This episode, recorded live at a recent conference, consists of a conversation between Jim and Jason and their guest, Mike Ramsey, Global Vice President of The Industrial Diversified Market Unit at Kennametal. Kennametal is a global manufacturer of cutting tools, mills, drills, taps, and more, so Jason and Jim thought it would be great to ask Mike about the newest cutting tool advances and his perspective on the future of manufacturing. Mike shares insight into the newest cutting tool technology, the power of automation, the need for a new generation of skilled metal workers, and more, so don’t miss it.
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PCD tools (polycrystalline diamond) are one of the items Mike Ramsey pointed to as an example of cutting tool innovations that are making a huge difference in the manufacturing industry. Many people think of PCD as being used only for finish machining, but some PCD cutting tools are now durable enough to be used in a much wider range of applications. Mike points to the more common use of aluminum in the automotive and aircraft industries as examples of what has caused PDC tools to be improved and to become more useful. Mike mentions a handful of other cutting tool innovations in this episode as well, so don’t miss it.
Carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) is a material that is growing in popularity and being applied in a wider and wider range of applications. Its strength, durability, and corrosion resistance make it ideal for automotive and aerospace uses. But CFRP is not exactly friendly to many cutting or drilling tools. It can cause the tool geometry to wear down in a matter of minutes. That requires cutting tool manufacturers like Kennametal to go back to the drawing board to come up with cutting tool solutions that don’t have the same disadvantages. In this conversation, Mike Ramsey explains some of the newer tools available and why it’s important for manufacturers to make the switch as soon as possible.
One of the major costs of any manufacturing operation is the replacement of tools. Therefore, manufacturers do everything they can to extend the life and usability of the tools they purchase. One of the enhancements to tool technology mentioned by Jim and Jason’s guest, Mike Ramsey is the implementation of PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition). Coating appropriate tools in this manner can bring about increased performance, improved productivity, reduced wear and friction, and more. Get the inside story on PVD coatings and discover if they may be of benefit to you, on this episode of Making Chips.
Every manufacturer is looking for ways to be more competitive and superior to their competitors. Jim and Jason asked Mike Ramsey what he’s seen successful manufacturers do that those who are unsuccessful do not do, as well as what should be done to stay ahead of the competition. In answer to the first question, Mike says those who are not afraid to implement automation are the ones who are succeeding. And in order to stay ahead of the competition, Mike advises manufacturers to be aware of what’s going on in the metallurgical end of the market (What are the materials being cut?), listen to your customers in order to better understand and meet their needs, understand where the market is going, and know what’s being developed in the machine tool industry. That’s the information that will enable you to know what you need to do to supply customer needs and stay ahead of your competition.