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The staggered-cut design leaves a desirable surface finish, and yields higher feed rates than normal cutters when machining aluminum.


developed to address the machining challenges of aluminum cylinder heads and similar components.


A Departure from Cutter Tradition Finish milling cutters typically feature an array of inserts


that are all set to the same diameter, perhaps including one or two wipers. Te BF Cutter from Sandvik Coromant is unique in this regard. Each insert pocket is engineered to a specific location on the tool, and there are progressive steps from loca- tion to location both radially and axially. Because each pocket is milled into the cutter body, which is engineered for a speci- fied feed rate, each cutter is uniquely tailored for a specific application. Te first insert is located at the largest diameter, the next one is at a slightly smaller diameter, and the array progresses to the final insert acting as a wiper. Tis staggered- cut design leaves a great surface finish, and yields higher feed rates than normal cutters when machining aluminum. Changing the inserts is possible on the BF Cutter without


having to preset. Normally, when an operator indexes or re- places inserts on a cutter, he or she would then have to preset to get the precise insert locations of each tooth. In cases that include a wiper or two in the insert array, the wipers would have to be preset slightly higher in location than the standard inserts. Tis equates to more setup time to optimize the axial runout. Because each BF Cutter insert is already positioned progressively, an operator can simply put a new insert in and the tool can resume cutting. Tis reduces setup time and pro- duces a faster feed rate.


Another major advantage of the BF Cutter is its capacity


to cut a burr-free part. Volume automotive manufactur- ers previously had to worry about an exit burr or breakout on the component at edge, or exit cut. Milled across an aluminum cylinder head, the tool cuts cleanly, even at higher feeds than normal for aluminum, and doesn’t push an aluminum burr into any open spaces. If the compo- nent remains burr-free, the need for secondary operations is eliminated. Even as a specialty tool, the BF Cutter can quickly show ROI as it yields as much as a 30% cost reduc- tion per part. Te cost reduction stems from the 66% reduc- tion in setup time realized by fewer inserts and the lack of a need to preset. If using wipers, roughing and finishing can be done on the same pass by the same tool, which eliminates an entire operation for more precise aluminum components like cylinder heads.


Keeping Pace with Automotive Change With the global fleet expected to double in less than three


decades, the design of increasingly fuel-efficient cars will be a chief concern. Lightweighting is a strategy that will only become more commonplace. Tat means OEMs and their Tier One and Two suppliers will need to react with more proficient ways to machine aluminum or other, even lighter-weight met- als in the future.


Edited by Yearbook Editor James D. Sawyer from information provided by Sandvik Coromant.


Motorized Vehicle Manufacturing 57


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