Value-Added Services Support Tooling Leadership at Kennametal's IMTS Booth


(LATROBE, PA) - To further supplement and enhance its technology leadership in cutting tools, advanced materials, and systems, Kennametal's booth at IMTS, E-2105, will focus on its expanding value-added services to the metalworking industries. In addition to a broad range of newly developed holemaking, milling, and turning tools and systems, Kennametal will showcase advances in training and education (the Kennametal Knowledge Center), tool reconditioning, carbide recycling, and ongoing support of machine-tool builders and their customers.

According to Tim Fara, Kennametal's global market segment manager for the machine-tool industry, such advances as a multi-station tool that fits in a standard KM toolholder, yet indexes six positions like a mini-turret, will be of interest to manufacturers with lean and efficiency-building programs. "This cuts tool-change time in multi-tasking applications and improves overall throughput time," Fara says. Multi-station tools also save time and money by serving as backups for spare tools. "New multi-tasking machines are opportunities to look beyond increasing speeds and feeds and rethink an entire application or part-processing operation for achieving world-class productivity levels," Fara says. "Our goal is to enhance the machine tool and further optimize the performance."

Kennametal also will be featuring its partnership with Blue Swarf, Clearfield, PA, to optimize cutting tool action on a machining center. By taking a "digital fingerprint" of the machining center's spindle vibration, the Blue Swarf technology is able to balance the harmonics of the spindle setup with those of the cutting tool and toolholder. Finding this "sweet spot" can improve metal removal rates from 30% to as much as 200% in selected cases, Fara says.

On the holemaking side, Kennametal will be highlighting the deburring technology of Extrude Hone, acquired last year, Fara adds. With the choices of electronic, explosive-type, and abrasive-slurry deburring methods, Kennametal offers a full range of holemaking and hole finishing options for customers.

Improved Internal Efficiencies
Optimized performance and eliminating waste are goals for numerous lean programs at manufacturing operations of all sizes. A significant value-added tool from Kennametal in this regard is the Tool Boss(TM) dispensing and replenishment system for tooling. "Customers want additional help in managing the full life cycle of their tooling," says Frantz Herko, global product manager, supply chain solutions. "The Tool Boss system and the KATMS software for managing tool crib inventory not only is a tool for making improvements, it measures those improvements and can issue regular reports by connecting with internal ERP and other systems."

The biggest change over the last five years has been the growing customer recognition of the value of improving tool logistics, Herko says. Just by improving accountability and tracking, overall tooling spending can be reduced up to 30% and on-hand inventory can be cut by 50% or more. Program savings have exceeded former tooling budgets, Herko says.

A new development in the Tool Boss system will be direct connectivity with the ThiNC PC-based controller from Okuma and a Zoller presetter. Not only does the system demonstrate direct tooling requests and status from a machine-tool CNC, it also shows how the system can connect to any open PC-based system.

Carbide Reconditioning and Recycling
Another means of keeping production levels high is keeping tools sharp, and Kennametal reports its carbide reconditioning business is on a growth curve. According to Mark Parish, Americas reconditioning services manager at Kennametal, the number of regrinds last year is growing. "People recognize if they get 1000 holes out of a $152 solid-carbide drill, they're making holes at 15.2 cents each, " Parish explains. "Paying roughly $16 for a regrind of a 10-mm drill, for example, when performance starts to deteriorate drops cost per hole to around five cents based on five regrinds."

Kennametal will do carbide reconditioning in house or through regional partners certified to Kennametal standards. Customers are assured a tool is returned to the same geometry and receives the same coating process the user purchased when it was new.

Another reconditioning option is using the Blue Box. Customers can use the company website (kennametal.com) to fill out a form and Kennametal ships a blue box with protective packaging and a pre-paid shipping label for returning to the company. Customers can use the Blue Box system as a means of tracking how many tools are out for reconditioning and when orders for new tools are required.

Kennametal also is reporting growth in its efforts at carbide recycling. "We've endorsed and practiced carbide recycling for a long time, but it wasn't as systematic or efficient as it could be," explains Pankaj Khare, senior product manager. By comparison, the current carbide recycling program launched in July 2005 is very straightforward and easy to use. It also is web-enabled, so shops large and small around the world have direct program access.

For Kennametal, carbide recycling "completes the loop in supply-chain efficiency for the customer while emphasizing ease of use for increased participation," says Khare. At kennametal.com/carbiderecycling, customers can locate the latest rates for used carbide. After completing and submitting an online form, users can print a shipping label and send the materials to Kennametal with a confirmation number. The carbide must be free of ceramics, cermets, and steel, and shipped in closed containers not to exceed 1,000 pounds.

Benefits include cash back, invoice reduction, or new tooling, depending on the customer's needs. Khare describes the first phase of the program as being exceptionally well-received by Fortune 500 companies and smaller operations alike. "It confirms Kennametal's role as a total tooling solutions provider and exemplifies good environmental stewardship around the world," he says.

Kennametal Knowledge Center
Finding qualified machinists and keeping them trained is an ongoing problem for North American manufacturing, and Kennametal is taking a proactive position at solving it through the Kennametal Knowledge Center, formerly Kennametal University. Established in 1998, the Kennametal Knowledge Center has trained more than 7000 metalworking professionals and numbers are on the increase, says program manager Jim Kasperik.

So are locations, as the program has now gone global, with training centers located in Latrobe, PA; Kingswinford, UK; Fürth, Germany; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, China. The company also provides customized on-site training programs and self-paced e-learning through its website to achieve Certified Metalcutting Professional status.

"We're a full-service supplier, not just of metalcutting tools, but of metalcutting expertise," Kasperik says. "We see the Kennametal Knowledge Center as the premier source of world-class talent development in metalcutting science and application."

New Tools
Kennametal's IMTS booth will also be loaded with information on new metalcutting tools for holemaking, drilling, milling, and others, including:
Kennametal Slim Line chucks, that take hydraulic chucks to new lengths of performance, offering substantially higher clamping forces than the competition, excellent runout over extended lengths, and 30,000-rpm speed capability while allowing use of standard-length tooling.

Kennametal's new A4 groove & turn inserts for high-productivity grooving, face grooving, and cutoff across a variety of materials, are now available in narrow groove widths of 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 mm, bringing the complete range of A4 sizes from 1.5 to 10 mm (3/32 to 3/8 in.). Together with a complete range of A4 toolholders and boring bars, multiple operations are possible from a single toolholder.

Kennametal's new KSOM Mini face-milling platform, that comes as close as possible to a "one size fits all" metalworking solution. High-quality, direct-pressed carbide inserts together with a new positive geometry significantly boost performance in roughing aluminum, cast iron, stainless steels, or high-temperature alloys.

Self-contained VDI-driven units for CNC turning centers that enable multiple part processes such as milling, drilling, and turning on the same part in a single setup. Since the units make offsets known quantities, tool setups can even be pre-staged offline for greater productivity gains.

Kennametal Inc., Latrobe, PA; (800) 446-7738; kennametal.com

For more information, contact: Rudy Frank
Manager-Corporate Advertising and Marketing Communications
Kennametal Inc.
724/539-5330 or rudy.frank@kennametal.com

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