BDE Manufacturing Technologies was looking ways to reduce the production cycle time of a square fluid manifold measuring 6.3″ x 1 1/4″. This manifold was made from a round 316 stainless steel bar and machined as per the process suggested by a customer. The manifold design demanded a blind hole, which was 6.2″ deep with a 0.59″ wide diameter. The customers drilling process involved two phases of drilling – one from an end of the bar, and welding and plugging one end. BDE conducted the drilling for both ends of the 316 stainless bar with a cobalt twist grill equipped with an ER collet for better gripping, and a 40-taper tool holder. This allowed drilling with a chip load of 0.002 ipt at 20 sfm. Also, pecking was performed to clear small chips that blocked the hole. The drilling time per side was 9 minutes, and per manifold was 18 minutes. In addition to this, the welding was also performed. This added to labor costs and induced a risk of weld leak. This time consuming blind hole process was difficult to follow for volume production. Hence, BDE Manufacturing Technologies was in search for a better technology, which allowed them improve the efficiency of volume production, and keep the costs low.
The Titex A6589 DPP-15 through-coolant, AlCrN-coated carbide twist drill with double margins emerged as a solution for the problem. This drill was recommended for drilling the hole from one end of the bar. However, the cost of the coolant to be fed in the drill was slightly higher, but they met their costs in high volume production runs. BDE took the decision to upgrade to high-quality steel, as well as adopt the powRgrip drill holding for running the drill at high capacity. After a few runs, the deep-hole drill was preceded with Titex A6181 TFT-15 pilot-hole drill. After this change, the drilling parameters changed to 175, and the chip load upgraded to 0.035 ipt. The tool coolant also helped cut down pecking from the process. The earlier process time of 18 minutes was drastically reduced to 85 seconds. For more information on the process redesign, or other manufacturing services provided by BDE Manufacturing Technologies, please contact them directly.