Poland: Tool industry on the plus
An important segment of the domestic tool industry are services of sharpening blunt cutting blades, frequently connected with treatment extending life span, e.g. coating slowing down wear and tear. Regeneration of monolithic tools has become very universal and entrepreneurs use this possibility frequently. The situation is worse when it comes to folded tools, the regeneration of which is still more of a niche activity which is, however, becoming gradually more important.
Professionally regenerated tools, as a rule are not inferior to brand new products in terms of their life span and the quality of processing operations carried out with their assistance. And they are a very cost-effective solution: with a one-off regeneration, the cost involved – depending on a tool’s diameter and the material it is made of – represents 20-50% of a new tool’s price and if such an operation is repeated five times (recommended limit of repairs), the savings arising from not purchasing a new tool may reach 60-70% of the costs associated with this.
Regeneration, if required, may also be related to changing a tool’s diameter, geometry and other parameters if the entrepreneur wishes to, for example, apply cutting plates of different measurements and shapes or to simply increase their number. Apart from the tools themselves, any kind of instrumentation may be repaired such as machine frames and turning lathe centres or jaws.
Despite a calm situation on the tool market, their suppliers must realize that sooner or later they would be faced with a technological challenge related to widespread incremental manufacturing which constitutes and an element of the Industry 4.0 concept. In highly developed countries, it is becoming more and more popular replacing the traditional subtractive manufacturing. In Polish reality, this is still a thing of the future, currently the industry is much more affected by what is happening on the machine tool market.