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  • Charles Wahlert

Making Inconel Profitable

Material removal rate optimization is the key to machining profitability. With the unprecedented availability of trochoidal milling strategies in CAM systems, it is now possible for a shop of any size to dramatically increase their productivity in traditionally difficult to machine materials. To capitalize on this it is necessary to utilize a tool which is designed to perform best under these controlled conditions. RobbJack offer a clear advantage and implementation strategy in this market.

A Texas aerospace manufacturer, who historically produced aluminum parts, was looking to expand their business and customer base. Our customer took on a medium sized Inconel job and quickly realized that their approach needed adjustment if profitability was to exist. The customer was running a 4FL tool at 100 SFM taking a very conventional .035 depth of cut at 5.9 IPM to rough out the material which was 1.000 deep. This approach could not complete a single part without changing the roughing tool. Material removal peaked at 0.100 ci/min

At the spindle we proposed a RobbJack XF series - a 6 flute tool that is specifically designed for trochodial and dynamic milling of difficult alloys. The depth of cut was increased to 1.000” and the radial engagement held to a constant .050 to maximize the advantages of their software package within the limits of their machine. Because of the tool’s thicker core and additional flutes we were able to increase the feed to 14.5 IPM. Our new material removal rate was .725 ci/min – over a 7X increase. The total part cycle time was reduced by 60% and the tool was able to run multiple parts before needing to be changed. This encouraged the customer to approach more substantial Inconel jobs.

If you would like to develop a milling strategy that succeeds in difficult to machine materials, reach out to Metal Working Solutions. We are your resource at the spindle for productivity, troubleshooting, and process improvement.

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