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A North American tool manufacturer is looking to reduce cycle time for the threading products they manufacture. The material is 4340 steel and 35 on the Rockwell C scale.

Initially, the product line submitted for review contained 22 parts, nine of them sharing the same 1”x12 thread. The longest of these threads is 8”, creating the necessity for a Roll On Roll Off® tool with extra compensation. External springs added to the design of the Roll On Roll Off® device allows the head to make long threads and avoid “popping open” as the traditional method requires and necessitates a closing solution. Turning Concepts’ idea was to never let the head open, so there would be no need for a closing solution.

The Situation

After reviewing the customer’s parts, the F4 and F45 thread rolling heads were selected as test tools on a single machine to qualify the feasibility and the reduction in cycle time.  The threading cycle for single point cutting was 3 ½ minutes.  The customer’s floor space is limited by running bar feed machines, so the possibility of drastic reduction in cycle time through the addition of thread rolling is desired.

The customer selected one machine to add a Roll On Roll Off® tool for both their thread sizes, 1”X12 and 3/4X16, accompanied by a Genesee hollow mill to further reduce the cycle time in preparing the workpiece to the correct pre-roll diameter for rolling. The Genesee hollow mill is an encapsulation tool that feeds at 200 SFM and makes a perfect cut in a single pass. With this combination of tools, a finished thread is completed in 2 passes and deburring is not required after the part is completed.

The Solution

Within four months of the initial inquiry, the tools were delivered. Per the customer’s request, on-site support was provided.  In the first four hours of on-site support threads were made and process improvements continued resulting in a current thread cycle time of less than 60 seconds for both tools was achieved for 8” of thread. The improvement in cycle time allows production gains in a single machine that can be duplicated on the other machines. The process is ongoing and further improvements are likely in the development process.

The initial on-site support has been supplemented through email and phone support from both Turning Concepts and Genesee for both the hollow mills and the thread rolling tools. With the quick reaction time from our experts, the customer has been running parts since the installation without a problem from our quick delivery Roll On Roll Off® tool adapted to meet the customer’s demand.