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Exploring Advanced Manufacturing Technologies designed to intorduce new technologies to the student, teacher, manufacturing engineer, supervisor, and management. Many new manufacturing technologies have been included in this resource to serve as a ready r
Exploring Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
(Thriller Combination Tool)

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   by Steve Karr & Arthur Gill
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Industrial Press Inc.
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Thrilling of M8 x 1.25 holes with 16-mm thread depth has a hole-to-hole cycle time of 5 seconds in aluminum and 8 seconds in cast iron, according to the testing done by major auto manufacturers. This represents a 6:1 advantage over conventional methods on CNC machining centers, Fig. 3-4-6.

g. 3-4-6 A time comparison of conventional machining and thrilling a M12 threaded hole in aluminium. (Turchan Technologies)


With a special Thriller Spindle, it is believed that threaded holes in aluminum can be made at the rate of 120/min with a single spindle. Cradled in an eccentric quill, this special 60,000 r/min. spindle has built-in three-axis CNC motion capability.



Drilling and Threading Cross-Holes

Huron, Inc. (Lexington, Michigan), an automotive component supplier to the Big Three, is using the Thriller tool to drill and thread a cross-hole in 6005-T5 aluminum parts. The combined operation, performed on a Sugino V8 machining center, eliminates a separate tapping tool and one tool change.


Spindle speed throughout the combined operation is 6,000 r/min. Drilling is performed at a feed rate of 60 in/min; threading (by helical interpolation) at 6 in/min. The 3/8-24 thread form produced is machined to a depth of approximately 1 ½ times the thread diameter. Total machining cycle time is 6.1 seconds. Tool life is approximately 15,000 parts.


For the product engineers involved, a plus is that it produces a good thread form without the tearing or load-up associated with tapping aluminum. The combination tool saves space for one or more additional tools in the automatic toolchanger. The machining center used for the cross-hole threading operation has only eight tool positions. Saving even one of those positions for another tool can be a big help in changing over to a new job.


Currently, a spotfacing operation also required in the cross-hole processing is performed by a separate tool. Huron is looking at a tool that will combine the drilling, spotfacing, and threading cuts in a single operation.


Pump Component

A British pump manufacturer put to the test the concept that a combination tool like the Thriller tool could drill/ countersink and thread mill a cast-iron pump casing in a single operation. The test part selected was a casing processed on a machining center in the pump company’s end suction unit. Several M10 and M12 internal threads are required on this part.


Previously, the threads were produced by first drilling a hole with a conventional tap drill (HSS-TiN-coated), then using a conventional tap to generate the thread form. Use of the new combination tool eliminated one tool and one tool change and it reduced cycle time per hole from 40 seconds to 12.


With both the tap drill and tap requiring replacement every 1,000 holes (in contrast to 20,000 holes with the Thriller solid-carbide replacement), and based on a machine-time cost of $45.00 per hour, the total cost per thread was cut from $0.56 to $0.18.


With these results, using a single tool for drilling and threading was quickly adopted as the permanent process for threading the casing. In two years, this type of cutting tool averaged 20,000 parts per tool. In contrast to previous costs of $11,240 to drill and tap 20,000 parts, the cost is now $3,600.


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