CUTTING THROUGH THE CHALLENGES
Manufacturing Today|December 2021
WITH THE SIGNS OF REGAINING AFTER A PROLONGED PERIOD OF DOWNCAST, CUTTING TOOLS INDUSTRY LOOKS UPBEAT ABOUT THE FUTURE GROWTH PROSPECT
MAT KHAN

AN 8000-CRORE INDUSTRY OF A HEALTHY MIX of large multinational corporations supported by clusters of domestic MSMEs, the cutting tools industry has a small but noteworthy role to play in the country’s vision of self-reliant India. After a harrowing period of disruptions, businesses in the cutting tools industry are looking up and the industry is gearing up to cut through the mesh of pandemic-induced lockdowns.

“Now, after passing through the miseries of the second pandemic wave, the Indian industry is gettingback its lost momentum. After the massive disruption, wheels of progress have started rolling,” says Prashant Sardeshmukh, MD, MMC Hardmetal India Pvt Ltd., a Mitsubishi subsidiary.

Helping its morale is the expectation of adding new sectors to the conventional.

The cutting tools industry in India traditionally gets major business from the automotive sector. However, over the years, especially during the last five to six years, after government initiatives like ʹMake in Indiaʹ and ʹAtmanirbhar Bharatʹ, we are trying to establish a presence in other manufacturing sectors, viz. aerospace, railways, general engineering, medical & pharma, and infrastructure development to derive new business opportunities,” says Sardeshmukh.

With the shop floor abuzz again, there is an interest to brush through the latest products and solutions for cutting tools in the market.

TURNING APPLICATIONS

When it comes to turning applications, chip control remains among the major challenges for cutting tools enterprises. In cutting methods such as turning, where the tool is in continuous engagement, it is the function of a chip breaker to improve chip control and to reduce cutting resistance.

Popular for simplicity of innovations in taking care of chip control, Tungaloy boasts of “special geometrics and unconventional approach angles that are yet easy to use with standard available tool holders at the customers’ end,” says Jay Shah, Managing Director, Tungaloy India Pvt. Ltd.

“Applications which pose a challenge for chip control are at the corner and while machining steps,” says Shah. GM, FNGM, and YNGM from Tungaloy are some of the applications that come with inserts of 75-, 45- and 25-degree angles which help in good chip evacuation and chip breaking in particular whereas miniature machining it offers 3D geometries on miniature turning inserts.

Mitsubishi has developed breakers for all P, M, S, K, N and H groups of ISO workpiece material machinability based classification and has developed an elaborate new breaker system that is composed of cutting areas classified according to the depth of the cut and the feed rate for easy identification of application range, informs Sardeshmukh.

It has coating grades developed considering the phenomenon of work material, cutting conditions, and market demands. Its breakers and coating grades of all classifications fulfill the needs of all cutting conditions like continuous, general, and interrupted cutting, he elaborates.

For turning, inserts should be able to withstand shocks for general and interrupted cutting conditions. Wear resistance is what a shop floor looks for during high-speed machining. MMC has nanotexture technology to take care of this need.

“Our new grade uses improved nanotexture technology that controls crystal orientation, improving wear resistance during high-speed machining. The Super TOUGH-Grip technology improves adhesion strength between coatings and prevents coating peeling,” says the MMC Hard Metal MD.

Among the new challenges are the turning of net-shaped parts “low depths and moderate to high feeds and high cutting speeds are the order of the day,” says Tungaloy MD.

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