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Swiss Precision Since 1961 

Aerospace countersinking tools

Fastened for Flight

 

Automation is increasingly prevalent in aircraft manufacturing, HEULE President Gary Brown said. System providers continue to develop ways to streamline the holemaking process, using robots and tracked “crawlers” to reduce the need for humans in what has long been the most labor-intensive step of fuselage production.

“You have companies like Boeing and Airbus employing 40,000 workers with air guns to deburr and chamfer and countersink millions upon millions of holes each year,” he said. “So it’s only logical that they want to automate this wherever possible, not only to reduce costs but, more importantly, to improve product quality.”

 

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Cross hole deburring tools

Specialized Tools Help Deburr Cross-Holes

 

On saddle-shaped cross-holes, many tools designed to deburr flat holes will cut high on the high spots and cut low or do nothing on the low spots, according to Bill Hargrove, national sales manager at Heule Tool. “This leaves bigger edge breaks on the high spots and smaller edge breaks on the low ones, or it may not deburr completely all the way around the hole.”

In some precision applications, the uneven size of the edge break is a concern. Heule developed its line of Cofa deburring tools to produce a consistent edge break throughout the surface of a saddle-shaped cross-hole. The carbide cutting blade is controlled by a simple spring that allows it to pass through a bore without cutting or damaging the bore’s surface. Once the blade exits to the interior of the cross-hole, it opens to interact with burrs wherever it comes into contact with metal, pivoting to follow the contour of the hole’s surface. This way, the tool can remove all burrs while creating an even-tapered corner break.

 

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chamfer tool

Put the Right Tool in a Multi-Tool Manufacturing Line

 

The Heule SNAP tool provides this multi-tool manufacturer more chamfering and deburring, and does it faster than deburring by hand, preventing sluggishness and downtime due to maintenance or repairs. “Whether worn on a belt loop or stashed in a toolbox, we try to put the right tools into the hands of our customers,” said the manufacturing engineer. “By adding Heule Tool’s SNAP chamfering tool, our production line has the right tool
for the job as well.”

 

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Drilling and Chamfering Tool for UTEX

Drilling and Chamfering Tool Solves a Vexing Problem

 

Like many manufacturers, Houston-based Utex Industries had a vexing problem: how to save time on the production line while maintaining the quality and consistency of its product. The company manufactures polymeric seals, custom urethane and rubber molding, and well service products for the fluid sealing industry. Any inconsistency in the product, such as a burr left on a chamfered hole, can lead to critical part failure. One product that Utex makes has a collar on the seal cap to prevent leaking. The part is made of aluminum bronze and has eight to 10 holes through the outer- and inner-diameter walls on each part. The shop’s adoption of a couple of Heule’s Snap 5 Vex-S tools for its Okuma lathes have met the dual goals of efficiency and consistency.

 

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SWiss Quality Production Deburring Cross Bores

Beating the Burrs

Deburring cross bores on crank cases proved to be a problem. An innovation from Heule provided a solution. 

You will struggle to find a machinist who enjoys deburring. It is often seen as a stubborn problem compared to other parts of the processes that work well. A German car manufacturer found itself in this position when it came to producing a crankcase. The production process itself was fine. But when it came to deburring the cross bores, there were issues. The process was too complex and not reliable enough. But just like  many situations before, the problem proved to be fertile ground for innovation for Heule, as specialist producer of deburring tools from Switzerland. 

In this specific case, the car manufacturer's head of technology attended the AMB trade fair in Stuttgart to discuss the problem with Heule. "We currently use two deep-hole drills that we drive through the two boreholes 8-10 times each," explained the specialist. "But the process has proven unreliable. There are sometimes burrs left over, which require 100% checking and re-working. Now we are looking for a better solution." 

 

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Back Spotfacing article in AMD

Overcoming a Back Spot Facing Challenge

Whitcraft Group Machinists use Heule Tools to meet tight tolerances on difficult Inconel parts.

Aerospace industry specs often call for a part to be machined to the thousandth of an inch. In an ideal world, that level of precision wouldn’t sacrifice production time or tool longevity. Whitcraft Group, a manufacturer of aerospace components, is living in that ideal world, machining parts accurately, quickly, and without tool failure.

