Kennametal has signed a licensing agreement with Sumitomo Electric for the supply of Kennametal’s breakthrough KM4X spindle connection solution globally.
Sumitomo Electric, a leading global supplier of electric wire, optical fibres and cutting tool products, sees significant benefit for its manufacturing customers.
The spindle connection, the interface between the machine tool’s spindle and toolholder, has to provide the torque and bending load capacity compatible with machine tool specifications. Cutting forces, particularly in roughing or machining high-strength materials, generate bending moments that will exceed the interface’s limits prior to reaching torque limits.
KM4X by Kennametal combines high clamping force and optimised interference levels to provide a robust connection, extremely high stiffness, and bending load capacity for greatly improved performance in machining high-strength alloys and other materials. This means extremely high metal removal rates and more completed parts per day.
John R. Tucker, Vice President and President of the Industrial Business Segment for Kennametal Inc. describes the KM4X spindle connection as one of the most rigid systems in the world with its design enabling manufacturing companies to maximise their capital investments.
KM4X enables higher metal removal rates, which facilitates higher machine tool utilisation and reduced cost per part, while increasing the manufacturer’s available capacity. He adds that having an innovative technology partner like Sumitomo Electric supply the KM4X connection will create a powerful production advantage for manufacturing companies around the world.
Advanced materials require advanced manufacturing
The continuing development of high-strength, lightweight materials such as titanium alloys, Inconel, and new aluminium alloys is eagerly sought by manufacturers in many industries, including aerospace and defence, energy, and transportation. These new materials present significant machining challenges in themselves.
Machine tool builders have responded with milling and turning centres that feature improved stiffness and damping on spindles and sizable machine structures and motors, all to provide the significant horsepower, torque and thrust forces required while minimising undesirable vibrations that deteriorate part quality and tool life.
Doug Ewald, Director, Global Product Management, Tooling Systems at Kennametal comments the tool-spindle connection in most cases determines how much material can be removed in a given operation. This is because this interface must withstand high loads and yet maintain its rigidity. With the ongoing advances in cutting tools and machining centres, a spindle connection that makes the best utilisation of available power possible is an important consideration to investigate early in production planning.
John Jacko, vice president and chief marketing officer at Kennametal adds that the KM4X spindle connection combined with Sumitomo Electric’s innovative technology will enable companies to investigate high-torque, high-speed machining capabilities for both existing and new equipment.