In an agreement signed July 23, 2013, Kennametal has granted global toolholding leader Haimer GmbH (Igenhausen, Germany) license to provide Kennametal’s new and advanced KM4X spindle connection solution throughout Haimer’s global markets. Haimer, a global leader in toolholding technology and provider of the innovative SAFE-LOCKTM pullout-prevention technology, together with Kennametal sees significant benefit for manufacturing customers.
The KM4X spindle connection is the most rigid system in the world today. This design enables manufacturing companies to maximize their capital investments. KM4X enables higher metal removal rates, which facilitates higher machine tool utilization and reduced cost per part, while increasing the manufacturer’s available capacity,” says John R. Tucker, Vice President and President of the Industrial Business Segment for Kennametal Inc. “Having an innovative technology partner like Haimer supply the KM4X connection in addition to toolholders like SAFE-LOCK™ will create a powerful production advantage for manufacturing companies around the world.”
“This agreement is a perfect fit because it confirms both Haimer and Kennametal as leaders in high-end innovative technologies for world manufacturing,” says Andreas Haimer, director and member of the executive board of Haimer GmbH. “We are honored and plan to actively support and educate our markets to the benefits of these mutually beneficial technologies.“
The spindle connection, the interface between the machine tool’s spindle and toolholder, has to provide the torque and bending load capacity compatible with machine-tool specifications. Cutting forces, particularly in roughing or machining high-strength materials, generate bending moments that will exceed the interface’s limits prior to reaching torque limits. By combining high clamping force and optimized interference levels, KM4X provides a robust connection, extremely high stiffness, and bending load capacity for greatly improved performance in machining high-strength alloys and other materials. This means extremely high metal removal rates and more completed parts per day.
“We give a lot of seminars related to toolholding, particularly how to increase rigidity, accuracy, balance and security in metalworking,” says Brendt Holden, president of Haimer USA (Villa Park, IL). “One of the most common questions we receive is ‘what’s the best style of spindle interface?’ With a unique high-strength spindle connection that also can accelerate to high rpms safely, we believe we now have the best answer.”
The continuing development of high-strength, lightweight materials such as titanium alloys, Inconel, and new aluminium alloys are eagerly sought by manufacturers in many industries, including aerospace and defense, energy, and transportation. These new materials present significant machining challenges in themselves. Add the competitive pressures in these global industries, and finding advanced manufacturing solutions becomes a top priority.
Machine-tool builders have responded with milling and turning centers that feature improved stiffness and damping on spindles and sizable machine structures and motors, all to provide the significant horsepower, torque and thrust forces required while minimizing undesirable vibrations that deteriorate part quality and tool life.
“In most cases, the tool-spindle connection determines how much material can be removed on a given operation,” says Doug Ewald, director, global product management, tooling systems at Kennametal. “This is because this interface must withstand high loads and yet maintain its rigidity. With the ongoing advances in cutting tools and machining centers, a spindle connection that makes the best utilization of available power possible is an important consideration to investigate early in production planning.”
Rigid toolholding is critical as well. “From a technical perspective, the KM4X spindle connection makes it possible for us to utilize the full potential of our toolholders,” says Oliver Sax, director of product management at Haimer. “Outdated dual-faced steep-taper systems were limiting the potential of modern machine tools. Feedback from Kennametal customers led us to investigate the new KM4X spindle connection more closely. After analyzing the data, we found KM4X to be the leading interface for the high-torque, high-rpm fine balanced toolholders Haimer provides.”
“This is a full-system partnership between companies with identical philosophies,” says John Jacko, vice president and chief marketing officer at Kennametal. “With the KM4X spindle connection and Haimer toolholding technology, there is no reason why companies should hold back investigating high-torque, high-speed machining capabilities for both existing and new equipment. This means achieving the maximum potential of your machine tools.”