As a recognised pioneer and leader in its industry, German manufacturer WTO has always set the benchmark in the design and manufacture of high-precision toolholders for CNC turning and multitasking centres. The company’s technologically superior products are known for achieving higher levels of productivity and longer tool life.

One of these products is the state-of-the-art Driven Broaching Unit, which offers economic manufacturing of oriented keyways and splines with CNC turning centres. The WTO Driven Broaching Unit can be used for both internal (ID) and external (OD) broaching, simply by rotating the insert holder by 180 degrees, and offers speeds of up to 1,000 strokes per minute.

In an actual case history, a CNC machine shop based in Summerville, in the US state of South Carolina, needed to develop a process that would give the required cycle time and tool life to maintain the desired profitability. The task was to machine a high-volume component made from 8620 steel that was designed with a complex internal spline.

The job shop owner initially purchased two lathes and a standard broaching system. Early in the project, however, it was observed that the broaching unit originally installed with the lathes was not nearly rigid enough, resulting in a substantial amount of ‘chatter’ causing premature tool wear.

WTO, along with a number of other suppliers, came together to see what could be done to solve this problem and optimise tool life, as this was essential if the project was to be economically viable. It was soon established that the broaching unit was the key problem, and accordingly the company turned to WTO’s USA Director of Operations, Allen Rupert, who in turn arranged for the customer to receive a WTO Driven Broaching Unit from WTO in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Right away it was clear that the WTO unit was substantially more rigid because the ‘chatter’ issues that had been experienced in the beginning had disappeared, and the customer immediately ordered three additional units .

The result has been a huge improvement in tool life, which in turn has made the project economically viable. In addition to improving tooling performance, WTO’s Driven Broaching Unit has also improved the overall broaching process on the lathe.

“The experience that this South Carolina Company had is clear proof of the benefits that a WTO Driven Broaching Unit has in extending tool life,” says Paul Fowler, Managing Director of Dimac Tooling – WTO’s Australian agents.

Another benefit that WTO range of static and driven precision toolholders offers for CNC machine tool operators is the QuickFlex quick change system – a new and innovative quick change system in one toolholder.

“Providing an ER collet chuck and quick change system in one toolholder provides a number of benefits, including reduced tool change time and higher flexibility,” Fowler adds.

The comprehensive QuickFlex system covers a full range of different tool clamping adapter types and sizes, and the tool change is designed to be quick, easy and safe utilising a one-hand wrench.

Dimac Tooling is a leading supplier of accessories and workholding solutions for CNC milling and CNC turning machine tools across Australia and New Zealand. The company also manufactures soft and hard jaws in its own CNC-equipped machine shop in Dandenong, Victoria.

“Like all WTO products, the Driven Broaching Unit is manufactured in Germany, so high quality and durability is a given,” Fowler concludes. “Like all the products we sell, the WTO range has the full back up and support of Dimac technical personnel to ensure the product is installed correctly and operates at optimum performance.”