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Best Practices for Selecting Cutting Tools for Your Machine Shop

January 20, 2017 / , , , , , , , ,


In any manufacturing operation, having the right tool for the job is critical. The challenge is that there will always be instances when the “right tool” won’t be a clear-cut decision.

For example, in metal-cutting, bi-metal band saw blades have been traditionally used for easier-to-cut metals such as aluminum and non-ferrous metals, carbon and structural steels, and some alloy steels. However, blade technology is evolving, and there are now carbide-tipped band saw blades on the market that have been designed specifically to cut aluminum and non-ferrous alloys. This begs the question: Is the new technology worth the investment, or would it be smarter to stick with a tool operators already know?

Answering those types of questions is never easy and takes careful consideration, especially when there is some investment necessary. In today’s competitive market, even a simple tooling decision is strategic.

To assist managers with the task of selecting the best machine tools for their operations, the LENOX Institute of Technology offers the following tips:

      1. upfront costs against overall operating and maintenance costs
      2. long-term productivity of a machine and its intended use
      3. equipment and blade life, as well as cost per cut

 

What best practices does your team follow when choosing a new machine tool?