Kline Oilfield Equipment, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based oilfield industry manufacturer, encountered tool life difficulties during a tough Inconel job. Achieving the gains the company had come to expect from its new CAM software required a counterintuitive swap: replacing an end mill designed specifically for hardened materials such as Inconel with a general-purpose model from Imco Carbide Tool (Perrysburg, Ohio). The result was a 500 percent increase in tool life and an 86 percent reduction in cycle time.
These improvements were similar to what the company had seen on other applications since implementing iMachining, a CAM module from software developer SolidCAM (Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania). In essence, the software’s algorithms adjust feed rates and stepovers throughout the tool path in order to keep the mechanical and thermal load on the cutter constant. According to the developer, this enables deeper, faster and more efficient cutting with less wear and tear on tools and machines.