While operational expenditure can be costly for a business, it is not advisable to try to reduce costs by attempting to combine tool drives with incorrect or sub-standard abrasive consumables.

Purchasing decisions based only on price, which ignore the quality or compatibility required for specific applications, will reduce tool performance while increasing operational costs. Dennis Phillips, national sales manager for PFERD-South Africa, a manufacturer, supplier, and distributor of abrasive tool solutions, says, “Buying cheaper, or trying to operate quality tool drives with sub-standard consumables is a false economy.”

“This incompatibility not only increases consumable use and subsequent operational costs, but the additional noise, vibration and dust usually associated with sub-standard abrasives increases operational hazards for the operators. The reverse is also applicable, because buying sub-standard machines and pairing them with high-performance abrasives will also not deliver optimum results.”

Ensuring that the right abrasives are used with your machines can save you money and provide improved performance. Image credit: Pferd South Africa

Ensuring that the right abrasives are used with your machines can save you money and provide improved performance. Image credit: Pferd South Africa

Incompatibility Woes

Incorrect machine and tool combinations increase costs in the long run. It is the main driver behind premature wear and reduced consumable service life, leading to increased consumption. An additional knock-on effect is wasted human resources because increased tool changes use up valuable time that could have been spent on production.

Compatibility Benefits

A powerful tool drive paired with the correct high-performance abrasive eliminates large consumable bills that would result from the mismatch between tool drive and consumable.

Phillips adds, “The benefit of ensuring balance through correct combination is what delivers the best performance and achieves the desired results. Correct compatibilities offer improved productivity and cost efficiencies, reduced consumable purchasing, faster processing times, increased operator safety and comfort and less machine down time. It is more beneficial to consider the long-term requirements and to keep the overall process in mind when selecting consumables and tool drives.”

Assessment Excellence

“Our application specialists and technical sales advisors are available to conduct site visits and assess a company’s applications and requirements as well as provide guidance on the machine and tool combination that will offer the most cost-effective solution.”

“If required, training at our Academy can be arranged as we believe that training is key to achieving the operational performance that delivers cost savings on consumables and prolongs the machine’s service life,” says Phillips.

Recently, the company’s application specialists went to a site to assess the customer’s unusually high usage of tungsten carbide burrs. It was determined that the customer recently replaced their pneumatic tool drives and price played a major role in their decision-making.

Phillips comments, “During our investigation, we determined that the new pneumatic tool drives were of the incorrect rotational speed for the tungsten carbide burrs being used. The machines were rated at 25 000 RPM whereas the consumables had an optimum operating speed/RPM of 16 000 RPM. This incorrect operating speed led to heat build-up, premature wear and in some instances, product failure.”

“A new tool drive with the correct operating RPM and a material specific burr, ideally suited for the material and application was recommended. The immediate difference was in the handling, performance, and comfort for the operators.”

Further in-production testing resulted in the customer changing over to the recommended machine and consumable combination. While initial set-up costs were higher, the customer noticed a significant overall cost reduction due to improved product service life and productivity. “The proof was in the performance and the balance sheet,” says Phillips.