External broaching comes into play when a customer in an industry such as aerospace, medical, or automotive, requires precision components for some production need, and these components must be produced in great numbers by a manufacturer. In many cases, these precision components are gears or irregularly shaped objects which require broaching services that can apply external or internal cuts to the parts efficiently.
Having such precision parts being made in high quantity can give a business owner a very significant edge over the competition, assuming that the cost of the external broaching process is in line with their budget. Down below you can read about the entire process of external broaching, including the different types and when each type of broaching would be used in specific situations.
The External Broaching Process
The first step in any external broaching process involves having the manufacturer use a customized broaching tool in order to make the kind of cut requested by a client. There are a number of cutting teeth on a broaching tool which can help to create shapes which are very unique, or which are capable of creating irregular holes in some metal parts.
The whole process of external broaching is very specific to an individual part, and in most cases has been highly refined over a number of years so that the results are repeatable and of high quality. The repeatable aspect of this process is extremely important because it’s often necessary to create these externally broached parts in high volume to accommodate production needs.
As opposed to an internal broach, the external broaching process makes use of a cutting tool which has sides that are drafted outward. This imparts a precision cut on the outside of the part, and this kind of precision is necessary because the exact shape of the part can vary greatly, and that means the shape of the broaching tool must also vary and match the shape of the part.
This is true whether you’re creating bolts, gears, or any other type of components. After you have set up an external broaching machine, it becomes a fairly simple matter to produce a huge number of parts which are identical in appearance and function, and which have been cut to very exacting standards of precision.
The whole point of this kind of manufacturing is that a large number of the same types of parts can be produced quickly and with great precision. When engaged with this kind of production project, it’s extremely important that the broaching tool is sharp and capable of high-speed performance, so it’s essential that you work with a reliable broaching tool service provider who can create these kinds of custom tools. When a client finds a reputable and reliable provider, they generally stick with them for a long period of time.
Types of External Broaching
External broaching can be accomplished in one of two ways, either through rotary broaching or through horizontal broaching. When rotary broaching processes are used, it will be necessary to use a broaching tool as well as a tool holder, and the process involves having the tool spin much as a lathe would. This causes irregular cuts to be made on the outer profile in accordance with whatever specifications are being used for this particular project.
You may want a contoured finish, or straight edges may be called for, but regardless of the kind of finish you need, rotary broaching is quite capable of satisfying a great number of external broaching applications. A rotary broaching machine will have a 1° misalignment capability so as to minimize any contact between the cutting surface and the actual part, and this allows you to power right through harder materials with relative ease.
Horizontal broaching is a little different, and it calls for a classic broaching machine that actually pulls the broach through the part being operated on so that either an internal cut or an external cut can be applied. In most cases, horizontal broaching machines are set up to handle internal broaching, but it is possible to retool them so they can be used to do external broaching as well.
The reason that horizontal broaching machines are not as popular for external broaching is that they have largely been replaced by machines with a vertical broaching design. This kind of machine can produce the same kind of cuts, but it’s more compact and easier to use.
External Broaching Services
There are a number of industries that make use of external broaching, so that huge quantities of precision components can be produced in a short period of time, and to a high degree of quality and precision. Some of the industries which use external broaching to a large degree in their normal processes include the aerospace industry, firearms, automotive, medical, heavy equipment, and industrial manufacturing.
While these are not the only industries that make regular use of external broaching, they are some of the industries which most frequently require that kind of service and those kinds of products. External broaching is most effective when used on softer metals like stainless steel or aluminum, but a number of broaching machines in this country are also equipped to work very well with plastic or carbon fiber.
If you are working in an industry where metal or plastic components are required in high-volume, it’s entirely possible that you will need internal broaching or external broaching processes applied to those components. Many businesses have patented their own proprietary designs for external broaching, and have even manufactured their own components, so as to use the most affordable possible solution.
Broaching manufacturers are well aware of the significance of providing high-quality broaching services because there are a number of competitors out there who are only too eager to move in on your business if your quality should taper off at any point. This makes it important for broaching manufacturers to recognize when tools need to be sharpened or re-conditioned so that the efficiency of external broaching processes can remain intact, and precision cuts can always be applied.