02 April 2013

Its Just not as Exciting When Its Boring

Whenever I go to a home improvement store I always browse through the tool sets that are on display. I look at them because I like tools that make my work easier but I also want to see how they are packaged and marketed. I think one of the best at this is Dremel. They package sets of bits for sharpening lawn mower blades, cleaning and polishing golf clubs, removing grout and many other general and special purpose applications.

DBL-202B Boring Set
Creating a boring set package is just not as exciting. There are few variables; the diameter of the bore, the depth of the bore, the style of spindle and the material to be bored. For many years, Criterion has offered some basic boring head sets mostly for manual milling machines. It made sense to offer a DBL-202 bring head, R-8 shank all of the brazed boring tools that  would fit in the head (either in C-6 or C-2 carbide) packaged in a nice case where it could all be stored because manual milling machines did a wide variety of work.

As CNC machining centers entered the manufacturing arena they were not used in the same manner as the manual milling machines they were used for production because they made many parts exactly the same because the computer controlled the machine movements. Because they were a production machine so it did not make sense to offer a kit when the CNC milling machines did not require the same versatility as the manual milling machines.

CB-202B Boring Head, CT40 Tool Holder and Boring Bar

CB-202B Boring Set
The continued development and progression of using CNC machining centers has made them into excellent prototype machines. The capability of accurately producing a prototype part to the print is incomparable to a manual milling machine.  Because of this Criterion has added 3 new boring sets to our product line. Our CB-202B boring head, a set of indexable insert boring bars, a cross hole boring bar and either a CT40, BT40 or HSK63A shank in a convenient storage case give the versatility to produce bores from .250” to 6.687” in diameter.

05 March 2013

Made in Beverly Hills

When a company is 76 years old it will have many interesting stories. One of our stories comes from a trade show attendee who stop by our booth. He brought a boring head that Criterion had made when the company was located in Beverly Hills, California. He was kind enough to give us the boring head shown below so we could add it to our display case of Criterion Boring Heads.

1940's Criterion Boring Head on Moore Jig Bore Shank

This is his story about the history of the boring head. His grandfather purchased the boring head from Criterion in the late 1940's (he was not sure of the exact year) and used it in his job shop for many years. His grandfather then sold the business to his dad who continued using the boring head. His dad then sold him the shop and he continued to used it because it still produced accurate bores. He decided to retire the boring head and purchasing a new Criterion Boring head. He knew we were going to be at the show and thought we might like to have a piece of our history. 

60+ Years of Service in Manufacturing

This boring head has been owned by three generations of a manufacturing family. It is a tribute to not only Criterion but another family business that has survived for three generations. Criterion has always been proud of the quality and durability of the products we produce. We appreciate the loyalty of our customers and hope they continue to use Criterion's products for generations to come.

01 March 2013

Spark the Fire

Much is being written about the need to attract young people into manufacturing and there is a need to make sure we have a qualified workforce to continue keeping the US as a strong manufacturing country. Criterion has participated on advisory boards for many of our local technical training centers, community colleges and colleges in our area.

 The Battle
of the Robots
Last weekend the NTMA Training Center in Ontario, CA held a Battle Box battle of the robots. The theme was "Spark the Fire" to introduce young people to manufacturing.

Do you think they
can destroy the Printer?

I took 3 of my grandson and their dad to see the robots.

The attendance was great and the mixer of people gathered to watch was a perfect blend. My hat is off to the staff of the NTMA Training Center as they drew the young kids in allowing them to operate some RC cars in between the robot battles.

There was a pit area where you could get a close up look at the robots and talk to the students who designed, built and battled the robots. The students were excited to explain to us how they built the robots and what they learned while building them.
The Pit Area 

I wonder if I could do this
A spark was lit as one of my grandsons asked if I thought he might be able to do something like that one day. I hope it turns into a flame and he will be a part of our manufacturing future.

