Optical tool measurement on the shop floor
By utilizing optical measurement, the US tool manufacturer IMCO has achieved a reduction of measurement times by 75% on the factory floor. The reliable verification of the micro geometry of their milling cutters is one of the top priorities in the research and development work of the US carbide tool manufacturer IMCO. The high measuring accuracy, repeatability and easy handling of the EdgeMaster tool measuring system impressed the management as much that shortly after investing in its R&D center an additional system for production was purchased.
Matthew S. Osburn
Vice President & Technical Director
EdgeMaster system in use at IMCO
The edge measuring system is applied in the R&D center where grinding, honing and inspection of prototypes is done. "We then machine with these tools, meticulously logging our machining results”, says IMCO.
Milling Cutters at IMCO
IMCO offers milling cutters with multiple flutes that achieve high surface finish even with materials that are difficult to machine.
Verification of cutting edge parameters
With Bruker Alicona, IMCO verifies cutting edge parameters such as radius, contour accuracy, rake angel, undercuts and chipping of end mills. Roughness measurements are performed to verify surface finish of the flute.
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Micro geometry measurement of milling cutters
"Four features determine the service life and machining result of modern day cutting tools. These are substrate material, coating, macro and micro geometry." Matthew S. Osburn, Vice President & Technical Director of US manufacturer IMCO Carbide Tool Inc. knows what he is talking about. Specialized in the development of milling cutters with multiple flutes, he also knows about the importance of the right measuring technology: "The cutting edge is the wear part of a milling cutter." IMCO views micro geometry as being so critical that they desired a system tailored for only those types of measurements. Recently, the supplier of carbide cutting tools has replaced its existing "outdated device with an upgraded and highly accurate measuring system". Osburn continues: "We are well known for our high level of research and development activities, and reliable verification of edge preparation is of major importance. The most important criteria for the evaluation of suitable measuring systems for us were accuracy and repeatability of the measurements.”
How IMCO succeeds with Bruker Alicona solution
Tool measurement on the shop floor
- Cutting edges of inserts, drills, millers and other round tools are measured regardless of type, size, material or surface finish.
- Users measure radii >2μm as well as rake, wedge and clearance angle of tools.
- Traceable and repeatable results are delivered in high vertical resolution even at vibrations, variations in temperature and ambient light.