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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Tool grinder helps ITC meet regrind demands from Airbus and Rolls-Royce
Article Type: Aerospace technology From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 3.
The installation by specialist tooling manufacturer and supplier Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC) of another Helitronic five-axis tool grinder to complement seven other Walter CMC tool grinders plus a Walter Heli Toolcheck tool measuring machine represents a strategic investment by the company to meet increasing demand for tooling regrinds from aerospace giants such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce.
Purchased primarily to meet the capacity for high-precision drill and reamer regrinds for the aerospace sector, the new Walter Helitronic Power supplied by Korber Schleifring UK of Honiley near Kenilworth is part of this year's “substantial” investment process that will enhance the Tamworth-based company's comprehensive portfolio of cutting tool manufacturing and regrinding equipment.
This continual programme, says Sales Director Roy Talbot, “is evidence of our commitment to the desire to always stay ahead of the competition through guaranteed high- quality output and responsive service”. The ITC-Walter machine association extends over the past eight years, he says, and is based on good delivery and service back-up as much as it is on cost-effective machines that are fit for purpose.
ITC specialises in the design, manufacture and regrinding of a wide range of HSS and carbide tooling for customers in the aerospace, motor sport (Formula 1) and die and mouldmaking sectors in the UK and overseas, in addition to being UK stockist of Hanita (Israel) and Metal Removal (USA) products.
As well as the speed and accuracy of the five-axis CMC Walter Helitronic tool grinders, the added consistency that the Walter Heli Toolcheck tool measuring machine has brought to quality control is said to be proving the ideal complement to enable ITC to extend its successful supply relationship with customers like Airbus and Rolls- Royce.
A variety of power generation form tools, drills and reamers, for example, are supplied to these companies, and manufacturing certification and traceability are essential.
“We know that the Helitronic Power effectively restores tooling back to original geometry, and the Toolcheck allows us to illustrate that,” comments technical Director Peter Graves.
He also highlights how Walter's “ancillary” technologies play a particularly beneficial role at the company for example, a previously installed Helitronic Power tool grinder was supplied complete with a Production Loader to accommodate and randomly process 280 tools of up 32mm diameter and 220mm long.
This is in addition to ITC's use of five other auto loading systems on Walter machines and therefore extends the company's commitment to lights- out, unmanned production and complements the seven day shift operators who manage the total portfolio of 17 tool grinders.
The Walter Cyber Grinding tool grinding software is another crucial weapon in the ITC tool grinding armoury. Designed to offer savings in cutting tool design and production by allowing non-standard new tools to be designed and “manufactured” off-line, Cyber Grinding eliminates time- consuming and costly prototypes, test batch work and interruptions to production.
“Customers increasingly want cost- effective, high-quality tooling delivered promptly and backed up by a high level of problem-solving technical engineering expertise in extremely short delivery times,” concludes Roy Talbot. “We make sure we are in a position to respond, hence our continual investment in Walter technology.”