Takeoff for New Heights

PSE cutter boosts milling efficiency by over 200 percent

Haron Garcia  |  OSG Royco

Aircraft, trains, ships and electrical generators all have one thing in common – they are powered by gas turbines. A gas turbine, also referred to as a combustion turbine, functions by converting chemical energy of fuel into mechanical energy for rotary movement. The spinning motion of the turbine drives a generator that transforms the energy into electricity, providing power.

The design of the gas turbine is customized based on purpose so that the most desirable energy form can be maximized. The manufacturing of gas turbines for the aviation industry commonly involves the processing of high hardness materials and tight tolerance requirements.

At Paradigm Precision’s manufacturing facility in Guaymas, Mexico, the production of aerospace gas turbine components takes place on a daily basis. Headquartered in Stuart, Florida, USA, Paradigm Precision is a manufacturer of complex fabrication and precision machined components for gas turbine engines. Its core capabilities include laser services, airflow measurement, thermal coatings, electrical discharge machining and precision machining for the aerospace, land-based power generation and marine markets. The company operates 12 locations, spanning seven countries, with more than 1,900 employees. Paradigm Precision’s Guaymas, Mexico operation offers capabilities to machine components up to 6 feet in diameter, 3-, 4-and 5-axis milling, turning and wire EDM machines, and it specializes in the production of struts / bridges, fan case, compressor housing and split cases.

Paradigm Precision’s production facility in Guaymas, Mexico. Photo courtesy: Paradigm Precision.

OSG was approached by Paradigm Precision’s engineering staff regarding the machining of a turbine component in Rene 41 (40 HRC) with a manufacturing volume of approximately 1,700 parts per month. At the time of the discussion, Paradigm Precision has been working on the part for about two months on their HAAS horizontal machining center and was looking to further reduce cycle time. The size of each Rene 41 plate is 70 mm x 203 mmx 25.4 mm with a tolerance requirement of +/- 0.3 mm. Due to the tight tolerances and hardness of the material, Paradigm Precision had to face mill in two steps with another manufacturer’s tool. This process required approximately four minutes of cycle time. Paradigm Precision at the time already works with OSG drills and taps for machining exotic materials and decided to seek new solutions for its milling needs as well.

After a detailed evaluation of the application, a 3-inch diameter OSG Phoenix shoulder cutter end mill PSE (EDP 7801213) with eight XC5040 inserts (EDP 7816056) were suggested. The PSE is a versatile indexable series designed to excel in a variety of cutting conditions. With its high precision insert and unique insert form, chips are broken into small pieces, enabling the tool to perform side milling, slotting, ramping and helical milling efficiently.

The OSG Phoenix PSE is a versatile indexable shoulder cutter end mill designed to perform side milling, slotting, ramping and helical milling efficiently.

The PSE was able to complete face milling and side milling on the part with a perfect finish. Moreover, cycle time was reduced by almost three times from 240 seconds to only 82 seconds using blasomill oil as coolant on their HAAS horizontal machining center.

Cutting Conditions

OSG PSE Competitor Tool
Vc 44 m/min 40 m/min
n 185 rpm 205 rpm
ap 1.5 mm 0.75 mm
ae 76.2 mm 76.2 mm
F 0.8 mm/rev 0.3 mm/rev
fz 0.1 mm/z 0.04 mm/z
Z 8 8
Cycle Time 82 seconds 240 seconds
Turbine component plate in Rene 41 (40 HRC) with a dimension of 70 mm x 203 mm x 25.4 mm.

With significant cycle time reduction, Paradigm Precision is now able to process 34 parts per hour versus 12 parts per hour. Operator hours have also been greatly reduced to two and a half hours versus the original seven hours. Being able to save more than four hours of production time a day and productivity improvement of over 200 percent, Paradigm Precision is ready to takeoff for new heights.