Solid-carbide tool manufacturer standardizes on grinding software

Published
April 28, 2023 - 07:30am
TN Vaerktoejsslibning is deploying NUMROTO,

TN Vaerktoejsslibning, Denmark’s second-largest precision tooling company, is deploying NUMROTO, the programming system for tool grinding from NUM, across its entire production floor. The company cites highly successful long-term experience of the software, together with excellent technical support from NUM, as the key reasons for choosing to standardize on NUMROTO.

Founded by Torben Nielsen in 1987 – which coincidentally is the same year that NUMROTO was launched – TN Vaerktoejsslibning has grown steadily to become a leading player in the manufacture of special solid carbide tools, with an enviable reputation for the quality and precision of its products. Operating from a modern 2000 m2 industrial facility in Bjaeverskov, some 30 miles southwest of Copenhagen, the company serves the world market and currently exports about 70 percent of its production.

One of TN Vaerktoejsslibning’s prime business advantages is that it handles every aspect of manufacturing and can therefore track the movement of individual tools from initial order through to delivery. The company maintains a large stock of high quality ‘subnanograin carbide’ materials in the form of rods with internal cooling channels and solid bars, ranging in diameter from 2 to 70 mm. Using multiple advanced CNC grinding machines, TN Vaerktoejsslibning produces a comprehensive range of standard ‘TN’ brand high-speed end mills, step drills and form cutters, the design and dimensions of which can be tailored to meet customers’ needs for ‘exactly the right tool for the job’. 

TN Vaerktoejsslibning also operates advanced in-house tool polishing and coating technology. Tools can optionally be coated both before and after polishing, to extend their service life and to help optimize chip evacuation. The company additionally offers tool regrind and recoat services. Provided that a tool is physically undamaged, it can often be returned to full service after regrinding and possibly recoating, for less than 50 percent of the cost of a new tool.

Every aspect of tool manufacturing at TN Vaerktoejsslibning is extensively automated. The main production hall is equipped with fifteen 5-axis CNC grinding centers, complemented by cylindrical grinding machines. All of these machines are controlled by NUMROTO software and are networked together to help simplify production management and software maintenance. Each machine has a dedicated programming station, enabling part programs to be created while grinding is taking place, and the company is also in the process of expanding its multi-user programming facility, which currently has capacity for seven users.

An interesting facet of TN Vaerktoejsslibning’s operational structure, which is quite possibly a factor behind the company’s consistent year-on-year success, is that it deliberately has a flat hierarchy – there is no design department. Each CNC machine operator is responsible for programming, grinding the tools and fully documenting the process.

According to Torben Nielsen – who is still at the helm of the company as TN Vaerktoejsslibning’s CEO as well as its owner, “We try to make work as interesting and satisfying as possible for people, and over the years we have built up a dynamic team of highly qualified and committed employees. Another important point is that by standardizing on NUMROTO for the bulk of our CNC machining operations, we benefit immensely from our employees sharing a common pool of expertise and knowledge about state-of-the-art tool production technologies and processes. Many of our more specialist tools are only required in small batch sizes – sometimes just 2 or 3 – and yet we aim to supply these to customers within the same 9-day timeframe as our standard tools. To help meet this goal, our operators need fast, simple and unambiguous machine control facilities – which in turn demand very flexible, accurate and reliable software, with a modern user interface.”

Related Glossary Terms

  • centers

    centers

    Cone-shaped pins that support a workpiece by one or two ends during machining. The centers fit into holes drilled in the workpiece ends. Centers that turn with the workpiece are called “live” centers; those that do not are called “dead” centers.

  • computer numerical control ( CNC)

    computer numerical control ( CNC)

    Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • cylindrical grinding

    cylindrical grinding

    Grinding operation in which the workpiece is rotated around a fixed axis while the grinding wheel is fed into the outside surface in controlled relation to the axis of rotation. The workpiece is usually cylindrical, but it may be tapered or curvilinear in profile. See centerless grinding; grinding.

  • flat ( screw flat)

    flat ( screw flat)

    Flat surface machined into the shank of a cutting tool for enhanced holding of the tool.

  • grinding

    grinding

    Machining operation in which material is removed from the workpiece by a powered abrasive wheel, stone, belt, paste, sheet, compound, slurry, etc. Takes various forms: surface grinding (creates flat and/or squared surfaces); cylindrical grinding (for external cylindrical and tapered shapes, fillets, undercuts, etc.); centerless grinding; chamfering; thread and form grinding; tool and cutter grinding; offhand grinding; lapping and polishing (grinding with extremely fine grits to create ultrasmooth surfaces); honing; and disc grinding.

  • polishing

    polishing

    Abrasive process that improves surface finish and blends contours. Abrasive particles attached to a flexible backing abrade the workpiece.

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