Hard Turning Economics

When it comes to changing a process from grinding to hard turning, many things have to be considered. Besides the actual technical aspects, it is of outmost importance to understand how this change will influence the total manufacturing cost.

For a deeper understanding of the economic benefits of hard turning, it helps to consider a few factors that are sometimes overlooked and where the technical departments must work together with the purchasing department for example. These process factors are illustrated below.

CNC lathes are much more flexible in terms of machining capabilities. Tool changes can be made in less than two minutes, without the production time losses necessary for a wheel change. Worn PCBN tools may be quickly indexed to a new edge or removed and replaced with new inserts, and do not require truing or dressing to maintain the cutting profile. This flexibility allows for fast, cost-effective production, even in small batches of parts.

The floor space is also an important factor. CNC lathes have less of a foot print than grinders in general and do not require coolant systems. Also, as an example, a grinder is a much larger investment than a CNC lathe, which is typically one-half to one-third of a grinder’s cost. So the machine investment itself is also much lower for a lathe compared to a grinding machine.

Further, the structure of most PCBN grades permits for productive machining in difficult conditions, including interrupted cuts, and typically does not require the use of coolant. This helps to keep costs down while eliminating the environmental concern associated with coolant use. Just the cost of coolant and taking care of grinding residues is many times higher than taking care of the dry turning chips and swarfs.

For more information, please contact your local Seco representative, or our Advanced material (PCBN/PCD/CERAMIC) team.

Stefan G Larsson
737 82 Fagersta, Sweden
Office +4622340572
Mobile +46761367807

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