Industry News

Subcontract start-up vouches for ITC

When two ex-work colleagues were working around the clock in their respective posts, the engineers and friends decided to set-up their own machine shop with
the core philosophy of automated production and reduced man hours.

Winning the company’s first order for 134 stainless steel pivot blocks for a marine customer before the first machine was delivered, Multax had to hit the ground running and contacted ITC for cutting tool support.

The Andover start-up had won an order for parts that started as 146 mm long billets with a 10” diameter requiring 50 kg of material removal. Multax calculated that each part had a machining time of 8 hours, and that lights-out machining would be the only way to avoid the risk of taking-up the majority of capacity.

ITC’s solution included a variation of Widia indexible insert tools and drills, as well as the range of ITC’s UK-manufactured solid-carbide end mills. Taking the complex stainless component from 65 to 15 kg, ITC recommended the Widia M200 series of button end mills. The six-insert M200 series was purchased in a 50 mm diameter variant for rough machining the pivot block, while a 35 mm diameter M200 was applied for helically interpolating a large bore through the parts. For finishing the external features, ITC recommended the 50 mm diameter Widia M1200 45° face mill.

“The tool life is exceptional and this gives us confidence to run unmanned,” explains director John McNab. “Furthermore, the cost of the inserts is minimal and the surface finishes are outstanding. For example, we are pre-drilling an M8 thread with a 6.8 mm diameter solid carbide VDS drill. This drill has completed six holes on each of the 134 parts, and is still like brand new and performing extremely well.”

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