Each job in a CNC Swiss screw machine shop creates its own unique challenges and unforeseen issues. What Swiss Technologies of New England does is relentlessly seek new, innovative solutions to ensure that their customers receive the product they want. A perfect example is when a project for a high-end medical component came in house.
The Product Challenge
Clients in the medical, electronic, consumer, defense, business machines, ATM and other industrial markets all rely on Swiss Technologies for their component parts needs. Even with this background, the request for a 2mm broken screw extractor for surgical applications required them to live up to their reputation for innovation.
A broken tool extractor is a surgical instrument that is used to take out a screw from a bone that has a stripped or broken off head. The extractor comes in different size diameters to accommodate a variety of screw sizes and has an internal thread machined into the extraction tube to grab and pull the screw out of the bone.
It Can’t Be Done
Swiss Technologies’ Applications Engineer Jeremy Messier contacted a handful of tooling manufacturers, but no one could give him the threading tool he asked for. They consistently recommend single point turning. Jeremy wanted to thread mill an internal diameter (ID) using a custom cutter that was 0.05” in diameter with a 0.017” pitch. While some of the sample tools he received would work in 440C stainless, the actual component was being cut out of 440A, which is much harder to cut. As a result, the tool life of the samples was abysmal.
GWS Application Specialist, Audrey Triplet was the only person Jeremy contacted that approached the project with an open mind. We quickly turned around a quote and an approval drawing on a custom internal thread mill cutter, something other manufacturers wouldn’t even do. Once Jeremy received the tools and gave it a try, he was astounded at the tool life. “I was hoping for 20 parts to come off the tool, we made 110 parts instead,” he said. Jeremy soon had the feeds and speeds dialed in to where there is no deformation to the part. “The finishes are nice, too,” he added.
A New Relationship
According to Jeremy, GWS has proven themselves to be easy to work with and very accommodating. “GWS not only delivered parts other custom tooling makers would not, they outperformed when they arrived,” he said. “We’re working together now to improve on the cycle time of the screw extractor by trying a multi flute thread mill.” Jeremy is also considering some thread whirler inserts to take advantage of the proprietary coatings we offer.
Swiss Technologies of New England has a tradition of innovation. So do we. It looks like this partnership will only grow in the future.
If you have an application that baffles other tooling manufacturers, please contact us. Let’s find a solution together.