The importance of speed and feed rates in a machining operation should not be overlooked. The industry requires that metal parts and components be produced within often demanding time frames and in large order runs. If a shop is going to meet those demands, its machines will need to be set at the proper spindle speeds and feed rates. Time lost due to a machining operation running too slow or breaking down because it’s going too fast results in lost efficiency and could lead to a behind-schedule delivery. One of the primary benefits of a speed and feed calculator is that it can take the trial and error or the guesswork out of setting optimal speed and feed rates.
Spindle Speed (RPM)
The correct spindle speed setting can determine whether you obtain consistency in the parts your machining produces. Using the right spindle speed for your production runs will also help ensure that you cause no undue wear and tear to your machines by running them too fast. In milling operations, for example, you may achieve the best results by “leveraging” your spindle speed rather than pushing it “to the limit.” The technology involved in tool design and manufacturing has also advanced over recent years. Newly designed cutting tools are capable of running at lower speeds while they also achieve greater metal removal rates.
You could find that your milling operation benefits from a higher material removal rate at a lower spindle speed. A milling calculator can help you determine what speed will produce the best results in an end milling or face milling production run. The unit of measurement for spindle speed settings, which can cover a wide range of machining operations, is revolutions per minute (RPM).
Feed Rate (IPM)
Feed rate refers to the speed and distance traveled by the tool across the workpiece. Basically, it refers to the speed at which the tool is fed and is measured in inches per minute traveled, or IPM. The direction traveled by the workpiece or tool is generally not considered because of the variety of machine and production setups that may be required.
The interaction between certain spindle speeds and feed rates could affect the finished piece’s surface roughness. A finished part’s surface attributes may limit or increase wear, friction or load-bearing tolerances. A study conducted using five carbon steel alloys indicated that certain feed rate and spindle speed combinations had a direct influence on the finished workpiece’s surface.
A Valuable Professional Relationship
One of the most valuable professional relationships a machining operation can have, whether a small shop or a large contractor, is the one developed with its tool supplier. A reputable and advanced-product supplier will provide highly skilled application support that can help determine the right tool and its optimal speed and feed settings. This can be especially relevant to an operation handling a wide range of workpiece materials. You’ll find the online calculators you’ll need at a state-of-the-art tool manufacturer’s website, such as a drill tap calculator, thread-cutting calculators, and those designed for speed and feed settings. You can also discover what advances in technology and tool engineering have brought to the metalworking industry.