Thu. / 11.09.14 / 10:15

Zero to a hundred in 2.5 seconds

Reducing cycle times with special tool for multiple work processes

In the world of machining, speed and precision are paramount. Steering system manufacturer ZF Lenksysteme based in Schwäbisch Gmünd in Southwest Germany relies on a drill thread milling cutter from JBO for the high-speed machining of steering housings. In just 2.5 seconds, no fewer than four work steps are completed with 100 per cent accuracy – using a single tool.

At ZF Lenksysteme, a steering system manufacturer jointly owned by Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a workforce of around 13,000 in locations around the world produces passenger car and utility vehicle steering systems to a high technological standard. One of the key components for the manufacture of high-quality steering systems is the steering housing. For a new steering housing made of cast aluminum, the world’s leading steering system manufacturer decided to focus its efforts on reducing machining cycle times and so minimizing costs. JBO was commissioned to develop a solution for producing the vertical blind hole thread which was as economical as it was precise.

Four machining steps in two work processes using a single tool

Through a process of close cooperation between ZF Lenksysteme, the application engineers and the design department at JBO, a premium class solid carbide drill thread milling cutter with a difference was developed. The challenge: To complete the steering housing using just four machining steps are required – drilling, countersinking, spot facing and thread milling.

When it comes to complex tasks such as this one, JBO has a deep fund of experience to contribute. The Albstadt-based company specializes in the manufacture of thread milling cutters, drill thread milling cutters, thread cutting dies and precision thread gauges for standard and non-standard threads. JBO has been developing, designing and producing non-standard tools for highly complex machining operations for over 100 years. For ZF Lenksysteme, it designed a tool which executes four complete work steps in just two work processes: Core hole drilling, producing a 45 degree countersink and spot facing in the first work process, milling the 10 mm deep through hole thread in the second work process.

Facts and data

  • Component: Steering housing made from cast aluminum
  • Machining center: Heller MC25 machining center
  • Thread: 10 mm deep
  • Tool: Solid carbide drill thread milling cutter M6
  • Machining data: Vc 150 m/min (9,600 rpm), drilling feed rate 0.15 mm/rev, milling feed rate 0.057 mm
  • Service life: appr. 50,000 thread
  • Machining time: 2.5 seconds

The solid drill thread milling cutter designed for machining the steering housing completes four complex work steps in just two work processes: Core hole drilling, 45 degree countersinking, spot facing and through hole thread drilling - all in 2.5 seconds.

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