Briquetting Manufacturer Tools Up for Faster Turnaround Times
Briquettes are dense blocks created by compressing certain materials. For instance, charcoal and water softener salt are prepared as briquettes using charcoal dust and sodium chloride, respectively. These blocks can be compressed in cantilevered removable cutting rolls like those machined by K.R. Komarek, a Wood Dale, Illinois, company whose founder, Gustav Komarek, patented briquetting processes in the early 1900s to make coal less dusty and easier to transport.
With a wide variety of briquette designs, sizes and materials, machining these rolls is a demanding task for machine tools and, in particular, tooling. To overhaul a lengthy, hands-on process, Komarek paired a Mazak turn-mill machine with Ceratizit ISO-P-grade tooling to reduce production cycles and eliminate an arduous hand-grinding process.
Employees who formerly would have been tackling manual tasks on the briquetting roll production line can now work in Komarek’s reconditioning and repair department. These new processes also eliminated the potential for human error from hand-ground pockets, and by previewing milling paths through simulation features within Mastercam, Komarek is seeing less than a thousandth of an inch of variance in pockets. Tool life has also become much more predictable.