Cutting tools industry is going through a transformation and the cutting-tool businesses throughout the world are busy addressing their common concerns like sales growth, labour issues, and the upcoming outlook of the industry. Cutting tools are extensively used in shaping, grinding, polishing, drilling and other engineering applications in different industrial settings, and holds an important place in the world of manufacturing.
Not many are aware that till recently cutting tool sales used to be viewed as an economic indicator of a nation's manufacturing productivity level. However, this indicator may not work in the near future as the volume of cutting tool sales will inevitably drop because the tools are being designed to reduce the frequency of replacement.
Specification and Design : Cutting Tools
Cutting tools are expected to be sharp, with the correct level of hardness, accurate specifications and deliver a longer shelf life, so as to make a remarkable improvement in a manufacturing unit's production.
To produce quality parts, a cutting tool must have three characteristics:
Hardness to bear high temperatures.
Toughness to bear extreme pressure so they don't chip or fracture.
Wear resistance to have a reasonable life before needing to be replaced.
More research is being done in developing newer techniques like deep freezing etc. Experimentation with new coatings, new alloys along with design changes are being done to reduce the heat and friction effect in order to make more efficient cutting tools with enhanced shelf lives.
The cutting tool Industry
The last available statistics say that in the late 1990s, a total of 2,096 establishments operated in USA whereas, in 2000 the cutting tool and machine tool accessory manufacturers shipped $5.6 billion worth of goods.The impact of globalization has been huge, forcing cutting tool and measuring device manufacturers to look into their own operations. To remain profitable, process improvements and increased development are becoming commonplace practice.
Future of Cutting Tools Exporters
Western countries are outsourcing the manufacturing units to low cost destinations like India, China and Philippines. This would mostly involve the low skilled jobs such as tool cutting operators, assemblers and fabricators, secretaries, machine builders, precision inspectors, and metal forming operators. etc.
An average American worker in the cutting tools industry used to earn around $16.00 per hour however the same task is being performed in India/ China for approx. $5.00 per hour leading to huge savings.The future of Indian cutting tools exporters looks bright and full of exciting possibilities provided they don't loose their quality focus and the price advantage in the long run.