Machine Design

Nongalling stainless steel a fitting choice

Plumbing and automotive fittings machined by C&C Automatics Inc., Newark, N.Y.( were originally made from 303 stainless-steel bar stock.

Surface-finish quality of machined plumbing and automotive fasteners drastically improved after C&C Automatics upgraded its barstock to Carpenter Technology Corp. Project 70+ stainless steel.

Plumbing and automotive fittings machined by C&C Automatics Inc., Newark, N.Y. (, were originally made from 303 stainless-steel bar stock. But the high-speed shave tool needed a severe angle to cut the fittings. A built-up edge would develop and break down so often that C&C couldn't meet production demands.

Upgrading the barstock to Project 70+ stainless steel from Carpenter Technology Corp., (, reduced wear problems on the shave tools. Moreover, the inherent nongalling properties of the 303 P70+ CF, ANL alloy eases cutting and helps reduce scratches and tears that ruin precision finishes.

"We were running at 15% of our quoted job rates before we swapped stainless steels," said C&C Automatics' Craig Parsons. "We were approaching a point where it wasn't profitable to keep making the fittings, but changing the steel alone moved the efficiency rate above 50%."

While machining precision parts, it is best to run machines at a consistent setting. C&C prefers to set up a machining tool and let it run as long as possible. The slightest variation in settings can cause imperfections and downtime as technicians make the necessary adjustments.

Knurl-formed fittings for the automotive industry are the majority of C&C's stainless-steel products, but profitability suffers if machines sit idle. Tool breakdowns require that machinists stop working, replace the tool, and reset the machinery. A set of knurls generally costs about $45, but time spent replacing them is worth even more.

C&C replaced knurl tools almost daily with the original 303 stainless steel machining stock. But knurls upgraded to Project 70+ stainless steel last more than three days, boosting throughput and part production. Additionally, the company was originally producing 5,000 automotive stainless steel fittings per knurl set. Switching to 303 P70+ CF, ANL barstock now lets C&C get 15,000 parts out of every knurl set.


Coventor is opening four MEMS design training centers in China to teach the practical benefits of CoventorWare software tools to new and existing users. The centers will be equipped with CoventorWare software suites and will be maintained by IMAG Industries, Coventor's certified distributor in China.


TAGS: Automotive
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