Machine Tool Reconditioning: When It's Right for Your Shop

How Machine Shops Can Save Money: Is it Time to Recondition Your Tools?

Machine Tool Reconditioning: When It’s Right for Your Shop

If you’re looking to reduce costs and improve efficiency in your facility, machine tool reconditioning may be the cost-effective solution you’ve been looking for. To help you decide if tool reconditioning is right for you, we talked to our friends over at Guhring for more details on the tool reconditioning program available for M&M Sales & Equipment customers. 

What is Machine Tool Reconditioning?

Tool reconditioning and re-sharpening is a process of rejuvenating existing tooling such as carbide drills, reamers, end mills and milling cutters and returning them to a factory cutting edge. As you know, good quality cutting tools are not cheap and tend to wear down over time. The cost of replacing them is often steep, especially for smaller machine shops with tight budgets.

For many high-performance cutting tools, re-sharpening is a viable option for extending tooling life — often at a fraction of the cost associated with buying brand new.

How Does Machine Tool Reconditioning Work?

Manufacturers like Guhring offer reconditioning services on drills, step drills, carbide end mills and reamers on both Guhring tools and competitor tooling. These reconditioning services can bring your cutting tools back to factory quality, condition and performance. Examples of tool modifications that are possible include reconditioning of chamfer, radius, neck relief, shank flats and more.

How does it work?

Your M&M Sales & Equipment representative arrives on-site to assess both your standard and special Carbide and PCD tooling and can identify areas of potential savings. You’ll then discuss whether or not it is more cost-effective to recondition your tools or purchase new ones. Once you decide on your course of action, your sales rep takes care of the rest; including building a quote, sending out your tooling for service, monitoring lead time and ensuring quality upon delivery.

What Should You Look for in a Machine Tool Reconditioning Service?

The truth is, the better the original quality of the tooling, the better the result you’ll achieve from re-sharpening and reconditioning services. Companies hoping to cut costs are surprised when lower quality tools end up costing them much more down the road when they go to recondition or re-sharpen them.  There are often more errors in the original manufacturing of lower quality tooling that make it difficult to recondition them. Far too often, the result is a shorter tool life and higher reconditioning costs.

The solution?

Purchase quality cutting tools from a manufacturer that also offers reconditioning and re-sharpening capability, saving you time and money.

Guhring not only manufacturers cutting tools, but they design and build the equipment that creates them. That means when you send in your tool for servicing, you’re not just sharpening the tool, you’re getting the original point, proper geometries, edge preps, honing and the original coating for a complete reconditioning back to factory specs.

Another thing to consider when reconditioning your cutting tools is traceability. An added benefit of having your tools reconditioned with Guhring is the batch number that is etched on to every order. If you ever encounter a problem with a particular tool, you can trace its origins the same way that you would with a brand-new tool. This helps to not only troubleshoot existing operational defects, but also identify potentially expensive problems in the future.

Related: 4 Ways to Save Money, Extend Tooling Life and Get More from Your Tools

How Do I Know It’s Time to Recondition My Tools?

Other than the clear-cut signs of dulling cutting edges, there are a few things machinists can look for to help them identify when their tooling may be due for reconditioning. Pay attention to these factors:

  • Diminished cutting ability
  • Excessive tool wear
  • Higher machine and spindle loads
  • Equipment run time
  • Signs of different chip formation
  • Longer chip sizes
  • Bird nesting on the drill

When Is Tooling Not Worth Reconditioning?

There are no definitive answers on when tooling isn’t worth reconditioning. Instead, there are several factors to consider including the cost of the tool, the number of tools to be reconditioned, freight charges and more. Ask your sales rep to run a quote on the costs associated with reconditioning your tooling and ask for specific quantity breaks. A good rule of thumb is when you send in more of the same type and brand of tool for reconditioning, it is more cost-effective than sending in just one or two.

Looking for more ways to save?

We have almost 60 years of experience serving the industrial supply needs of machine shops, oil companies and manufacturing facilities throughout Texas. We understand the challenges associated with operating during a difficult economy. That’s why we offer several different services that can help you operate for higher profits and lower costs.

These are just a few of our services that can help you save: 

  1. Recondition and Re-Sharpen Tools
    Revive existing tooling and restore them to original factory quality condition and performance with reconditioning and re-sharpening services available through M&M Sales & Equipment.
  2. Perform a Tool Evaluation
    Spec out the right tools and supplies to minimize scrap and reduce excessive wear on your machines with an onsite tool evaluation.
  3. Perform a Process Evaluation
    Assess your manufacturing processes, identify inefficiencies and areas of waste with an onsite process evaluation.
  4. Assess Operational Costs
    Assess your cost per hour to run equipment, identify output rate per part and approximate your scrap rate to lower your operations costs.

Right now, you’re trying to get the most out of every dollar you spend. We can help. Contact M&M Sales & Equipment to learn more about how we can help you improve operations and increase your profitability. Call one of our four Texas locations today.

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