15 January 2013

When Do I Need A Micro-Adjusting Boring Head

We are frequently asked to recommend one of our products for producing a precision bore. A guideline I use when I am recommending a product is the tolerance of the bore. If the tolerance is .006” or less I will always recommend a Micro-adjusting boring head if it is available. The reason for this recommendation is very simple the micro-adjusting range of these boring heads is .006” so you can easily make adjustments to stay with in your tolerance range without having to remove the boring system from the machine area and return to a presetter or some other measuring device to make a close tolerance adjustment. You simply determine how much adjustment you need to make and then move the micro-adjusting dial the appropriate number of graduations and you are ready to produce the next bore.

Cri-Bore Micro-Adjusting
Boring Head in an
Aerospace Application
50 Millionths on Diameter
Micro-Adjusting Boring Head

The main objection to using a micro-adjusting boring head is the initial cost. They normally are double the cost of a standard adjusting boring head. The ability to not delay the manufacturing process while making a diameter adjustment quickly pays back your initial investment. When the life of a boring heads is years (in some cases with Criterion boring heads its decades) it can be a very profitable investment.

03 January 2013

CBER Proves to be a Process Improvement

I just read this article The Stem Solution : Modern Machine Shop and remembered the brothers visit to our booth during IMTS2012. They were excited about what they had seen at the show and how they could use it in their manufacturing process.

The mention of our CBER boring system as a process imporvement for Straitline Components is very gratifying.

More importantly is the underlying story of this article - two young people committed to manufacturing, improving manufacturing processes and having a joy for what they have chosen to do.

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.

Criterion's CBER system fit directly into ER collet holder

06 December 2012

Reduce Tool Change Over Time

One of our main objectives is to provide products and solutions for our customers that will save them money and reduce their cost of manufacturing. Shortly after introducing the 1/8" solid carbide tools we introduced the “QL” boring tool to our line of solid carbide boring tools.

These .125" diameter solid carbide qualified length boring tools feature a repeatable “Z” length of +.001" /-.001" from a nominal set length. The QL tool’s close tolerance length minimizes a machine’s down time when you have to change a tool during production run.  

When a tool needs to be replaced you loosen the collet nut remove the damaged tool, insert the replacement tool, rotate it until it falls into place. The tools closely held locating angle insure the “Z” length repeatability. The locating angle also places the cutting edge on center giving longer tool life and reducing machine down time.

Criterion's Qualified Length Tools and Qualified Length Adapters

There are 17 different bore diameter and length configurations of the new .125" solid carbide qualified length boring tools. Minimum bore diameters will range from as small as .050" to as large as .110" in diameter. The boring tools are able to bore holes up to .700" in depth depending on the bore diameter.

The qualified length tools need to be held in a Criterion qualified length tool holder. The tool holders are available with 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4" shanks and are design for use in Criterion’s precision boring heads.

29 November 2012

Expand Your Boring Head Range with the Right Solid Carbide Boring Tools

Solid carbide boring tools have been around for many years. The number of manufacturers that make small diameter solid carbide boring bars that are not ground on center is limited. When Criterion introduced our TMT-0750 small boring head we looking at the small carbide bars on the market and they were not designed to be used with the boring head. We did not find anyone who was making a tool ground on around the center line of the tool shank. All of the tools were designed to be used in lathe applications and were ground off center for maximum clearance in the lathe.

The reason this is important if you are going to use it in a boring head is the loss of diameter range on the boring head. You have to move your boring head offset just to bring the tool on center. This can be as much as 3/16 of an inch if the boring tool has a .030" minimum bore and the shank is 1/8". You would effectively lose 1/2 of the adjusting range of the boring head in this example.

1/4" Shank Carbide Tools Design for use in Boring Heads

Because of this Criterion introduced a line of 1/8" shank and 1/4" shank solid carbide boring tools and adapter sleeve for use in our boring heads. Our tools are ground around the centerline of the tool shank so you minimum offset to bring the tool its smallest bore diameter. This gives you the maximum off-set possible with the boring head. Being able to take advantage of the offset means you need less boring tools in inventory.