Sharpen up! Why razor sharp cutting tools are your best friend
By Craig Halfpapp, Service Manager
What is the true cost of running with blunt cutterheads?
Over-running your tooling to reduce changeover to a new, sharp head might seem like the easier option but knowing the consequences may change your mind!
Once a tool goes beyond the point of its sharpness, the only effect it’ll have is a negative one.
- Energy usage – The machine will require more amps to push the blunt tool through the timber. Electrical power is fast becoming the number one cost to a drymill and this is one of the ways costs are driven up.
- Inferior finish – Using a blunt tool, the surface finish becomes rippled instead of beautiful and smooth.
- Wasted time – When the knife is finally taken to the grinding room in it is in a significantly worn condition, the sharpening process is going to take longer than it should.
- Safety – Blunt cutter tools don’t cut freely. They require more feeding pressure and that can be dangerous for operators.
One simple change can be an absolute game-changer!
Any time you think, “I don’t have time to swap a head over”, there is a ripple effect across production. Skimping on time in one area means demanding it from another.
Making a simple change like this to your maintenance culture can make an enormous difference to productivity. When your cutterheads are sharp and performing at peak, everything is being done optimally. A finished piece of timber can only be as good as the machinery that processes it and that includes every component of it.
Cutterheads need to be inspected at specific intervals. That could be a particular number of hours or a certain amount of throughput, resulting in:
- Higher productivity (more production)
- More orders
- More satisfied and loyal customers
- Higher dollar value for your product
- Higher demand for your product
- Reduced production costs
I’ve seen some real game-changing effects of keeping on top of tool sharpness. Try it for yourself and I reckon you’ll be amazed at the results.