Mike Anderson, lead/supervisor of the Bearing Housing Flow Line at Whitcraft, gives the credit to the back spot facing (BSF) tool from Heule Tool he recently brought into the shop’s line. The BSF has sped up production time, decreased insert costs, and increased tool longevity, without sacrificing precision.

 

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Cutting Tool Engineering Cover

Crossed Up

Specialized tools help deburr cross-holes.

 Deburring drilled holes is essential to the manufacturing process. Burrs that aren't cleaned up can cause part failure by breaking off and clogging or damaging a part or an assembly or by cutting a wire or an O-ring that's passed through a bore. But cross-holes, where two or more holes intersect, are hard to reach and often require deburring by hand. 

 

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production machining magazine

Automated Deburring Tool Increases Production of Subsea Valves

Multiple difficult-to-reach holes, each of varying sizes, and of varying quantity depending on the part in question made machining subsea valves at Abco Subsea difficult. But ever since the company found the Cofa C Series tooling from HEULE Tool, it has worked flawlessly in the production line. 

 

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cross hole deburring article

Deburring Cross-Hole Intersections with Automated Tools

by Gary Brown

Machinists and programmers alike know how demanding cross-hole drilling can be, as it often exacerbates many of the difficulties inherent in metalworking. 

Deburring is already a painstaking process, but when burrs are difficult to inspect and access, as is the case in cross-hole intersections, traditional deburring methods are time consuming and inefficient. 

 

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Deburring COFA tool

Macro Economics, Micro Burrs: Get a Handle on Cost per Part, Set a Target

The mindset that should accompany decision making about how best to deburr parts should depend on establishing a target for cost per part. That’s the sage advice of LaRoux Gillespie, Dr. Eng, FSME, CMfgE, PE, a past president of SME and author of 13 books on burrs and deburring.

 

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Modern Machine Shop Magazine

Back Spotfacing Tool Frees Production from Costly Bottlenecks

Automating a time-consuming, intricate process can save a shop time and money while freeing up labor power for other tasks. Sometimes automation looks like a robot or a computer; but sometimes it looks like a counterboring tool with a retracting blade. A back spotfacer from Heule Tool (Loveland, Ohio) removed the need for operators at one machining business to manually detach and reattach the tool’s cutting head, reducing process time by two to three hours per part, on average.

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Canadian Metalworking

Driving Automatics:

 Automatic back spotfacing frees manpower at Vancouver machine shop

 For Sicom Industries, reliability and on-time production are what keep their customers coming back. Its parts are high value and its clients are in competitive industries, so being successful sometimes comes down to having the right tool for incredibly specific jobs, like back spotfacing up to 40 holes in an intricate casting for an oil pipeline. 

 

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Aerospace Engineering and Design

Precise Through-Holes

Implementing the right tools helps achieve perfectly deburred chamfered through-holes – and these tools benefit more than just jet engine manufacturers.

Gary Brown, vice president and general manager, Heule Tool of North America, explains that currently, "A major jet engine component manufacturer uses the Heule-BRM tool combination for finishing chamfered holes on rotating engine parts.

"They do this, not only because it is an efficient way to achieve the very stringent tolerances required, but also because there simply is not another method of doing the work that is sufficiently stable and repeatable."

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back spotfacing cutting tool engineering

Cutting back spotfacing cycle time

Fulflo Specialties Inc used the HEULE SOLO tool to increase productivity

“Machining time on the valve bottoms, which includes boring the hole to size, drilling and back spotfacing, dropped from 39 minutes to 15,” Collett said. “And that’s running at the low end of the recommended speed and feed range for the back spotfacing tools.”

Tool life increase was equally impressive. “So far we’ve run 420 stainless valves, up from 2 on the old tool and we’ve only indexed the two-sided inserts once,” Collett reported.

 

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Cutting Tool Engineering

Smooth Flight

A set of tools is used to automate drilling, reaming, deburring, and edge blending of chamfered through-holes for jet-engine fasteners. 

To avoid delays and reduce tool costs, some aerospace manufacturers are automating holemaking and finishing processes that incorporate cutting, edgebreaking and deburring tools as well as ball-style flexible hones for the edge blending process. Some jet-engine manufacturers are recommending or requiring that suppliers use these automated processes. One such combination uses Heule’s DEFA chamfering tool, its COFA universal deburring tool and a miniature Flex-Hone tool from Brush Research Manufacturing Co. Inc. (BRM), Los Angeles.

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