New Thinking Makes Big Difference In Small Tools

31. March 2015

For people, the length of a generation is growing longer.  In the early part of the 20th century a generation, the time from the birth of a parent to the birth of their child, was an average of about 20 years. Today a generation is about 25 years.  But in the world of machined parts, next generations seem to occur more and more frequently. We're in a period of customization, variety, rapidly changing technology, and global competition. These and other factors contribute to the seemingly non-stop introduction of each new generation of products, the parts they’re comprised of, and the tools that manufacture them.

Another important driver of new products and parts is the miniaturization of so many things, from consumer electronics to medical devices, and from car batteries to solar panels.  As a result, machine tool spindles need to turn faster to keep up with smaller tools and part diameters. And the tools themselves become smaller for clearance requirements and in order to conform to part geometry specifications. As everything shrinks, certain challenges grow.  How to build nano-sized tools that can withstand load under pressure? How to make these almost invisible tools easy to change and mount on the machine? How to develop cutting tool materials and coatings that address the need for speed, typical of smaller parts?

When new technological fields are born, like the internet, or non-invasive surgery, or solar energy, they give rapid rise to new products and services.   But when production depends on established technologies to manufacture these new products, suppliers are often forced to do more with less. In the case of cutting tools, though machined parts might be microscopic, tool inserts and every other tool still has to cut metal, still has to be capable of being easily changed, and still need to do the job cost-effectively.  Doing more with less, according to Yarek Selek, Product Manager of Grooving Systems and Miniature Industry for Iscar, tests the ingenuity of the world’s cutting tool manufacturers.

The following article by Selek addresses the big ideas behind Iscar’s small cutting tools.

The increasing demand for the production of even smaller and more accurate parts, often manufactured from difficult-to-machine materials, has tested the ingenuity of the world’s cutting tool manufacturers.

Many smaller machining applications can be satisfied by the expansion of manufacturers’ current cutting tool range and the introduction of scaled-down versions of existing products. Although, as reducing the size of a cutting tool can diminish its efficiency and render it less robust, often, a more creative and tailored solution is needed.

Mindful of the high demands placed upon smaller cutting tools, ISCAR’s prolific

R&D department has extended its range of proven cutting tools and applied a series of effective modifications to enable the efficient machining of small parts.

In areas where the re-design of existing cutting tools would not produce optimum machining solutions, ISCAR’s inventive R&D department has developed a range of unique, highly efficient, small scale cutting tools. By the use of the most suitable base materials and advanced coatings, the introduction of ingenious tool geometries and the application of secure clamping systems, ISCAR has created a range of innovative cutting tool solutions that are dedicated to a wide range of small cutting applications.

ISCAR Launches New Grooving and Turning Tool with a Unique Side Clamping Mechanism

ISCAR has introduced the new GEHSR/L-SL tool family for Swiss-type and screw machines. The new tools are of an improved version of the current GEHSR/L screw-clamped tools. 

The newly developed, user-friendly system enables the secure clamping of inserts by using the supplied key from either free side of the tool. After the clamping torx screw is activated from one side of the tool, a sealing plastic screw blocks the opposite side to prevent chip entry. If indexing is required from the opposite side, the screw can be switched to the other side.

The GEHSR/L-SL tools are now available in 10, 12 and 16 mm shank sizes, carrying the GEPI and GEMI inserts with different geometries within a range of 2.2 to 3.2 mm widths.

Usually when turning small parts, light cutting parameters are applied and therefore there is no advantage in using larger inserts. The shorter head design of GEHSR\L tools provides higher rigidity and improved machining stability, allowing higher cutting conditions and results in enhanced surface finish characteristics.

When using ISCAR’s existing holders, and most other manufacturers’ holders, the holder needs to be removed from the tool gang for insert indexing on small Swiss-type machines. The ingenious new tools enable insert indexing without removing the tool.

In addition to the above, and available in the same size range, ISCAR now provides the GHSR\L-JHP-SL variant with a high pressure coolant capability. The ingenious new tools feature 3 independent coolant inlet ports, providing suitable solutions for different machine configurations.

SWISSCUT INNOVAL Increases Efficiency and Reduces Inventory Costs

ISCAR has upgraded its SWISSCUT line. The new inserts feature an innovative oval-shaped hole that enables two major improvements. Within the existing ISCAR range and in all major competitors’ equivalents, different tools and inserts are used for back and front clamping orientations. Whereas in the new improved SWISSCUT INNOVAL line, the same tool and insert can be used in both clamping directions.

The ingenious new SWISSCUT INNOVAL clamping design uses a special screw that can be accessed and operated from both sides of the tool, enabling inserts to be indexed without the need to fully remove the screw.

In all major competitors’ lines, the clamping screw has to be fully removed for insert indexing and can easily fall and be lost.

The advanced new range reduces the amount of items by half and slashes users’ inventory costs.

PICCOACE - Accuracy, Rigidity and Flexibility - A Winning Combination

The growing demand for high accuracy and increased flexibility in clamping orientation has inspired ISCAR to develop an advanced new range of PICCO holders. The innovative PICCOACE series features a unique patented clamping system which sets new standards for three highly important properties: accuracy, rigidity and flexibility of clamping orientation. 


