How PH Horn Helps Smiths Machine Keep Their Groove On

While manufacturing a key component for the Army’s CROWS II remotely operated weapons system, Smiths Machine found itself in need of a grooving tool that would meet several important criteria. It found what it was looking for, and more, with PH Horn.

Smiths Machine’s Robert Taber explains: “We were running a slower tool that didn’t last long at all. So, we needed better tool life, but we also wanted better surface finish and reduced cycle time. With PH Horn we found all of that and more,” Taber said.

Tooling Specialist Wade Oglesby was one of the Smiths team members tasked with finding the solution.

“We tried a number of other options. High speed steel, and offerings from other vendors, but the PH Horn was ideally suited to our needs. For one thing, the time required to change the inserts was reduced dramatically. You can do it while the machine is running. Pull the insert and change it while the machine is still running, instead of remeasuring the tool,” Oglesby said.

And, as Group Leader Jeremy Seeley points out, PH Horn’s grooving tool offered higher spindle speeds.

“We found you could definitely crank up the spindle speed. 10,000 rpm is the maximum, which was a three-fold increase over the previous tool we were using,” Seeley said.

Another key factor was cost savings.

“We bought the entire system for what we had spent in eight months with the other tool, so you could say that in eight months it paid for itself by not having to change tools every 25 to 30 pieces. Now we get something on the order of 300 or more with the same tool,” Ogelsby said. “And that’s before you factor in that it’s easier and faster with the PH Horn solution.”

Taber said he foresees other PH Horn tools at the two state-of-the-art machine shop and manufacturing facilities Smiths operates.

“In the future, when we have grooving needs, PH Horn will be the first one we look at,” he said.

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