In the competitive industry of contract manufacturing, it’s common for shops to bid, and win orders for jobs that don’t meet anticipated profitability. Initial thoughts to salvage profitability may allude to cost cutting on materials and tools. However, the best option under these circumstances is to improve production capability, which is often achieved by implementing small changes that create big results.

One of our valued customers shared their experience when making a cardboard cutter part, made of 52100 bearing steel on their Fadal VMC4020. The objective was to machine 24 diagonal .063” wide slots, which seemed straight forward until they found that only one part could be made every 49 minutes. After determining that the work holding, machine, and programming parameters were sound, it was soon realized that their ER collet chuck was causing the cutting tool to run out .001”. While this doesn’t sound like much, the additional chip load per tooth, coupled with the hardness of the Chromium and high Carbon content in the material, caused the cutting tool to degrade much quicker than expected. To further exacerbate the issue, the run out caused chatter, forcing the operator to slow the feed during machining.

When given the opportunity to provide consultation, we suggested the Nikken SK collet chuck since it provides double the gripping force of a standard ER, and also possesses features designed to eliminate run out. The tighter 8 degree taper of the collet, quality grinding of the toolholder taper, and precision threads on the nut, enabled our customer to achieve less than .0002” run out. The results were staggering. When compared to the previous process, with just a simple toolholder change, the customer was able to double their production capability and regain profitability due to a 48% decrease in production costs.

Consider giving the SK Collet Chuck a try - even for your existing operations. While the degree of benefit will change for every customer, we guarantee you will be impressed by the results.