IGUANA micro-tool scales Germany’s tallest building (again and again and again)

IGUANA MILLING CHALLENGE - Challenge accepted – still sharp!

At the end of 2021, Zecha Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrikation GmbH and AlienTools GmbH went live for the first time in their histories to find the following out: “How long can our IGUANA tool run?“

No one in the industry had ever taken on such a challenge before and live-streamed such a long-term milling event. But what gave rise to the IGUANA MILLING CHALLENGE?

To celebrate the winning of Baden-Württemberg’s 2021 Innovation Award and at the same to prove why the IGUANA tool was the winner, the tool was simply supposed to run and run for as long as possible. Our goal was clear – one tool, one machine with the task of completing milling paths and for as long as possible.

No sooner said than done. On Thursday 16th December 2021, ZECHA and AlienTools went live. During the live event, medals with various designs were to be milled from high quality 50 x 50mm copper blanks (E-CU-CW004A) non-stop. And all this using only one single double-edged 1mm ball cutter from the IGUANA family. This tool’s innovative feature: using laser technology to sharpen the diamond-coated cutting edges which results in a perfectly sharp and precise cutting edge, significantly extending the service life of the tool.

Strictly observed by VDWF President Prof. Dr. Eng. Thomas Seul and several thousand live viewers, we had to stop the milling test after no less than 30 days because our KERN milling machine was needed for further projects.

At first glance, both medals and the tool itself appeared to be intact after an incredible 641+ hours and more than 27km of milling behind them. The distance is almost unimaginable when you consider that the milling cutter was only 5cm long. This IGUANA micro-tool milled its own length 546,288 times during the live event. Compared to Germany’s tallest building, the tool managed to mill 74.2 times the length of the Berlin TV tower! If you’re still not impressed, then take a look at the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa – the IGUANA managed to mill the length of this 32.9 times.

This had to be examined in detail and so it was by our in-house measuring equipment. The results from the C-View, SEM and nano-focus speak for themselves:

  • A tool shape deviation of <0.002mm
  • No damage or alteration to layer structures
  • Finely finished workpiece surfaces with an RA of < 0.3 (N4 – N5 quality)

The milling test confirms why this technology wins awards: the use of the IGUANA tool family leads to a significant increase in tool life and ensures the best surface qualities on components. Detailed test results are available on the company website.

As a result of our cooperation with AlienTools GmbH, Cimtrode GmbH, Kern Microtechnik GmbH, LANG Technik GmbH, oelheld GmbH, OPEN MIND Technologies AG as well as REGO-FIX AG, it’s not only regional and international success that’s been generated, it’s also the growth of a valued relationship. After the event, each of our partners received a unique medal especially for their company.

Further medals could only be obtained via an online auction. Three special medals were auctioned off, the entire proceeds of which went to Sterneninsel e.V., a children’s and young people’s hospice for Pforzheim and the Enzkreis region.

The challenge didn’t only demonstrate the special features of the award-winning IGUANA technology but also marked the start of the sale of the new 935 lines – both at ZECHA and AlienTools – meaning all dimensions of the new lines can be ordered immediately in the ZECHA and AlienTools shop.

All the information you need on the IGUANA tool family and highlights of the IGUANA MILLING CHALLENGE can still be seen on the ZECHA website atwww.zecha.de/de/iguana-milling-challengeas well as on ourYouTube-Kanal.

In future, this tool manufacturer will continue to innovate, in both the way we produce our tools and the way we display their prowess. Stay tuned, this certainly wasn’t the last show.

ZECHA Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrikation GmbH

ZECHA Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrikation GmbH has been a pioneer and trendsetter in the field of micro cutting, stamping and forming tools for over half a century. The company's origins in the chronograph industry can be seen not only in its uncompromising specialization in the producing miniature tools of the highest precision, but also in its special tool solutions.

Precision and quality are key for the international employment in different industries, such as, for example, in medical and dental technology, the chronograph industry, automotive industry, or in tool and mould making. Experts in the company's own research and development department are constantly developing groundbreaking geometries and tools for sophisticated applications and cutting-edge materials.

In addition, tool reproducibility is also guaranteed even for years on account of the life number stamped at the end of the shaft of every tool.

Modern CNC machines, high-end measuring and testing technologies and carefully selected hard metals from leading manufacturers as well as an intensive cooperation with our customers and partners ensure the exceptional perfection of our Tools.

For more Information:

ZECHA Hartmetall- Werkzeugfabrikation GmbH
Benzstraße 2
75203 Königsbach-Stein
Tel: +49 (0)7232 3022-0
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