The word “reconditioned” can ignite visions of worn, overworked products inferior to new ones. The reality is as long as you purchase from a reputable supplier, reconditioned cutting tools will deliver the same consistent results as they did upon initial purchase. There are, however, still some misconceptions about these tools.
Firstly, reconditioning isn’t equivalent to repair. When repairing a piece of equipment, only the defective parts are inspected and replaced. Reconditioning, on the other hand, rejuvenates every aspect of the product and brings the part back to its original manufacturing standard.
As opposed to a repaired part, customers should expect reconditioned products in the same, perfect condition as a brand-new part. Tool reconditions, however, are slightly different from other reconditioned industrial parts.
Tool wear varies dramatically based on the application. In automotive or aerospace manufacturing, where tools drill many holes in a single run, producers may experience more damage. Similarly, industries that operate in harsher environments, like aerospace or oil and gas, may experience even shorter tool lifespans.
Due to the applications of solid-carbide tools, it is not a case of if the tool will be reconditioned, but when. As a result, tool producers must consider reconditioning from the design phase. Typically, tool CAD data will be stored so that reconditioned versions can match the tool’s original geometry and coating. For custom tools, this is essential to meet the original tool specifications.
The ability to reuse a single tool multiple times instead of investing in multiple tools also helps improve sustainability. Solid-carbide tools, such as those from Sandvik Coromant, use finite materials such as tungsten and cobalt. Tungsten reserves are projected to last for just 100 more years, making multiple repurchases unsustainable.
Tools must last longer if we are to manage materials sustainably. Reconditioning plays a major role in these efforts. Sandvik Coromant offers its own tool reconditioning service, which customers are encouraged to incorporate into their tooling strategies. Almost all solid-carbide tools from Sandvik Coromant can be reconditioned. Customers send their tools to their local center in a Sandvik Coromant-supplied reconditioning box. Worn tools can be sent to Sandvik Coromant’s specialist centers in Europe, Asia and the Americas, where the same geometry and coating is produced to the original specification.
The reconditioning process improves tool longevity, but manufacturers want tools that can be reconditioned and deployed several times during their lifespan. With this in mind, tool manufacturers should aim to produce tools that can undergo multiple reconditioning cycles.
For example, Sandvik Coromant developed the latest addition to its range, the CoroDrill 860 with -GM geometry, with these considerations in mind. The improved tool design increases tool life compared to previous versions of the CoroDrill range, and the CoroDrill 860-GM is guaranteed for up to three reconditioning cycles.
Replacing solid-carbide tools can be expensive and unsustainable. Misconceptions about reconditioning must be pushed aside, and this practice should play a key role in operating companies’ sustainability plans.