The new PICCOACE system consists of two main components - a robust body and an eccentric cap. When the cap is turned by means of the supplied wrench, the accenter moves a special locking shim which exerts pressure on the insert and locks it securely into a precise position.

PICCOACE’s fast action and very secure clamping system saves precious time when replacing an insert, ensures rapid indexing and guarantees extremely high clamping repeatability of 0.005 mm.

The current wide variety of the Swiss-type machines has increased the demand for multi-orientation clamping. Most of the existing available tools provide a single clamping orientation. In contrast ISCAR’s PICCOACE offers a high-quality, universal solution that is suitable for all Swiss-type machines, enabling operators to install and remove an insert from any desired orientation.

New ISCAR PICCOCUT Face Grooving with Coolant Delivery Aids Efficiency

The new PICCOCUT face grooving range is intended mainly for external/ internal and grooving along a shaft. PICCOCUT has a reinforced geometry that aids efficient deep face grooving and is available in 3, 4 and 5 mm widths, for depths up to 40 mm and a minimal grooving diameter of 16 mm. 

The solid carbide bars have two holes that enable precise coolant delivery to the cutting edge and the frontal flank. When high pressure coolant (up to 100 bar) is induced through the coolant holes, the resulting chips are small and easily pushed out of the groove. Other advantages provided by PICCOCUT’s cooling configuration are a substantial increase in tool life and improved surface finish characteristics.

The new PICCO bars are available in ISCAR’s IC1008 PVD coated grade which is suitable for machining across a wide range of cutting speeds and on a variety of workpiece materials.

ISCAR’s Expanded MINCUT Line

Following the global success of ISCAR’s MINCUT face grooving family, ISCAR has expanded its application range with the introduction of inserts for internal grooving, undercutting and threading, and solid carbide boring bars. 

MIGR 8 internal shallow grooving inserts are available in 0.5 to 2 mm grooving widths, straight and full radius configurations.

MIUR 8 internal 45° full radius undercutting inserts are available in 1 to 2 mm grooving widths.

MITR 8-MT internal partial profile ISO metric threading inserts are available for 0.75 to 2 mm pitch sizes, for 10 mm minimum thread diameter.

All of the new inserts are made from ISCAR’s IC908 PVD coated grade which can be used on a very wide variety of materials and across a range of machining conditions. The M..R 8.. inserts are screw-clamped into a long pocket of the MIFHR ... bars, with very rigid clamping (patent pending). Chip flow on the insert rake is uninterrupted and the tools feature internal coolant holes directed to the cutting edge.

MIFHR 8SC-8-8-SRK is a new solid carbide boring bar with 8 mm shank size that offers high rigidity and can also be used on the MG PCO...-6-8 bar holders used for PICCO inserts.

‘Turning’ - Efficiency into Profitability

To accommodate small boring diameters, ISCAR has expanded its internal turning application range by introducing new ranges of positive and negative boring tools with steel and solid carbide shank options and new small size inserts. Each of the new tools feature coolant channels directed precisely to the insert’s cutting edges.

The tools carry new positive (single-sided) ground EPGT and CCGT inserts.

EPGT has a 75° geometry for a minimum bore diameter of 4.5 mm and CCGT features an 80° geometry for minimum bore diameter of 5.0 mm. Shank sizes are available in a diameter range of 4 to 7 mm. 

Tools for negative (double-sided) inserts Dmin=12 mm carry ground WNGP and DNGP inserts.

WNGP has an 80° geometry for a minimum bore diameter of 12 mm and DNGP features a 55° geometry for minimum bore diameter of 13 mm. Shank sizes are available in a diameter range of 10 to 20 mm for forward and back turning operations.

The new positive single-sided ground inserts can accommodate a 4.5 mm minimum bore diameter EPGT 03X1, and a 5 mm minimum bore diameter for bars carry the CCGT 04T1 inserts.

Both insert geometries are available with a new F1P chip-former specially designed for super finishing applications.

New negative, double-sided ground inserts for Dmin=12 mm, WNGP 0403 and DNGP 0703 include F2P and F2M chip-formers for steel and stainless steel respectively, were designed for medium range boring diameters.

Drilling for Profit with SUMOCHAM

ISCAR has expanded its popular SUMOCHAM drilling head options by introducing two major new innovations.

The first – a revolutionary drilling head geometry, features concave cutting edges and substantially enhances the self-centering ability of the drill. The new HPC-IQ drilling heads using up to 12xD long drills, negate the need for a pilot-hole operation and are available in 8–25.7 mm diameters, in 0.5 mm increments. (see fig. 7)


The advanced new drilling heads provide a substantial cost reduction by cutting machining cycle times and reducing the number of tools required for drilling operations.

The second SUMOCHAM innovation is the extension of the line’s application range by adding flat face drilling heads.

The new flat face drilling heads are designated FCP and are designed for drilling steel components (ISO P material group). Drilling with the FCP inserts provides a nearly flat bottom in the drilled hole, a feature required across a variety of applications.

Made from IC908 TiAIN PVD coated grade, the FCP drill heads can be mounted on any SUMOCHAM drill that features the appropriate pocket size and the recommended cutting conditions for the FCP drilling heads are the same as those recommended for ICP drilling heads.

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