Blaser Swisslube uses an expanded in-house Technology Center to run tests on the latest metalworking fluids in an effort to increase their customer's productivity and economic efficiency.
Recently, lubricant company Blaser Swisslube extended its ultra-modern Technology Center, which now occupies about 3000 square feet of floor space at its Head Office site in Hasle-Rüegsau (Switzerland).
For the last four years, this is where the latest metalworking fluids to be developed are tested, and where the versatile machining operations of its customers and partners are recreated in a realistic way. The Technology Center enables the machining specialists from Blaser to provide customers with cutting and grinding fluids that deliver an effective form of added value and which help to optimize their productivity, economic efficiency as well as the quality of their machining operations. Test results provide convincing evidence.
With two 5-axis machining centers, one turning and milling center, a 5-axis tool grinding machine and two new CAD/CAM workplaces, Blaser Swisslube has now created optimum conditions for simulating and testing the latest machining technologies in its Technology Center, founded at the end of 2008.
"That enables us to provide our customers with even better levels of support, and to help them improve their productivity and economic efficiency, as well as to optimize the quality of their machining operations," explains CEO Marc Blaser. In addition to the tests conducted on recently developed metalworking fluids for the machining of an incredibly diverse range of materials, and the close-to-reality simulation of production situations, the infrastructure enables machining seminars to be delivered from the Blaser head office site in Hasle-Rüegsau. In collaboration with customers, universities, colleges of advanced technology or trade associations, innovative machining technologies and the latest materials are tested with various metalworking fluids, after which the processes as well as the cutting and grinding fluids can be optimized and developed yet further.
Test 1: Deep-Hole Drilling 18 Times Faster
The influence of metalworking fluids on the machining process is often underestimated. A recent project conducted with the Technical University (Technische Hochschule) in Aachen demonstrated this very clearly. The aim of the project was to reduce the machining time required to drill a deep hole in tempered steel, an operation that had taken three minutes, while endeavoring to retain the same standard of quality. Until its collaboration with Blaser Swisslube, the Technical University in Aachen had been using conventional cutting oil for this machining operation.
At the end of this project, the original time required of three minutes per hole was reduced to ten seconds for a depth of 200 mm -- an 18-fold improvement in efficiency.
Test 2: Tool Life Increased
Another successful project at the Technology Center dealt with the machining of a titanium component. Through the use of the optimum metalworking fluid, it was possible to improve the tool life by more than 30% in series production, compared to a conventional metalworking fluid.
The test project involved milling two identical titanium components. For this, the components were produced on the same Mazak machine, using the same tool, and with a milling program from 3D Concepts. The only difference was the kind of metalworking fluid employed.
With the conventional metalworking fluid, it proved possible to manufacture one and a half titanium components before tool wear made it necessary to stop production. The solid carbide milling tool had been subjected to extreme stress loadings and clear signs of breakage down its cutting edges were visible, alongside the normal signs of wear. With a new high-performance metalworking fluid specifically designed for the machining of titanium, it was possible to manufacture two complete workpieces without reaching the previously defined tool life criterion (wear of 0.2 mm) -- an impressive improvement in performance.
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