Canadian Manufacturing

How versatile is your core drill?

Multifunctional machines, speed memory and automatic functioning give operators an edge



Sponsored article by FEIN Canadian Power Tool Company

Metalworking shops often rely on core drilling to produce consistent, high-quality parts and assemblies. Results of core drilling depend in large part on machine selection, the core bits and other accessories, which should be precisely matched to the application.

“But the most important feature of good core drills is versatility,” says Randy McDonald, national product manager with FEIN Canadian Power Tool Company in Mississauga.

“Core drills should really be multifunctional,” he says. “So you can use different types of annular cutters, carbide cutters, twist drills, taper shank drills, reamers, counter sinks and tapping attachments.”

“For many manufacturers, the job goes far beyond simply drilling holes. They have to ream, counter sink, and often tap holes as well, so the core drill machine should be capable of handling all those jobs, with quick and easy switch-out between tools, he adds.

Going automatic

Beyond the versatility of being able to tackle many jobs, McDonald says another key feature of good core drills is automatic functioning.

FEIN was the first power tool provider to develop a fully-automatic core drill, after recognizing how the technology vastly improves performance and quality.

Its KBM 50 Auto, for instance, has a fully-automatic digitally-controlled drill feed, making it highly efficient, yet totally mobile. Capable of drilling holes up to two inches, the auto-feed provides repetitive drilling times and constant work progress, saving time and money.

“The biggest benefit with automatic core drilling is it reduces human error,” McDonald explains. “Sometimes, operators exert too much pressure on the cutter, causing over-heating of the bit. It can cause the cutter to dull prematurely. The pressure also fluctuates up and down so you don’t get a constant feed or speed.”

Automatic core drills remedy that problem, providing a consistent feed and speed, and continuous coolant at the tips of the cutter. “It’s the perfect cutting scenario,” he explains.

The KBM 50 Auto will also detect if it’s drilling through a hard spot, a situation operators may have trouble spotting on their own. “When the drill hits a hard spot it senses that and will slow the machine down, cut through the hard spot and then speed back up.”

Speed memory

The KBM 50 Auto, and the larger KBM 80 Auto also offer speed memory, a beneficial feature when numerous holes require drilling, or when core drilling tasks are repetitive from piece to piece.

The speed memory function is ideal for applications such as tapping, where extremely slow speeds are required. Using speed memory, the operator puts the machine in the slowest gear and then adjusts the speed electronically before tapping the first hole. Once completed, the operator moves to the next hole and presses the memory button to tap at the exact same speed.

“There’s no guesswork,” McDonald says. “You always have the correct speed for every hole. If someone is doing a big job, they may be doing hundreds of holes with the same diameter cutter so speed memory can really help with efficiency and consistency.”

The KBM series of core drills all have a rapid attachment system, allowing operators to change tools in seconds. Their compact and lightweight design reduces fatigue, while the magnet monitoring system enhances precision and performance.

With versatility, automatic functioning and speed memory, good core drills provide the error-proofing and safety benefits needed to produce top-quality parts again and again.

FEIN has been a world-leading power tool manufacturer for over 140 years. FEIN Canadian Power Tool Company, located in Mississauga, Ont., provides a range of high-quality power tools and accessories. Visit www.fein.ca for more information.

To view other articles on industrial power tool selection, safety and care, see the Technology Showcase.

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