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When it comes to equipping your manufacturing processes, PCD tools (polycrystalline diamond tools) are worth looking into. These tools are made with diamond particles and a metallic binder which are joined together at a very high heat and very high pressure. The resulting tool is one of the hardest, toughest tools available today. It might cost more than other potential options, but it’s also well worth it. The following are several reasons why these tools can improve your manufacturing processes as they currently stand, increase your productivity, and increase the life of your valuable machinery.
Perform at Higher Speeds
PCD tooling is able to operate at speeds up to 10 times what you might get from solid carbide tools when they reach their peak efficiency. For example, the average carbide reamer can run around 2,500 rpm while PCD reamers can reach between 8,000 and 12,000 rpms or more. Your manufacturing processes will enjoy higher feed rates and lower cycle times. That means you can provide your clients with shorter lead times compared to a lot of your competitors. Having a quicker turnaround time for your projects can also lead to having increased time for developing new products, taking on more clients, and being able to complete backend tasks that have piled up.
Tolerances Are Tighter
Since PCD tooling has more accuracy, tolerances are much tighter compared to solid carbide tools. Some manufacturers offer tolerances as low as .003 mm. Your manufacturing processes might have previously wasted a lot of money, time, and energy on auxiliary operations, including deburring and grinding. PCD tooling lets you quickly finish even more parts than before while enjoying improved accuracy, quality, and cleaner edges than possible before.
Consistency Like Never Before
If you’ve worked with solid carbide tools a lot in the past, then you might know how fast they wear out. Sometimes, they only last weeks or even just a few days. PCD tools can last up to 25x as long as competing materials. That results in less manufacturing downtime without replacements or sharpening. Smaller shops can get more mileage out of their investment, and any production facility can have higher yields and improved workflows.
Improves Surface Finish
PCD tooling provides superior surface finishes free of the need for any auxiliary operations. You’ll save substantial money, time, and resources while still offering your clients consistently high levels of quality. Another benefit of PCD tools is that they don’t generate as much heat during the process of grinding. This helps reduce, or even completely avoid, burning and cracking on the surface of the tool. It can also reduce the amount of energy consumed by the machine, saving you money.
Useful With Many Materials
If you haven’t used PCD tooling in quite a while, it might have been back when it was niche equipment applied only for select materials. However, advances in technology, manufacturing processes, and materials now enable PCD tooling for use in many different materials. PCD tools can now effectively cut non-ferrous materials such as; abrasive plastics, metal-matrix composites, aluminum, copper, carbon, and many more.
Many manufacturers are seeing the future happen now thanks to PCD tooling. The number of materials it can be applied to is growing all the time. Everyone from small shops to large corporate facilities are enjoying higher-caliber production parts, shorter lead times, and more cost control. The time has certainly come for you to consider whether or not PCD tooling can improve your own manufacturing processes. Whether you work in aerospace, medical, optical, or other industries, chances are very good that it can.
By Rachelle Wilber
who is a freelance writer and residing in San Diego, California area. Rachelle finds an interest in all topics and have Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies.