OSG rack dies extend tool life and maintain production stability in automotive high-volume parts with involute splines
Incorporated in 2006, American Axle & Manufacturing de México, S. de R.L. de C.V. (AAM) is a part of the AAM corporate group headquartered in Detroit, United States, with nearly 80 facilities in 17 countries. AAM is a leading global tier 1 automotive and mobility supplier that designs, engineers and manufactures driveline and metal forming technologies to support electric, hybrid and internal combustion vehicles.
American Axle & Manufacturing de México is located in Silao, Guanajuato. Recently, AAM was troubled by undesirable rack dies life in its spline yoke production used in motor vehicles. The spline yoke is made of steel and has an annual production volume of 500,000 pieces. AAM has been manufacturing this part since 2019. Anderso-Cook spline rolling machines are used for the processing of these steel parts. The machines used are more than 10 years old. At the time, many adjustments were required to be made to the machine during processing, which took away productive time.
From left, steel spline yoke before and after processing by rack dies. After machining, splines are formed on the shaft.
AAM originally used rack dies from two other cutting tool brands. The competitor brands were chosen due to pricing. However, with the competitor rack dies, AAM experienced a great deal of variability in the processing, which required numerous adjustments. AAM was also using one of the competitors’ regrinding services for the rack dies. Shim plates were not attached to the reground rack dies, and AAM would have to install them separately. Often the shims would come off, which required AAM to stop the machine to readjust.
Anderso-Cook spline rolling machines are used for the processing of spline yoke made of steel.
An opportunity to test OSG rack dies came about when OSG Royco sales coordinator Francisco Arteaga and sales representative Oscar Morales visited AAM for several coating applications in the factory. While Arteaga and Morales were at the facility, they realized that AAM was troubled by the rack dies application and wanted to assist. AAM appreciated the offer and gave OSG Royco used rack dies to regrind. The performance of the reground rack dies demonstrated significant improvement and led to the trial of OSG Royco rack dies.
OSG rack dies are made from the highest quality steel and the most modern engineering design to help manufacturers optimize cutting processes. OSG rack dies excel in applications involving rolling splines, threads and grooves. Racks can be used individually or in combination to roll multiple features, such as spline and groove.
OSG rack dies are made from the highest quality steel and the most modern engineering design to help manufacturers optimize cutting processes. OSG’s rack dies are designed to eliminate the machine adjustment often required in die set up. Simple die set up installation guarantees the perfect work piece, reduces set up time and eliminates questionable parts. OSG rack dies excel in applications involving rolling splines, threads and grooves. Racks can be used individually or in combination to roll multiple features, such as spline and groove.
A new pair of OSG rack dies measured 48 inches in length and 4.25 inches in width were put to the test against the competitor rack dies. The competitor rack dies averaged 25,000 pieces in tool life. OSG’s rack dies, on the other hand, are able to achieve 65,000 pieces, which is more than double the tool life of the competitor. In addition to offering high quality tooling solutions, OSG also helped AAM improve the condition of the machine to enable longer life in the rack dies.
OSG’s rack dies are designed to eliminate the machine adjustment often required in die set up.
“With OSG’s rack dies, the processing is much more stable,” said AAM tool engineer Manuel Cruz Valerio. “I don’t have to make so many adjustments and the tool life of the rack dies has improved,” Valerio adds.
OSG Royco offers die reconditioning services at its Guanajuato Tech Center (GTO Tech Center) in Guanajuato, Mexico. Utilization of this program can lead to significant cost savings over the cost of purchasing new tooling. Rack dies are reconditioned by removing the existing form profile and then regrinding a new profile. After grinding, a shim plate is attached to the rack to bring it into new rack dimensions.
OSG Royco’s reground rack dies demonstrate consistent quality with no variation. Moreover, Valerio is especially pleased with OSG’s technical support.
From left, OSG Royco sales coordinator Francisco Arteaga, American Axle & Manufacturing de México tool engineer Manuel Cruz Valerio and OSG Royco sales representative Oscar Morales pose for a photograph at AAM’s production facility in Silao, Guanajuato, Mexico.
“When we need a solution, it’s good to know that OSG has a team of experts behind them,” said Valerio. “The close proximity of OSG’s facility in Guanajuato also contributes to fast delivery time. It is a relief knowing that help is near to solve any urgency,” said Valerio.