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Redesign of Fluid Manifold Prototype for Production

BDE Manufacturing Technologies needed to reduce the cycle time for the production of a 6.3″ long by 1¼”-square fluid manifold. This part was machined from round 316 stainless steel bar, utilizing a process adopted from the customer. The manifold design specified a 6.2″ deep by 0.59″ diameter blind-hole, and the customer’s process of drilling in two passes – one from each end of the bar – then plugging and welding one end. BDE drilled the prototype part from both ends of the generic 316 stainless bar, using a standard cobalt twist drill gripped in an ER collet and a 40-taper toolholder, drilling at 20 sfm with a chip load of 0.002 ipt. Pecking was required to clear chips from the hole. Drilling took about 9 minutes per side, or 18 minutes per manifold. Welding was an added labor cost, along with the risk of a weld leak. This time consuming blind hole process needed to be shortened in order for volume production to be efficient and cost effective.

The Titex A6589 DPP-15 through-coolant, AlCrN-coated carbide twist drill with double margins was recommended for completing the hole from one end of the bar. The cost of a coolant fed drill was inappropriate for a prototype job, but would be valuable for production. BDE also decided to upgrade to premium steel, and change the drill holding to the powRgrip system for improved rigidity to run the drill at maximum capacity. Tweaking the process after a few runs, BDE decided to precede the deep-hole drill with Titex A6181 TFT-15 pilot-hole drill. The changes resulted in new drilling parameters to 175 sfm and a chip load of 0.035 ipt. Pecking was unnecessary with the use of through the tool coolant. The 18 minute process was cut down to 85 seconds. For more information about this process redesign or the other innovative manufacturing techniques of BDE Manufacturing Technologies, please contact them directly.