We hope you enjoy this first part of a 3-part series examining broach tool performance.
They may look the same at first glance, but all broach tools are not created equal. Measuring performance over time is the proof in the pudding. I hope you will invest a few minutes into reading this blog series. Our goal is to help you and your company save time and money by understanding how tool manufacturing methods effect optimized, stable, process outcomes.
When I go into a factory that is having problems with their broaching process, one stop I like to make is the tool crib, to talk to the person responsible for sending the broach tools out for sharpening. The people working in the tool crib generally know what’s going on, how often there are issues, what tools work best, which ones have issues, and why. They interact daily with machine operators, setup people, engineering, and vendors. If there are recurring problems and patterns of tool performance and inconsistency, they will know.
When you are thinking about broach tools, these are the factors to consider in the manufacturing process that effect optimized, stable performance, and outcomes:
- Tool Design
- Material Selection
- CNC Manufacture
- Edge Preparation
I want to touch on each step briefly, but with enough detail to paint the complete picture. Now you think, why should I have to know how the tools are made, I just want to buy tools that work as expected and promised, every time. My answer to that is, if you don’t ask how they were made, and how they will be sharpened, you won’t know, and after all, they all look pretty much alike!
Every person or company selling you a broach tool wants you to believe they make the best tool and offer the best price or value. You need to ask and discern if what they say is on the level! Price, while important, is not as important as optimized, consistent performance! If this statement were not 100% correct, your company parking lot would be full of Yugo’s! For your process to be reliable and predictable, the tools need to provide optimized, stable performance; if your tools don’t, you will need to find out why. Chances are it’s the manufacturing process!
To understand the different approaches manufacturers use to make broach tools that may affect optimized, stable performance of the tools, we need to turn to history… which we will do in Part 2. Stay tuned!!