Thursday, May 31, 2012

12 Reasons to Optimize Your Tooling Stock

By Magnus Tillman, Business Solutions Manager

THINK FAST: Do you know how many cutting tools exist in your shop at this exact moment? Do you know how much disposable tooling your company uses, or even what type of insert you need to order at any given time?

If you can’t confidently answer these questions, it’s probably time to consider an advanced vending program for your operations, especially if you’re trying to manage a whole slew of part numbers.

Need some convincing? Here are the top 12 reasons—not in any particular order—as to why owning a point-of-use automated inventory control device with reporting and order management capabilities – such as our new compact SupplyPod – makes perfect business sense.
1. Inventory control devices keep things organized, allowing employees to get the items they need to do their jobs in a matter of seconds as opposed to wasting productivity time rummaging through a tooling abyss. 
2. For shops that use the “locked supply cabinet” approach, inventory control devices save supervisors valuable time because they no longer have to stop what they are doing to distribute tooling to employees. 
3. Companies can effectively manage their tooling supplies by having the ability to set dispensing limits by day, month or even shift.
4. Inventory control devices reduce overall tooling spends as well as eliminate stock-outs and UPS red shipments. 
5. If an employee dispenses a tool that typically machines up to 150 parts and he/she returns within the hour to check out the same tool, the company is privy to the fact there might be something wrong with a machining process. 
6. Inventory control devices can force tool regrinds instead of dispensing new tools, which helps play a role in reducing tooling spends. 
7. Rapid refill features ensure fast, accurate tool replenishment without any repackaging requirements, thereby improving efficiency and eliminating stock shortages. 
8. Employees are more accountable for the tools they use because inventory control devices manage item issuance and monitor tool usage with take/return, check-in/check-out and serialization functions. Essentially, this level of control allows management to know who dispensed what and for what reason. 
9. Inventory control devices help eliminate excessive or wasteful consumption because employees can no longer “hoard” tooling that could become lost or accidently discarded. 
10. Purchasing agents spend less time on tooling requisitions because inventory control devices with reordering and order management capabilities make it quick and easy to maintain adequate stock of critical tooling. 
11. Inventory control devices are simple to use and easy to implement into any work environment. The SupplyPod, for instance, only requires a power source and Internet connection for full functionality. It interfaces with modern ERP systems for continuously updating business environments. 
12. Most inventory control devices are customizable or come in a variety of configurations, which enables them to adapt to the constant changes within the manufacturing industry.

Overall, one of the easiest ways to bring more efficiencies and cost savings into your operations is by optimizing your tooling stock. Advanced inventory management systems, which includes the Seco SupplyPod, can help get you there as well as give you a competitive advantage over the other guys.

If you have questions about point-of-use automated inventory control devices, including our SupplyPod, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

About the Author
Magnus works closely with Seco customers to provide them with business solutions that increase their productivity and profitability. With a mechanical engineering degree from Wennstromska University, he began his metal cutting career as a shift supervisor for the insert quality control department at Seco Tools AB. In 2000, he joined Seco Tools U.S. as manager of production control for NAFTA insert manufacturing and took over his current role as business solutions manager in 2006. In his spare time, Magnus enjoys traveling, golfing, hockey and spending time with his family. Contact Magnus at

Thursday, May 3, 2012

3 Reasons to Put a Dynamic Spin on Your Hard Milling Efforts

By Gary Meyers, Product Manager - Milling

With the mold and die industry’s increased workloads these days, many shops are investing in new state-of-the-art equipment to effectively tackle hard milling applications and increase productivity. As part of this latest trend, dynamic milling techniques are becoming increasingly popular, especially when using solid carbide cutting tools. Perhaps it’s because newer machine tools provide the higher feed rates and RPMs necessary for successful dynamic milling.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the dynamic method for milling, it’s an optimized roughing approach that combines large cutting depths with relatively small radial engagement when cutting steel. This strategy is also very effective when machining at 60 Rockwell or harder. This method, also known as peel milling, peels off small amounts of material at high speeds and feed rates.

Here are three ways dynamic milling can make a big difference when working with a wide range of steels:
  1. With this technique, the tool path constantly adjusts to ensure the most efficient cut possible by maintaining constant chipload and engagement of the cutter. Furthermore, an optimized toolpath maximizes material removal rates.
  2. Dynamic milling utilizes the cutting tool’s entire flute length, which helps eliminate the need for multiple depth cuts.
  3. With the required CAM programming, dynamic milling can increase removal rates by up to 300 percent when compared to traditional methods.

Dynamic milling removes a lot of material at a very high feed rate, which creates pile-ups of big, long chips that can clog and damage a machine’s conveyor. Therefore implementing the right cutting tool is crucial.

Seco created the Jabro™ Solid² JS554 3C for just these situations. It’s a high-performance four-flute shoulder end mill with a long cutting edge and built-in chip splitters.

The JS554 3C uses its chip splitters to break the chips up into to a small, manageable size, resulting in improved chip evacuation from the cutting zone as well as from the machine. Furthermore, the JS554 3C’s full cutting length and chip splitters, when combined with the dynamic milling method, generate increased levels of productivity and significantly higher tool life due to a consistent load.

If you have questions about dynamic milling techniques or our new JS554 3C, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

About the Author
Gary works closely with product development, marketing and field sales to effectively launch new Seco milling products into the market as well as ensure their long-term success. Outside of work, he enjoys outdoor activities, which includes running 5k and 10k races in the summer and downhill skiing in the winter. Contact Gary at

VIDEO: Jabro™- Solid² JS554 3C