The Bury-based surface-finishing company Finishing Techniques Ltd
(Fintek), has invested in a new Bruker Alicona EdgeMaster, an automatic metrology system for cutting tools from Market Harborough-based Optimax Imaging Inspection & Measurement Ltd
Fintek says the efficiency and life of cutting tools is vastly improved by accurate edge preparation, and that tool condition also directly affects the surface finish of a machined area and the need for additional post-processing to meet the required quality of the end product. The company also says that precise edge measurements must be taken before and after surface finishing and edge rounding.
Jamie Phillips, Fintek’s general manager, said: “The system we previously used for measuring tool edges was struggling to keep pace with demand, but EdgeMaster not only gives us faster measurement of cutting-tool edges but also greater accuracy. Moreover, having previously worked with Optimax, we know that the EdgeMaster comes with great support.”
Jason Hornby, Fintek’s production manager, added: “Cutting tool manufacturers go to great lengths to design and make their products effective for specific materials and workpieces. For example, drilling holes in composites, aluminium, steel, hard or soft plastics, all require cutting tools with different characteristics.
“With the EdgeMaster we can rapidly and accurately measure a tool before edge preparation; then using the data we can select the optimum combination of OTEC finishing machine, process media and process parameters to achieve the target edge profile and finish. After post-processing we measure the tool again to provide verification and traceability to customers — and all this data is recorded in the Alicona software.
“The EdgeMaster precisely measures edge radii down to 2µm, as well as rake, wedge, and clearance angles for a variety of tool types. Moreover, the accuracy of measurement is not affected by vibrations, temperature or ambient light.”
As well as providing finishing services for a wide range of industries, Fintek is also the UK agent for OTEC Präzisionsfinish GmbH
, which offers a comprehensive range of surface-finishing equipment.