How to Improve CNC Cutting Tool Efficiency & Increase Tool Life | CNCLATHING


The high requirements for CNC parts quality mean that the CNC machining process should focus on productivity and efficiency improvement. With more and more cutting tools used in the modern machine shop, how can we improve the cutting tool efficiency and increase the tool life, check out the following tips for processing optimization.

10 Tips for Increase CNC Tool Life and Cutting Efficiency - Improving Machine Shop Efficiency

1. Minimize the whole processing cost

The production cost is not just related to the CNC cutting tool. According to the latest statistical data, the consumption cost of cutting tools only accounts for 3% of the total processing cost of CNC machining parts, which is insignificant compared with 97% of the processing time and consumption of machine tools. Therefore, the suggestion to focus on reducing the overall processing costs.


2. Cycle time, tool life, part quality, and surface roughness

When designing a new machining plan or modifying an existing machining program, it is suggested that take cycle time, tool life, part quality and surface roughness as the main objectives. Then make it specific and definite, graded and quantified into indicators that can be inspected and accepted. At the same time, when designing the processing plan and setting the expected target, you should consult with the cutter seller, and you will get success and get a faster and better return.


3. Understand the generation and work principle of the cutter

If you know the law of cutting force, you can select the direction of cutting force which can improve the clamping stiffness of parts. In addition, the radial force can be changed into the axial force direction by considering the method of reducing the cutting depth.


4. Utilize the tool geometry

For example, select the tool with the main deflection angle, increasing the feed rate, increasing the chip thickness, improving the cutting rate, etc.


5. Identify and address the issue

When there are problems and faults in the CNC machining process, it is necessary to carefully analyze and study, and carefully judge whether it is a problem in the processing or the problem caused by improper use of cutting tools. Don’t be too anxious to blame the cutter user. On the contrary, according to the tool failure model, find out the root cause of the failure. For example, analyze the chips during the cutting process, based on the phenomenon, we can preliminarily determine the problem is from either the fixture or the cutter. The next step is to check whether the tool is damaged, check the machine tool stiffness, cutting parameters, tool geometry, chip removal and coolant. If the problem is caused by the tool, replace and install new tool. 


6. Choose machining plan reasonably

Sometimes special processing method is required to improve production efficiency. For example, for single piece and short-cycle production of large hole parts, using integral spiral milling cutter to mill holes (compared with drilling large holes) will be the most efficient and economical processing scheme. Another more unusual processing example is the use of plunge milling. It can increase the production efficiency by more than 4 times than that with ordinary end mills.


7. Learn about the cutting temperature in detail

That is to study how it is produced, mainly generating area and what are the advantages and disadvantages. Metal cutting usually produces high temperature by friction, which brings disadvantages to machining, especially when cutting steel parts, you also want to soften parts by high temperature to form ideal chips. However, it is necessary to avoid shortcomings caused by too high cutting temperatures such as parts hardening, tool overheating, or decarburization.


8. Use optimized tool based on the machining material

In the machine shop that needs processing various materials, be careful to use the so-called “universal tool” for machining. When you change the material, remember to change a tool with optimized geometry. This will improve production efficiency and obtain good economic benefits. 


9. Design and optimize the ideal tool path

In order to ensure that the cutting system has the maximum rigidity and can carry out large feed rate cutting in the process of machining.


10. Continue study

You can learn the latest technology of cutting tools and processing when you return to school. Otherwise, you should take longer times. Keep study will greatly improve the competitiveness of the company in the international market.