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Grade-Specific Inserts Speed High Production Thread Turning

Shop Manager Tim Guadalupe at Walker Evans Racing

Chrome steel shock absorber shaft manufactured by Walker Evans Racing

Detail of threading on shock absorber shaft

Aluminum shock absorber body

Founded by off-road racing legend Walker Evans and acting Owner and General Manager Randy Anderson, Walker Evans Racing of Riverside, CA, is a leading OEM supplier of key components to both leading OEMs and the off-road aftermarket. The company's two facilities produce a range of ultra heavy-duty products including wheels, shock absorbers for ATVs and snowmobiles and part upgrades for racing enthusiasts.

Walker Evans produces over 400,000 high quality shocks for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and off-road trucks per year. According to Shop Manager Tim Guadalupe, "One of our challenges involves maintaining quality and repeatability over extended production runs. Parts such as the shafts for our shocks are typically made of chrome steel with a hardness of 55 to 58 Rockwell, and threading is key to the process. Our shock bodies are aluminum but are no less demanding when it comes to threading. In fact, threading on one of the shock bodies presented further demands. Although the material was softer, it required a specially ground relief due to the proximity of the thread to the shoulder of the part. Carmex designed a special ACME insert for us, in which we no longer had to hand grind the relief."

Key to maintaining production efficiency and quality is tool life. "We found that the inserts we were using on our shafts required frequent changes, which not only cost time but had the potential of impacting the process due to more frequent quality inspections," noted Guadalupe.

Working with Leonard Ahumada, Applications Engineer at Carmex Precision Tools, Guadalupe found a solution with Carmex HBA threading inserts. Ahumada stated, "After hearing what type of material they were cutting and the problems they were encountering, I was confident in recommending they try our HBA inserts. Unlike many other manufacturers, Carmex designates grades by `families' geared to the machining challenge. HBA inserts are constructed with a special substrate and coatings combination designed for materials up to 62 Rockwell. Chrome plating on the shafts was very hard, but we were able to meet the threading challenge with a tool life lasting 3x longer than the previous insert."

Addressing the applications at Walker Evans Racing, Carmex National Sales Manager Jim White explained, "Several factors distinguish Carmex inserts from our competitors. We incorporate specially formulated substrates and matched nanocomposite coatings to achieve better accuracy, improved finish and longer tool life. Further, having specialized in threading inserts for many years, we understand the importance of edge preparation. Our threading inserts are all ground and honed, not molded. Molded edges can be satisfactory for routine threading of conventional steels. But, when it comes to harder materials, a combination of matched substrate and coatings, as well as grinding and honing, give Carmex products the unique advantage."

Having experienced the benefits of extended tool life, Guadalupe commented, "There is no question that these inserts deliver not just the tool life we need but also improved quality and economic benefits. We have 25 machines dedicated to threading operations, and they will all be equipped with Carmex threading inserts."

For more information contact:

Walker Evans Racing

2304 Fleetwood Drive

Riverside, CA 92509



Carmex Precision Tools

2075 State Hwy 175

Richfield, WI 53076

888-628-5030 / 262-628-5030

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