Manufacturers, especially job shops, know better than most the pressures of ever-increasing customer demands and the equally demanding requirements to control costs. Multi-purpose tools have been one method many shops use to bridge the gap – excellent in certain materials and “good enough” in others to get the job done.
Field tests are confirming the WIDIA™ VariTap™ delivers the best of both worlds: superior tapping performance in multiple work materials without sacrificing part quality or tool life. “Job shops by nature require the broadest possible toolbox to deliver different jobs that come in daily,” says Marcelo Campos, Manager Global Product Management for tapping at WIDIA. “VariTap draws on more than 140 years of application experience to provide today´s shops the ability to address different applications and materials with one solution. As opposed to having to stock custom or specific taps for aluminums, stainless steels, cast irons, etc., the VariTap design gives them high performance without compromise.”
VariTap´s design engineering includes a proprietary spiral point geometry that lowers tapping torque, extending tool life while efficiently driving chips forward in through holes. Optimized spiral flute geometry additionally aids chip evacuation, reducing bird-nesting in blind holes. Significant investment in WIDIA´s production process includes state-of-the-art CNC tool-grinders with robot loading system and advanced coating center that, combined with VariTap´s high vanadium HSS-E blanks, greatly improves wear resistance. VariTap also can be used with all styles of tap holders including:tension/compression holders, rigid holders, and synchronous tap holders.
Lasts Five or Six Times Longer
Founded in 1966 in Avon, Indiana, USA, Mears Machine Corporation is a world-class supplier of precision machined components and complex fabrications to a wide range of industries.
Achieving a fast, competitive solution for each customer is the goal. Each job is unique, according to the company. “Having the best and most advanced equipment is only part of the quality equation – experience is critical! Mears begins the quality equation with trained machinists that have extensive experience with a wide variety of materials: nickel, cobalt, iron, aluminum, and titanium-based alloys.”
Having the right tools is critical, as well, which is why the company was eager to test the VariTap for itself. “We love them,” explains Steve Earnest, former plant manager and 20-year veteran at Mears Machine. “We had been using regular HSS taps mainly in 347 stainless. They were good quality taps, we just felt we weren´t getting as much performance as we should. When we agreed to field-test the VariTaps, they lasted at least five times as long as the taps we were using, in a few cases, six.”
A VariTap for All Conditions
WIDIA™ is not bringing just selected VariTap options to the market, but a broad array of VariTap choices, more than 1600 SKUs. “There´s a VariTap for all tapping conditions,” says Campos. There are DIN dimensions for Europe, ANSI for North America, (including DIN lengths on ANSI shanks), and JIS for Asia.