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High-feed milling – the key to increased productivity

High-feed milling – the key to increased productivity

Seco Tools provides one of the widest ranges of high-performance high feed milling cutting tools on the market, covering a diameter range from 1mm to 208mm.

The range comprises a number of Seco’s milling tools and holders that include: Jabro Solid End Mills, Combimaster, Minimaster and Minimaster Plus, Easy Shrink and Highfeed 2, 4 and 6.

High feed milling is a roughing method designed to help manufacturers achieve higher metal removal rates and, as a consequence, reduce component cycle times and optimise productivity.

In essence the process involves employing shallow depths of cut using tools with large cutting radii and/or small lead angles to ensure that cutting forces, created during the machining process, are directed back towards the machine tool’s spindle in an axial direction. (Axially-directed cutting forces ensure increased tool and machining stability which, in turn, allows higher feed rates to be employed – up to 10 times the normal rate).

Even though high feed milling is principally described as a ‘roughing strategy’, with the right cutting tools, it is possible for manufacturers to create near ‘net’ shapes in fewer passes and move from roughing to fine finishing – negating the need for, as well as the time and expense associated with, semi-finishing operations.

The process can be applied to good effect when machining a wide range of materials and offers particular advantages when machining difficult-to-machine materials (i.e. ISO M, S and H). As such high feed milling is used increasingly in the aerospace, medical and mould tool and die sectors.

High feed milling is a generic ‘catch-all’ description that includes a range of specific milling operations – i.e. face milling, copy milling, pocketing, helical interpolation, slotting, copying and plunging.

The process itself is particularly beneficial when machining deep pockets with long tool overhangs because, employing a shallow depth of cut results in low radial cutting forces and virtually zero vibration which, together, ensure high process stability, increased tool life and improved productivity.

As part of a continuous improvement programme Seco has introduced two new ranges to its high feed milling tools’ portfolio.

Jabro JHF181 Solid End Mill range

JHF181 provides a specific high feed geometry for machining hardened steel, super alloys and titanium. JHF181 is available in diameters ranging from 2-16mm and is ideal for machining small workpieces and cavities.

High Feed 6 (HF6) with double-sided, six-edged edged inserts

The HF6 range consists of shell end mill bodies with fixed pockets and strong negative inserts with six cutting edges. HF6 tools have a wide application range and are especially suited for the machining of P and K materials.

Mike Fleming, Seco’s sales & marketing manager, said: “Seco is a market leader in high-feed milling applications and solutions. By working with Seco, manufacturers can incorporate and integrate high feed milling into their operations and, by doing so, achieve faster milling part process times (between three to 10 times faster than when using conventional methods).”

www.secotools.com

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