Case Study: Down time is the time to improve efficiency and productivity


Current Situation


David Whitmire, OSG district manager, has been covering a sales territory in Texas and Oklahoma for 9 years. He has witnessed both the best and worst days of the energy industry. Since the price of oil per barrel has recently reached record lows, our economy and oil field manufacturers have been severely affected. An increasing number of layoffs and downsizing at companies has occurred in the area. During this down time, some oil field manufacturers started to do their homework by reconsidering their machining processes as an avenue to cut costs. This has opened up some new opportunities for OSG in David’s territory.


One of David’s customers is a large pump housing manufacturer in the oil field industry. During the industry slowdown, the company wanted to be proactive, so they invited OSG and a local distributor to host a tap trouble shooting seminar. During the seminar, David showed them the OSG EXOTAP® A-Tap® and EXOPRO® Mega Muscle® drill videos. These videos drew a lot of attention as they showed A-Tap® and Mega Muscle® products surpassing speeds and feeds of competitors’ tools. This company produces 50 to 60 parts after spending over 625 hours machining per month. David decided to perform tool testing with his local distributor to help the company improve productivity and cut costs.


Tool Testing/Solutions


Material: 4140 Modified Alloy Steel


1. ¾-10 EXOTAP® A-Tap® (18 SFM) vs. Competitor A’s tap (18 SFM)


2.
1 ¼-7 HY-PRO® VXL Tap (30 SFM and 13.1486 IPM) vs. Competitor A’s tap (23 SFM and 11.0 IPM)


3.
1 ½-6 HY-PRO® VXL Tap (30 SFM and 12.5 IPM) vs. Competitor A’s tap (23 SFM and 10.0 IPM)


4.
½-13 EXOTAP® A-Tap® 50 SFM and 29.3758 IPM vs. Competitor A’s tap (13 SFM and 7.692 IPM)


5.
7/16” EXOPRO® Mega Muscle® Drill (325 SFM and 48.2 IPM) vs. Competitor B’s Cam Drill (8.2 IPM)


6.
7/15” EXOCARB® WDO® Drill (325 SFM and 28.4 IPM) vs. Competitor B’s Cam Drill (2.5 IPM)


7.
22mm PHOENIX® PXD Exchangeable Head Drill 300 (SFM and 21.2 IPM) vs. Competitor B’s Cam Drill (2.8 IPM)


Results


Test 1 demonstrated a significant advantage of the A-Tap®. Even if it ran at the same speeds and feeds with the competitor’s tap, the A-Tap® was able to produce 25% to 40% more pump housings and to reduce costs by $22 per tool versus the competitor’s tap.


Tests 2, 3, 4 and 5 showed that OSG’s taps and drills ran at faster speeds than the competitors’ tools, and the A-Tap®, VXL Tap and Mega Muscle® products were able to reduce the cycle time by 23 minutes. In addition, the A-Tap® and Mega Muscle® machined 5 times more parts than the competitors’ tools did.


Tests 6 and 7 have not been completed, but David is confident that the WDO® drills and PXD drills will reduce the cycle times even more. By using OSG’s taps and drills in their operation, David predicts that the company will be able to reduce at least 21 hours of machining time per month!



The EXOTAP VA-3® Now Available with Coolant-Through!


For any manufacturer, time is money, and an increasing number of companies are looking for ways to improve efficiency in their manufacturing process. In order to support such demand, OSG improved its popular tap series, the EXOTAP VA-3®.  The EXOTAP VA-3® already excelled in both stainless and carbon steels, but now you can tap at even faster speeds with our newly expanded VA-3® offerings!


What makes it possible to tap faster is the new VA-3® coolant-through capability. It prevents overheating and improves chip removal rates. As a result, you can achieve faster cutting speeds and smoother chip evacuation! In addition to the coolant-through capability, the new VA-3 taps offer DIN overall length for longer reach applications. The EXOTAP VA-3® series has become even more versatile to address your challenging needs.

 

 

In addition to these new features, the VA-3® taps feature optimized geometry specifically designed for stainless and carbon steels. OSG’s patented V coating provides excellent wear resistance and extended tool life. If cost savings and efficiency are in your To-Improve-List, give OSG’s EXOTAP VA-3® taps a try!

