Walter AG is adding drilling and reaming tools with inserts to its fast delivery service for Walter Xpress special tools. The user makes great savings in time and costs because the tasks of design, cost calculation and creating the production data are taken on by a sophisticated, fully automatic configuration system.
"We are continuously developing Walter Xpress and are therefore encountering the increasing demand for special tools," explains Heiner Schelling, Manager of Methods & Systems GCC at Walter. "After the solid carbide drills and milling cutters that are available to our customers after just two weeks, it was therefore only a matter of time until we included the first indexable insert tools in our fast delivery service." The expansion of the Walter Xpress portfolio covers drilling and counter-boring or precision boring tools with up to three machining stages. The solutions for drilling are based on the tried and tested Xtra·tec® Point Drill and Xtra·tec® insert drill ranges. Bodies with fixed insert seats, cartridges or precision boring cartridges are available for counter-boring and precision boring.
The delivery time for these already-complex machining solutions is four weeks. This short deadline is made possible thanks to automated internal processing as has already been the case for the solid carbide tools. First, the user tells the field staff or the local engineering team from Walter's local sales office about their machining requirement. The local engineering team comprises the responsible experts who enter the customer-specific parameters into a configuration system. In addition to the geometry data for the workpiece, this also includes specifications for the material, the relevant cutting tool material options – for example, Tiger·tec® Silver – the appropriate insert shapes, machine features such as the retaining system, cooling, etc. The system thus feeds, designs and calculates the required tool within the shortest period of time and outputs comprehensive documentation, including a 3D drawing. The customer receives their quote within 24 hours. In the background, the bill of materials, work schedule and NC manufacturing programmes are created, i.e. all of the data that is required internally for manufacturing the tool. This means that production can start immediately after the order is placed. Ample provision of raw materials and the machine capacities ensure that no bottlenecks can occur.
There are many different benefits. Thanks to the automated processes at Walter, the customer saves a great deal of time. Without this type of processing, customers usually have to deal with two deadlines – one for the quote and another for manufacturing/delivery. Since special tools reduce the number of tool changes, they also shorten the customer's production times. The comprehensive documentation that is already available with the quote provides the customer with a high degree of planning security. The short delivery times also allow the customer to reduce their rotating stock of tools and to thus also reduce their inventory. When replenishment is required, the customer knows that they will not have to wait for longer than four weeks.
"With the integration of the indexable insert special drilling tools, we have taken an important step in developing Walter Xpress," according to Heiner Schelling, "and we can build on this to introduce further indexable insert tools, including the shoulder mill from the new Walter BLAXX range. But we will also further expand our other competence brands. One of our next steps is to include Walter Prototyp threading tools."