Its tooling has been used on prestigious projects including the 787 Dreamliner and the Lightning 2.
Jamie White, Director says, “This is a highly competitive and innovative industry. Our advantage is our flexibility, the high quality tools we deliver and our ability to offer some of the best lead times in the industry. The demand for PCD tooling is growing rapidly especially for the machining of carbon fibre in the high technology industries we support. Customers are examining cost/hole and cost/metre. For example, we can offer tailored solutions with special tooling geometry that will overcome delamination issues in carbon fibre and we developed a special tool for one of our customers that would cut and finish a carbon fibre slot in one operation instead of two, reducing cost/metre.”
The company already has 12 conventional disk and wire erosion machines. However, in March 2015 it added a DMG MORI LASERTEC 20 PrecisionTool, which extended its capabilities from forming the edge profiles to including chip breaker geometry in its PCD tools. Jamie White says, “We carried out trials on several laser machines and we found that the DMG MORI LASERTEC 20 PrecisionTool was the ideal fit for us. Not only has DMG MORI been in the market the longest with this technology, but it uses HSK holders and LASERSOFT software for programming, which is very similar to what we use on the wire EDM machines, making implementation of the technology quick and easy for us. We can make whatever profile shape we like, simply importing a 2D profile into the software and following a question and answer session to arrive at the CNC programme. We found that the LASERTEC 20 PrecisionTool produces a keener, chip free edge and is slightly faster than the conventional machining methods. However, the possibility of adding a chip breaker on our PCD tips, all in one operation, was the main reason for the investment.” As an example, one of Exactaform’s customers was cutting soft aluminium with a carbide tool, where a chip breaker is easy to grind, but moved to PCD once Exactaform was able to supply chip breaker technology.