the family business is a UK manufacturing success to be envied.

Formed in 1969, the family owned business has retained its market leading position for developing innovative products by investing in the latest technology on its shop floor. As the third generation of the family to take charge of HepcoMotion, Mr Giles Forster, Chairman of HepcoMotion says: 'We have to invest to stay ahead of the game and at Hepco, we have invested over £3m in plant and equipment in the last three years to remain at the forefront of technology. We are putting our money where our mouths are because that is what we have to do to stay ahead of the competition. We are planning on doubling the size of the business over the next 10 years, so double the size of turnover and double the size of our profitability.'

A major contributor to enhancing productivity and reducing costs in the production department has been provided by cutting tool specialist Guhring. Initially taking delivery of its first Guhring cutting tools some five years ago, the successful implementation of Guhring drills, milling and threading products has resulted in the Tiverton company now retaining a consignment stock of Guhring products.

Commenting upon the partnership, Mr Martin Shapland, CNC Process Engineer at HepcoMotion says: ' We work closely with the Guhring technical sales engineer who regularly visits us to ensure we are kept abreast of all the latest technology and tools. The engineer also ensures we have everything we need from a standpoint of the most innovative cutting tool solutions. We use a lot of Guhring's milling, drilling and tapping products. This includes 5XD solid carbide drills and the Ratio RF milling cutters with an unequal helix.'

The continued hard work and attention to detail of the Guhring representative working with Hepco, now sees the tooling cabinets of the Devon company stocked 80% with Guhring products.

One such product that has proven particularly fruitful for HepcoMotion has been the RF line of milling tools. The unequal helix of the RF tools has benefited HepcoMotion with its geometry that improves chip flow, surface finish and above all, it reduces vibration to extend tool life and consistency. Despite the Guhring RF milling line saving HepcoMotion thousands of pounds in productivity, capacity and tool life over the last three years, the company has now taken delivery of a new line of cutting tools from Guhring - the new high performance Guhring RF Diver milling line. Launched at the end of 2014, the Guhring Diver has been developed as a genuine 'all-rounder' that is capable of everything from rough to finish machining on an extremely diverse range of materials.

Highlighting the benefits of the new Diver range, Guhring's Regional Sales Engineer that has established the close relationship with HepcoMotion, Mr Ian Goffey says: 'I first saw the new Diver line being demonstrated in Germany and instantly thought it would be ideal for HepcoMotion and the type of work the company conducts. It is an extremely versatile cutter that will machine a range of materials that include mild steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminium and a wide variety of super alloys. The Diver can do all this as it has a flute spacing that is unique to this four fluted tool. It rapidly removes swarf from the work area and tool whilst the end geometry enables the Diver to plunge in at 90 degrees or even ramp into a workpiece at 45 degrees. This combination gets the chips away from the job, which makes it suitable for high speed machining.'

To further enhance the removal of chips during high speed and high feed machining, the sub-micro grain solid carbide Diver line incorporates Guhring's innovative Signum coating technology that dissipates heat as well as the build up of swarf.

'The Diver is offered in undersized diameters and this enables the tool to interpolate into radii as well as offering the ability to plunge in and interpolate out to hole size diameters. This means the new Diver line starts at 5.7mm diameter and this allows us to interpolate corner radii whilst maintaining a constant chip thickness. It also suits the quick and efficient manufacture of keyways. As engineers will know that deflection can prevent precision keyways, with the Diver we can rough in and finish a keyway precisely,' Mr Goffey states.

In essence, the new Diver line can be used to rough and finish machine as well as plunge, ramp and interpolate - making it an ideal multi-purpose end mill.  For manufacturers with machine tools that utilise a large number of tools and the respective tool positions, the capability of the Diver can reduce inventory and tooling costs. Additionally, its flexibility can reduce tool changeovers when machining components that require numerous milling tools.

'At HepcoMotion we are implementing high performance cutting strategies with the Diver such as trochoidal step over machining. The complete line is in stock and this includes diameters from 6 to 20mm and also 5.7 to 15.6mm diameter for undersized machining applications. The beauty of this tool is that it is truly universal. It can be used by anyone from a one man band to a general subcontract machine shop through to the OEMs. It is completely flexible whilst offering exceptional performance, this makes it a good all-round tool,' continues Mr Goffey.

At HepcoMotion the RF1000 Diver is used to machine profiles on tool steel parts on the company's Hurco machining centre's at a cutting speed of 5442rpm and a feed rate of 1088mm/min at a 1XD depth of cut.  Once the profile is machined, the same 11.7mm diameter cutter demonstrates its versatility by performing trochoidal milling at a feed rate of 360m/min with a spindle speed of 9745rpm. Previously, this process was taking 20 minutes to rough machine at Hepco. However, the new RF1000 Diver from Guhring has slashed this cycle time to just 5 minutes.

These productivity benefits have been achieved throughout the milling department at HepcoMotion on a vast array of components. The savings created by the new Guhring Diver line have been staggering in terms of productivity benefits, increased machine capacity and improved machine utilisation. Furthermore, tool life, surface finishes, and consistencies have all been improved.

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