 

 

Spiral Flute      

List 307 - Inch  

List 347 - Metric  

 

Spiral Point

List 306 - Inch 

List 346 - Metric 

 

WHO-Ni Drill, WHR-Ni Tap, UVX-Ni End Mill - Total Solution Video

When tapping, drilling, and milling heat resistant super alloys like Inconel 718, you need tools that can take the heat. OSG provides a total solution tooling trifecta for these tough machining applications.  With the rigid substrates, tailored geometries, and advanced coatings on our EXOPRO® WHR-Ni Taps, EXOPRO® WHO-Ni Drills, and EXOPRO® UVX-Ni End Mills, you can tap, drill, and mill without the worry of rapid wear or extreme breakage.


Check out these tools at work:




All Forming Taps are Not Created Equal

David Aly, Aerospace Specialist

 

Just because you’ve tried one forming tap, doesn’t mean you’ve tried them all. We had the recent opportunity to prove that OSG forming taps are better than the rest.

 

As a supplier of custom fabricated metal products and machinery, one of our customers approached us wanting to get better chip control during their tapping operation. Located in Winona, Mississippi, they have a 92,500 square foot manufacturing facility for producing fuel tanks, hydraulic tanks and custom designed machining fixtures.



After discussing the customer’s chip control needs, I recommended OSG’s EXOTAP® NRT® Forming Tap, a more stable, thread rolling tap that makes threads by compressing the work material without creating chips. Because no chip is produced, breakage due to chip packing and bird nesting is eliminated.

 

The EXOTAP® NRT®  also has significantly reduced friction resistance because of its special threading design and surface treatment. Made from VC-10 Powdered Metal High Speed Steel, this forming tap has a longer tool life when tapping difficult to machine materials like carbon steels, alloy steels, stainless steels and aluminum alloy.

Initially, the shop foreman, Mr. William Smith, was hesitant about using a forming tap due to a bad experience with a competitor’s brand. After I showed William a presentation and a chip flow demonstration video, he was willing to give our forming tap a chance.

 

We approached his staff with OSG’s EXOTAP® NRT® Forming Tap in hand.  After explaining the test with the operator and reiterating
that there will be no chips, we began the trial.

 

A few days later, I called to check in on their progress. William enthusiastically explained that he was still running the same tap. He had lost count of the number of holes produced but assured me that it was well over 1,000 holes! After such a successful run with the first test tap, he purchased more of the test size, now truly convinced that all forming taps are not created equal.



EXOPRO® WHR-Ni Tap Video

Tap heat resistant super alloys like Inconel 718 without the risk of breakage using OSG’s EXOPRO® WHR-Ni Taps. The unique rake angle combined with OSG’s powdered metal substrate improves cutting edge rigidity, while the addition of OSG’s proprietary HR coating offers superior wear resistance for significantly longer tool life.


 



An Industry Solution for Difficult-to-Machine Materials

Mike Harris, District Manager


In manufacturing, components that contribute to success often include quality, precision and fast production at minimum cost. This equation sounds simple, but can be difficult to achieve for some machine shops. In the medical industry, manufacturers often handle difficult-to-machine materials such as titanium and stainless steel. Tooling costs could skyrocket if the appropriate tool isn’t selected for 
the application.

Recently, I received a call from a national distributor that has an integrated supply contract with a large OEM medical account 
in Warsaw, Indiana. This customer is one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of orthopedic implants. They offer devices and solutions for fixation and fusion, motion preservation, minimally
 invasive spinal 
surgery and
 biologics.

In producing the parts for one of these implants, the customer needed a better tapping solution than what they were currently using. They were specifically tapping 6-32 threads in Ti-6Al4V but were running through taps like water, getting between 20 to 50 holes per tap and using over 75 taps per month. Despite trying and testing a variety of different brands, none were successful in significantly lowering the number of holes per tap.

I sat down with them and reevaluated the process, hole size, hole quality, cutting speeds, depth of drill vs. depth of thread, tool holders, work piece holding and coolant. Everything looked good, so I knew the tap had to be the key to solving this issue and I knew just what product to recommend.

I suggested they try the EXOTAP® VC-10
 TI Taps from OSG. These ultra-premium taps are made from a VC-10 Powered Metal High Speed Steel substrate, which offers longer tool life in Titanium and other hard materials. Plus the OSG V-coating provides increased hardness, lubricity and wear resistance, further prolonging tool life. I sent the customer a few sample taps and they said they would get them tested right away.


The following week I got in touch with them and they happily informed me that the tap was still running.  They ultimately went down from approximately two taps a day to two taps a week! This drastic reduction has saved them both money and down time on the shop floor.


