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Solid Carbide Tool Manufacturer Standardizes Grinding Software

(l-r) Gustav Heer, NUMROTO Application Engineer; Kent Nielsen and Henrik Larsen, both CNC operators at TN Vaerktoejsslibning; and Torben Nielsen, founder, owner and CEO of TN Vaerktoejsslibning

High precision gear hob with o32 to be produced with very high accuracy in a single operation.

TN Vaerktoejsslibning produces a comprehensive range of standard and custom high-speed end mills, step drills and rotary cutters.

Polished special drill

Lollipop and thread milling cutter ball diameter 1 mm

TN Vaerktoejsslibning, Denmark's second-largest precision tooling company, is deploying NUMROTO, the programming system for tool grinding from NUM, across its entire production floor. The company cites highly successful long-term experience of the software, together with excellent technical support from NUM, as the key reasons for choosing to standardize on NUMROTO.

Founded by Torben Nielsen in 1987, TN Vaerktoejsslibning has grown steadily to become a leading player in the manufacture of special solid carbide tools. Operating from a modern 2,000 sq. m industrial facility near Copenhagen, the company serves the world market and currently exports about 70% of its production.

One of TN Vaerktoejsslibning's prime business advantages is that it handles every aspect of manufacturing and can therefore track the movement of individual tools from initial order through to delivery. The company maintains a large stock of high quality sub-nanograin carbide materials in the form of rods with internal cooling channels and solid bars, ranging in diameter from 2 mm to 70 mm. Using multiple advanced CNC grinding machines, TN Vaerktoejsslibning produces a comprehensive range of standard TN brand high-speed end mills, step drills and form cutters, the design and dimensions of which can be tailored to meet customer needs.

TN Vaerktoejsslibning also operates advanced in-house tool polishing and coating technology. Tools can optionally be coated before and after polishing to extend their service life and to help optimize chip evacuation. The company additionally offers tool regrind and recoat services. Provided that a tool is physically undamaged, it can often be returned to full service after regrinding and possibly recoating, for less than 50% of the cost of a new tool.

Every aspect of tool manufacturing at TN Vaerktoejsslibning is extensively automated. The main production hall is equipped with 15 5-axis CNC grinding centers, complemented by cylindrical grinding machines. All of these machines are controlled by NUMROTO software and are networked together to help simplify production management and software maintenance. Each machine has a dedicated programming station, enabling part programs to be created while grinding is taking place, and the company is also in the process of expanding its multi-user programming facility, which currently has capacity for seven users.

An interesting facet of TN Vaerktoejsslibning's operational structure, which is quite possibly a factor behind the company's consistent success, is that it deliberately has a flat hierarchy-there is no design department. Each CNC machine operator is responsible for programming, grinding the tools and fully documenting the process.

According to Torben Nielsen, who is still at the helm of the company as CEO and owner, "We try to make work as interesting and satisfying as possible for people, and over the years we have built up a dynamic team of highly qualified and committed employees. Another important point is that by standardizing on NUMROTO for the bulk of our CNC machining operations, we benefit immensely from our employees sharing a common pool of expertise and knowledge about state-of-the-art tool production technologies and processes. Many of our more specialist tools are only required in small batch sizes-sometimes just two or three-and yet we aim to supply these to customers within the same nine-day timeframe as our standard tools. To help meet this goal, our operators need fast, simple and unambiguous machine control facilities-which in turn demand very flexible, accurate and reliable software with a modern user interface."

TN Vaerktoejsslibning regularly enhances its machining capabilities to meet the changing tool needs of its customers. The company first started using NUMROTO software back in 2002, when it purchased two Deckel S20 CNC grinding machines, which have since been followed by a further 10 Deckel S22 machines. The company's current complement of NUMROTO-controlled CNC grinding machines comprises the 12 Deckel machines, plus a UWS SF40 cylindrical grinder and two Vollmer VGrind 340S machines.

The programming and machining of special tools, which constitute the majority of TN Vaerktoejsslibning's production output, is usually carried out during the day by skilled operators. Larger standard tools are processed at nighttime, using robotic part loaders and unmanned machining centers, but with a high degree of feedback such as in-process measurement and run-out compensation to ensure consistent product quality.

All tools produced by TN Vaerktoejsslibning undergo thorough inspection prior to shipment. The company's quality assurance facilities include an air-conditioned, positively pressurized measuring room, equipped with a 5-axis CNC measuring machine and other precision optical measuring equipment.

Nielsen added: "Our experience with NUMROTO has been fantastic. The software is perfect for grinding simple and highly complex tools and is extremely reliable. It is very easy to work with and the simulation is very precise. In a period of just over 21 years, there have been very few tools that we have been unable to create. Due to our very short delivery times, we rely on good support-and this has always been forthcoming from NUM."

For more information contact:

Steve Schilling

NUM Corporation

603 East Diehl Road, Suite 115

Naperville, IL 60563


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