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CNC upgrade programme provides US cutting tool manufacturer with major productivity advantage

30 November 2020

US cutting tool manufacturer, McQuade Industries, Inc., has gained a highly cost-effective productivity advantage by implementing a CNC upgrade programme for a line of 5-axis insert grinders.

The upgraded machines are much easier to set up and operate, enabling the company to shave off more than ten minutes per part from the production time of complex geometry cutting tools.

Based in Clinton Township, Michigan, McQuade Industries produces a diverse range of cutting tools, including boring bars, milling cutters, generating heads, draw-bar style tooling and cartridges, as well as complete turnkey tooling packages. It also provides customers with fast-turnaround tool regrinding and repair services, backed by specialist knowledge in special carbide and precision form inserts.

The machines that are being upgraded are RS12 insert grinders, originally manufactured by Ewag AG in Switzerland. McQuade installed a number of these precision grinders back in 1988, and over the years, they have provided stalwart performance. However, as McQuade’s Production Manager, Donald Ostgen, explains, “After 30-plus years, even the best machines can begin to show signs of their age! Although still in good mechanical order, the grinders’ control systems were beginning to lack the flexibility we needed for some of today’s more complex tool geometries, leading to lengthy set-up and machining times.”

Although the insert grinders still represent a valuable asset, McQuade had developed a large number of part programmes over the years, which ideally would need to run on any replacement machines without requiring modification. Therefore, the company decided to preserve its investment by implementing a programme to upgrade the machines’ CNC systems. McQuade subsequently engaged the services of Advanced Machine Technologies, LLC., a specialist CNC retrofit company based in Owosso, Michigan.

Read the full article in the December issue of DPA

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