The EXOTAP® VC-10 TI tap has proven to me that with the help of the right cutting tool, customers can reduce tool usage and drastically minimize tooling costs. When no other tap can do the job, work the VC-10 TI tap into the equation. It is the industry solution for those difficult materials and applications.



WDO Drill, XPF Tap, VGx End Mill - Total Solution Video

The versatility of the EXOCARB® WDO Drills, EXOPRO® XPF Taps and HY-PRO® VGx End Mills makes this dynamic trio an unstoppable force.

Whether drilling, tapping or milling, the unique design of these tools allows them the ability to machine a wide range of materials from cast aluminum and carbon steels to die steels and hardened materials, making them an ideal solution for job shops and manufacturers requiring flexible tooling options.




EXOPRO® XPF Tap Video

The EXOPRO® XPF Taps are a premium high performance form tap capable of tapping materials up to 40 HRC.

 

This fluteless tap provides increased durability due to the lack of chips it produces.  It also generates 40-50% less torque than the competition, offering an extended tool life at much higher speeds.

 

With coolant and non-coolant through options available, the EXOPRO® XPF Tap is ideal for Aluminum Alloy, Cast Aluminum, Carbon Steels, Alloy Steel, Die Steel, Stainless Steel and Hardened Steel up to 40 HRC.





OSG Interviewed for Cutting Tool Engineering


Our very own Tim Holmer, Application Engineer for OSG, was interviewed for an article on tapered-pipe tapping in this month’s issue of Cutting Tool Engineering magazine. In the article, Tim explains the difference between NPT and NPTF taps and how thread engagement effects the seal of the thread. 


Read the full article here*.


*This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of Cutting Tool Engineering. It is reproduced here with permission from the publisher.





AERO-F for Automotive

By: Ronald Portwine, District Manager

With the introduction of the HY-PRO® AERO-F Tap, I have attacked many different applications and have found it to be a great tap for unique materials that are not listed in the work material application guide. With its cutting geometries and TiN coating, OSG’s AERO-F Tap has won over several accounts, from fastener manufacturers to job shops.

 

One of these accounts is a OE manufacturer for Ford, Honda, GM and Toyota, making automotive timing gears and sprockets, as well as aftermarket gears for most automotive manufacturers. The end user has two facilities in Arkansas, one of which makes camshaft drive gears for the GM V6 and V8 engines. These engines have dual overhead camshafts that are used in most light trucks and cars. They had recently signed a new contract to produce over 3 million gears for GM, so I decided to pay them a visit.

 

At the facility, the Machining Engineer, Keith Hann, and I discussed the GM camshaft gear they had in production. Running on a four-head Brothers CNC machine with a rotating table loaded by a robot and set up on a conveyor system, the camshafts were being manufactured from a powdered metal at around 24 – 28 HRC, after heat treatment. The hole they were tapping was 5 mm in diameter with a tolerance of +/- 0.12 mm for the M6x1 D5 thread.

 

Keith informed me that they were using a competitor tap and were getting 12,000 holes per tap on average. He did not believe there could be any improvement made on the current hole-count, but I was not swayed by his disbelief. I asked him for an opportunity to put the HY-PRO® AERO-F Tap on the spindle to prove otherwise.



Knowing they were running four tapping heads, I ordered four AERO-F taps (EDP number 1111500705, M6 x 1 D5) for testing. We loaded the four taps and zeroed the counter. After verifying that the thread gage was good, the finish was correct and the machine was functioning properly, we watched the taps produce about 1,000 holes, and then left the rest to the operators.


I contacted Keith after a couple of days to check on the performance of the AERO-F taps. He informed me that the hole-count was 30,000 plus…and still going! He was truly impressed and ready to make the switch, but his amazement didn’t end there.

 

Upon receiving a quote from his distributor, Keith questioned the cost. He thought maybe he was not given the correct price because each AERO-F Tap was only a couple dollars more than the competitor’s tap. I assured him that it was correct. Keith acknowledged that it was well worth the cost, and could easily justify a switch to the HY-PRO® AERO-F Tap.

 

When all was said and done with the test, it turns out the AERO-F taps actually got close to 40,000 holes anwere only pulled because one of the four taps failed. With over double the tool life, Keith’s team was able to dramatically increase production and reduce down time.


The HY-PRO® AERO-F tap has become my favorite go-to tap because it has proven to be a low cost, high hole-count performer for my end users. Once the AERO-F tap has been placed on the spindle, it proves itself as the best tap for the job time and time again.