Rotoko and Carl Whitham
Based in the Netherlands, Rotoko Machining has deep experience working with stainless steel. The company is a highly respected producer of precision-machined parts for the oil and gas industry as well as aviation concerns.
Committed to continuous improvement, Rotoko routinely invests in its operations and its people. But in staking its reputation on exceptional quality, Rotoko also insists on superior materials. Uniquely consistent stainless steel helps this progressive organization achieve unprecedented levels of quality and efficiency.
High speed delivers high quality
In the course of an extended production run – say, 10,000 pieces – consistent quality is essential. “Through 3,000 kilos of material, for example, the first bar should be the same quality as the final bar,” says Rotoko CEO Leo Koetsenruijter.
If bar quality fluctuates, equipment speeds must be reduced in order to achieve the tool life needed. But with bars of consistent high quality, speeds can be increased with no fear of production failure.
Using Outokumpu’s high machinability Prodec bar (provided by IMS, exclusive distributor of Prodec in the Benelux and Europe), Rotoko increased cutting speeds in premachining and finishing by more than 10% on a production run of 5,000 pieces.
Prodec also boosted tool life at Rotoko by 40%. Better tool life and faster production represent important efficiencies. Machining at higher speeds helps to avoid built-up edges on inserts, and leads to better surface quality and tolerances. In that way, Prodec delivers cost savings and quality.
Doubled tool life creates savings
Rotoko’s experience with Prodec defied conventional wisdom. “Normally, you increase tool life by decreasing cutting speed,” Koetsenruijter notes. “But with Prodec, when you increase cutting speed, you increase tool life.
Indeed, in V15 machining tests conducted in 2016, Prodec achieved machining speeds of up to 300 m/minute, resulting in a doubled tool life compared to competing materials.
Learning of Prodec from an IMS sales representative, Koetsenruijter says he was eager to put the new product to the test. On the basis of the trial, a run of more than 20,000 pieces was planned. “IMS provided us with literature and technical expertise, as well as test material,” he says. “They were very helpful, and the service, delivery time and price were very good. Outokumpu and IMS have been very good companies to work with.”