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News Article from Guhring Ltd

Toolmaker Dives into Cost Savings with Guhring

posted 16th January 2024 by Lisa Bigge

Canterbury Tools specialise in the production of single operation tools, progression tools, transfer tools, as well as components and assemblies for automated and robotic processes in sectors as diverse as the agricultural and construction industries through to the medical, IT, aerospace and automotive sectors. To retain an industry-leading position, the manufacturer is always looking for opportunities to accelerate performance and productivity – and it is this determination to succeed that led the company to Guhring.

Canterbury Tools utilises a selection of 3-axis machines from small capacity to 3m bed machines as well as simultaneous 5-axis machining. Discussing the daily operation of the business, Josh Bennett, the Operations Team Leader at Canterbury Tools says: “We pride ourselves on manufacturing high-quality press tooling and this includes everything from single operation to progression tools and small fine blanking work to automotive tooling. Press tools can be quite complicated projects, so we use a lot of different machine tools.”


The company machines many challenging materials that can rapidly erode tool life and profit margins if the correct tools are not selected. Alluding to this, Josh says: “We take massive pride in what we use in terms of cutting tools, as we have to cut very tough material daily. This means the tool life does make a difference. We do not cut materials like your everyday mild steel and aluminium where you can get away with using the same tools for a long time. When you are cutting things like D2 tool steel and running intricate forms with a high material removal rate, you really can burn through tools quite quickly.”

Canterbury Tools founded its relationship with Guhring at MACH 2022, Josh continues: “We were introduced to Guhring at the MACH 2022 exhibition. We have always prided ourselves on being at the forefront when it comes to cutting tools. It is an ever-evolving industry, so you have to keep up with the technology. When we spoke to Guhring at MACH, they made promises that we have heard from many other cutting tool companies in the past. Guhring told us things like ‘We will improve your tool life’ ‘We’ll cut your tooling costs’ and ‘We’ll improve your material removal rates’. At the time, we were in the market to improve upon what we were doing and we thought we were already using very good cutters - but as always, were open to be proven wrong.”

Proving a Point

Discussing the first tool that Canterbury used from Guhring, Josh continues: “The first Guhring tool was the Diver Series of end mills. Guhring told us that it was the ideal tool for our applications and daily use. We trialled the Guhring Diver against the tools we were using at the time. To our surprise, they annihilated the performance of the apparently high-end tooling that we were using at the time.”

“We found a 300% increase in performance compared to what our existing tools were doing. This was a massive surprise to our management team, the accountants who deal with the daily costs of our business and most importantly to the machinists on the shop floor. The machinists really saw a difference in what they were doing every single day with the new cutting tools. From this point, we took Guhring seriously and really put their tools through some rigorous testing. From the testing, we saw a threefold increase in our tool life when we ran at the same speeds and feeds as our old cutters. With help from Guhring, their on line tool Navigator system and their engineers, we honed our skillset and started to use this skill to push the cutters to within an inch of their lives.”

Commenting on the tooling performance, Josh adds: “We wanted to see exactly what we could get out of the Guhring tools. We were increasing our cutting depths and stepovers by 1 to 1.5 times as well as increasing our speeds and feeds while maintaining a much higher tool life than what we were previously getting.”

Discussing the switch to Guhring, Josh adds: “By switching to Guhring, we found a much higher material removal rate and this meant that jobs were on machines for less time. In the world of CNC machining, this is a massive advantage. You always want the job to be ‘on and off’ the machine as quickly as possible. Additionally, not having to change the cutters as often has reduced the downtime incurred by tool changeovers. To remove, reset and replace tools is a process that can take anything from 5 to 15 minutes - the number of these tool changeovers has been drastically reduced. If you have a tool that you expect to change every hour, and then you change to a Guhring tool that gives you four hours of tool life, you have cut out three tool changes in just one job cycle. Additionally, you have slashed your tooling costs.”

Discussing the service provided by Guhring, Josh says: “Another main advantage with Guhring is their next-day delivery. The service is excellent and if we are really stuck, we can collect the tools the same day. Sometimes, we will have a customer with a breakdown. If it is an automotive press tool breakdown, it can be a very costly experience, so they will want items repaired or replaced immediately. We will pull late shifts, night shifts and work weekends to get everything done – but sometimes we may not necessarily have the tooling in  our workshop to complete the job. So, being able to offer customers this rapid collection service and adhere to very short lead times is critical to our business – and it's something we can only offer if we have the cutting tools and support available from Guhring for the job.”

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