Collaboration helps overcome challenge of difficult materials

Southern Manufacturing exhibitor Quickgrind, together with TTL and VoluMill. have collaborated to devise approaches to machining which, says the firm, cuts milling cycle times by over 75% while retaining tool integrity and performance.

Quickgrind remanufacturing_tmb The three firms – Quickgrind supplies high-quality carbide cutting tools; TTL CNC machining systems and VoluMill ultra-high-performance toolpath technology – worked in partnership to boost the effect of their individual contributions.

Quickgrind sees partnerships of this kind as another outcome of its ‘total solution engineering’
approach, as Managing Director Ross Howell explains: "One of the challenges we overcame jointly with TTL and VoluMill was to deal effectively with 316 stainless steel, which is notoriously difficult to cut. We expect our combined solution to be particularly useful in industries like aerospace, automotive and Formula 1, as well as in pharmaceuticals, oil and gas."

The test involved milling at a spindle speed of 4,775 rpm and surface speed of 180 m/min, with a 30 mm depth of cut and a feed rate of 4870 mm/min. The traditional cycle time was cut from 17 min 35 sec to 4 min 8 sec. At the end of five cycles the Quickgrind 12 mm diameter cutting tool was still performance ready. Also of note was the fact that all of this was achieved using an 18-year-old Bridgeport machine, which just goes to show that major productivity improvements are possible even on older platforms.

Reflecting on the test results, Ross Howell says, "We see every new success as building on our proud British engineering heritage. In TTL and VoluMill we have found co-operative partners who share our passion for innovation."

Robert Pope, Managing Director at TTL, adds, "It’s true to say that two heads are better than one, especially when each brings different but relevant expertise to the table. We are all looking for leaner manufacturing and we can achieve it much more quickly when quality partners are brought together."

For more information on Quickgrind and its total solution engineering visit