With the shift in the Australian manufacturing sector towards small to medium-sized niche operations comes the increasing demand for specialist high-performance cutting tool solutions.

The machining of complex parts with intricate forms and profiles has resulted in the need for local suppliers to deliver special cutting tools with unique geometries and advanced ceramic coatings in rapid delivery times. For over 10 years, Guhring has supplied customised cutting tools from its Production and Service Division based in Melbourne.

The major growth area has been the supply of custom-made solid carbide rotating cutting tools. The high-performance range includes step drills, form/profile end mills, special reamers, compression routers and clay model cutters. Encouraged by this success, Guhring has just announced a major new investment in CNC grinding and PVD coating equipment to further support local manufacturers.

Complete value-chain optimisation

“High productivity, excellent economic efficiency and optimal machining have been the hallmarks of Guhring products for over 100 years,” says Brendan Smith, National Sales Manager at Guhring.

Guhring customers’ trust is well-founded, with tool material, geometry and coating all perfectly matched to one another. Guhring’s revolutionary coating technology complemented by state-of-the-art R&D ensure its technological leadership in rotary cutting tools worldwide.

Guhring Australia sources carbide rods exclusively from its production plants in Germany to ensure the highest-quality materials. The grinding of special tools is done on state-of-the-art Guhring-built CNC grinding machines and PVD coatings are deposited using advanced coating technology developed at the company’s coating machine building division in Berlin, Germany.

Investing in world-leading technology

A new five-axis Guhring-built CNC grinding machine has been added to the production grinding division in Melbourne. Also a major upgrade of the PVD coating machine has helped to reduce delivery times and increase the range of products available. The technology in grinding and coating hardware is the same here in Australia as can be found in the production plants in Germany. The result is the latest technological advancements in CNC grinding and PVD coating technology available in the world.

“We are fortunate to be able to harness global expertise locally to best meet the strict delivery requirements of the most technologically astute customer,” says Christof Richartz, Managing Director of Guhring Australia.

Super-fast special tool delivery

The time required to supply special carbide cutting tools is influenced by three factors: the supply of raw materials; the machine capacity in the grinding division: and access to an advanced PVD coating chamber. Guhring is a major supplier of carbide rods in Australia and keeps a large range of carbide blanks in stock in Melbourne. In almost all cases, Guhring will have carbide blanks in stock and ready for grinding. The Guhring grinding division operates 24 hours per day during the week, as well as regular weekend shifts to keep delivery times at a minimum. Its team of highly skilled staff are specialists in small batch production of complex and intricate cutting tools.

The new CNC grinding machine has further increased capacity to help reduce delivery times even further. Nowadays most metal cutting applications use advanced PVD coatings to increase the performance of cutting tools. The on-site PVD coating division at Guhring operates two shifts per day and provides a rapid coating service for special cutting tools. Urgent orders can be PVD-coated and ready for shipment within hours of grinding.

Drawing on global design support

Guhring has more than 47 service centres in all corners of the world. To help maintain the highest standards in special tool production, the company uses a central tool design database located at Guhring’s Headquarters in Germany. This can be accessed online directly by the Melbourne office.

The online SAP-integrated database uses Guhring’s own standard tool templates for designing special tool types such as step drills, profile end mills and reamers. All special tools are designed to the highest international standards within minutes. The custom designs are then allocated a unique tool number. Production as well as customer approval drawings are issued via email.

Using such a centralised system allows Guhring to design special high-performance tools anytime, anywhere around the world to the exact same standard.

Minimising machine downtime

An important aspect of maintaining short turnaround times for special cutting tools is to keep machine downtime to a minimum. This is achieved by keeping all production equipment serviced and maintained to the highest possible level.

At Guhring, the machines are built by its machine building division in Germany. Service, maintenance and upgrades are done by the same technicians that built the machines in the first place. The production staff working at the subsidiaries and the producers of the machines in Germany work for the same company. This creates an alignment of knowledge that helps to minimise machine downtime and encourage the upgrading of machines with the latest hardware and most up-to-date software.

Performance snapshot

The combination of a large carbide stock, in-house CNC grinding and PVD coating makes Guhring the one-stop-shop for the supply of special tools in the fastest delivery times.

The success of small-to-medium niche manufacturers of specialised and complex parts has resulted in a growth in demand for custom-made precision cutting tools. Guhring has recognised this growth and responded by expanding its local production and service division with the installation of a new five-axis CNC grinding machine and a major upgrade of its advanced PVD coating unit.

The investment has significantly increased Guhring’s capacity to produce special carbide tools to meet unique customer demands. Guhring has committed to delivering the fastest possible delivery times by operating the grinding division 24 hours per day and the coating service running two shifts per day. It all comes down to delivering sharper, more agile thinking required in today’s highly competitive manufacturing world.