Ceratizit to showcase High Dynamic Turning with Free Turn at IMTS

One indexable insert with several cutting edges can comprise different cutting angles, corner radii, chipbreakers, coatings or cutter materials to suit specific applications. (Courtesy: Ceratizit)

In September 2019, Ceratizit launched the first standard range of products for its innovative High Dynamic Turning (HDT) with FreeTurn process. The tool manufacturer has taken the next step in revolutionizing turning. Ceratizit was joined by leading machine tool and control system manufacturers as well as providers of CAD/CAM systems. This new development is now available and will be showcased to the North American market at IMTS in Chicago in September, 2020.

HDT from Ceratizit has turned conventional turning methods into a new direction. This new turning technology, combined with the company’s dynamic FreeTurn tooling, means that it is now possible to carry out all traditional turning operations such as roughing, finishing, contour turning, face turning, and longitudinal turning with just one tool. HDT with FreeTurn represents a completely new method of turning.

For 100 years, new cutting materials, new chip breakers, and a few new tooling systems have been invented to optimize turning. However, the actual basic turning process has remained essentially unchanged. Even today, a contour is created with an indexable insert at a fixed angle to the workpiece. This method has not changed, even with the addition of controllable axes in modern turning-milling centers, machines which are intended to serve one purpose — namely, to manufacture a component as completely as possible within a single machine work envelope. Ceratizit has taken advantage of the features on these turning-milling centers and developed the High Dynamic Turning (HDT) System. The simple idea behind HDT: The tool approach and point of contact in the machine can be varied as opposed to conventional turning with a fixed tool.

Instead of the classic, static position of the insert in the holder, the milling spindle is now used to produce the corresponding approach angle to the workpiece. The use of the spindle drive, in conjunction with the slim, axial tool design of the FreeTurn tools by Ceratizit, creates a degree of freedom of 360° without the risk of collision, thus providing unprecedented flexibility. Due to the rotation around its own tool axis, the cutting-edge change can be done without interrupting the cutting process. Additionally, the angle of approach is freely variable at any time and can even be changed while cutting. This not only enables flexible machining of almost every workpiece contour, but also optimum chip breaking, higher feed rates, and an increase in tool life.

The defining characteristic of FreeTurn tooling is its simple structure. The tool holder, together with its slim shank and axial concept which optimizes the direction of the cutting forces into the spindle, forms a stable unit. At the cutting end, there is a multi-sided insert, which is simply screwed in place. The principle is simple: The patented FreeTurn insert can consist of several cutting edges with different properties. The tool can be adapted to the machining requirements, offering the further advantage of replacing several tools on a job. This, in turn, leads to significant savings in tool change times, tool magazine loadouts and tool costs overall.

In terms of efficiency, HDT exceeds the conventional turning process many times over and, as the experts from Ceratizit are demonstrating daily, will replace the classic approaches, sooner rather than later. This new turning technology will continue to open and reveal possibilities in the future to make turning processes faster and more precise. The future of turning will rapidly change with HDT and Ceratizit developers looking forward to supporting their customers along this journey, according to a company spokesman.

Since Ceratizit presented High Dynamic Turning and FreeTurn tools, a number of major machine and control system manufacturers have begun developing solutions for an automated process. CAD/CAM providers have also begun to develop solutions for programming HDT-specific program sequences. A number of promising CAM programs were on display at EMO 2019, including Open Mind and Siemens NX. Ceratizit HDT and FreeTurn tools also generated considerable interest during the live presentations from machine manufacturers DMG Mori and Mazak.

From the beginning of the HDT process, Ceratizit has relied on an open source model, supplying all interested parties with the relevant information to allow them to help develop their HDT turning process.

Meanwhile, the tool manufacturer devoted its attention to its core business, developing a standard range of FreeTurn tools. Four indexable insert geometries were initially launched. This range included indexable inserts for machining steel/stainless steel (2x roughing and 1x finishing, 3x roughing, symmetrical) and for aluminum (3 cutting edges, symmetrical). The holders are available with a range of different overhang lengths for each size and are available for the HSK-T and PSC machine interfaces. Ceratizit is making this insert package available to interested parties on a test program basis.

At press time, the IMTS show date had not changed.

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