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Find the Right Tooling for Your Needs

While you’re probably aware that your machinery investment is essential to the success of your manufacturing operation, did you also know that the tooling you choose to use on that machinery can be just as important?

You may not realize it, but the correct tooling can make all the difference in the world for your production performance. High-quality, precision tooling is designed to withstand demanding tasks and will help you increase production and efficiency, it will ensure quality and will extend the life of your equipment. So don’t compromise on your investment, give your tooling the consideration it deserves…just as much as the machinery itself.

Precision Tooling

The Right Tooling or the Best Tooling?

You can make the most of your investments simply by purchasing tooling that is intended and specifically designed for the job. But with the extensive array of tooling options available today, how does one know what the “right” tooling option is? Should you just buy the best, do you need the best…and what is the best? Not always an easy question to answer.  The right or the best tooling option is completely dependent upon your application and what your needs are.

For instance, if you’re going to be producing a long run and are using a tool that runs constantly throughout the day and every day, then longevity and finish-quality is most important to you. But if you’re running a short run, using an expensive material for a high-end product, then you’ll want a tool that is designed to offer the best finish quality, even though it may not last as long. A number of factors should be considered when determining which tooling is right or is best for you and your application—and it’s not something that should be taken lightly.

Considerations When Selecting Tooling

Because there really aren’t any official universal tooling standards to be used on a machine, it’s important to include tooling costs when you’re considering machinery investments. It would be worth your time (and money) to meet with your production team and discuss production plans related to a particular machine or work cell, and then also meet with a tooling expert to determine the best tooling options that meet your production needs. Depending on the desired applications, you may need a variety of tooling in a variety of sizes.

You will also need to discuss whether you’ll need carbide- or diamond-tipped tooling. While diamond tooling will cost more, its performance life cycle is also much longer. Diamond tooling offers a great deal of longevity which translates into considerable money saved from not needing to purchase or service the tools nearly as often and will also reduce production slowdowns due to infrequent servicing of the machine. In comparison, if you choose less expensive tooling, you’ll need to purchase or service your tooling more often, which will likely lead to more costly down-time.

Now that we’ve determined the correct tooling for the machines and the application—how can we ensure we’re getting the most life out of it?

One of the most effective ways actually sounds like a contradiction—but the answer is to not run the tooling too long. When you run a tool beyond its intended life, it will begin to dull and its performance will fall dramatically, which you’ll notice in the finish of your material. Additional power is also required to force a dull tool through material, not to mention, you continue to run that dull tool on your machine it will become damaged and break; or worse, you may even damage the machine’s spindle. For that reason, removing a tool before it becomes dull and having it properly serviced will maximize the life of your tooling investment.