With a 60-year history of carbide cutting tool experience, Hanita’s VariMill technology brings exciting advancements to Widia’s replaceable tip system, including a range of helix and cutting geometries, an asymmetrical flute design, and wear-resistant AlTiN coatings for productive use in titanium and nickel-based super alloys.
If your shop has been searching for the flexibility, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness of modular end mills but needs the cutting performance of solid carbide, look no further than the replaceable tip end mill solution from Widia Products Group, featuring the Duo-Lock connection from Widia and Haimer.
That’s because it’s the only tool available that can predictably take full-width slotting cuts in stainless steel and aerospace alloys at 1xD deep, and 50 per cent cut widths at 1.5xD.
Marketing portfolio director, Avishay Zohar says: “In apples to apples cutting tests against competitors’ tools, the Duo-Lock connection was the only one that didn’t break. It is easily the most robust modular solution on the market today.”
The unmatched metal removal rate is due to a double-taper, face-contact mount and intelligent thread design. This provides runout accuracy better than 5 μm, axial repeatability of 10 μm or better, and up to 25 per cent higher torque and chip load capabilities than others in this market.
This also makes the Widia system a budget-friendly alternative to solid carbide end mills for shops of all sizes. Avishay Zohar says “Yes, we compete very well at the Tier I and Tier II levels in the aerospace, energy, and automotive industries, but it’s also a great solution for their suppliers, the smaller job shops with a handful of vertical machining centres that cut Inconel one day and 4 140 steel alloy the next. These shops stand to benefit the most from our system’s flexibility and competitive price point, because it reduces the need for expensive solid carbide end mills, and special order tools that may take weeks to arrive.”
Mark White, marketing portfolio manager at Widia, agrees: “The Duo-Lock connection was originally designed for heavy roughing and semi-finishing applications in difficult materials, but the platform has evolved since then. When coupled with the wide array of carbide, coatings, and geometries from our sister company Hanita, Widia provides manufacturers with a modular alternative to solid carbide end mills in 80 percent of their machining operations.”
Examples include the Widia-Hanita brand VariMill III, a 7-flute centre-cutting end mill with a 38° helix for high-feed machining of titanium and nickel-based superalloys, and the VariMill I, with a conical core and asymmetrical 4-flute design that eliminates chatter in extreme roughing and deep slotting applications. Both are available in Widia’s Victory WS15PE and WP15PE AlTiN-coated grades, known throughout the industry for superior wear and heat-resistance.
Hanita brings over 60 years of carbide excellence to the table. Widia’s partnership with Haimer® GmbH adds decades of toolholding excellence as well. All of Widia’s modular cutting tools and adapters are available with the company’s Safe-LockTM technology, which assures zero pull out in titanium and other “grabby” materials.
For those shops that prefer a simpler toolholding approach, Widia offers a variety of integral shank taper, lobed, and HSK-style toolholders, as well as straight shank “cut to size” adapters 10 – 32mm in diameter.
Widia is also offering a complete range of cutter geometries, from high-performance “corn cob” style roughers to ball-nose and chamfering cutters. Many of these are available in 20° and 45° helix angles, with custom grinds and edge preps possible in a few weeks or less.
Mark White concludes: “Our replaceable tip system decreases tooling inventory, machine downtime, and operator headaches. A single toolholder or adapter accommodates any number of cutting heads. Unscrew one, thread on another, torque it down and you’re ready to go, with no worries over tool runout or Z-axis offset changes. Together with the excellent cutting performance and superior tool life of VariMill, we feel it’s the most flexible, cost-effective modular solution available. I encourage shops of all sizes to give it a try.”