LMT Fette is a worldwide leading manufacturer of precision milling tools, thread rolling systems as well as taps, forming taps, and thread mills.
Without gear wheels (almost) nothing would move in the modern world. Without threads you wouldn’t be able to bolt anything together either. These areas are precisely where the core competencies of tool manufacturer LMT Fette lie. The company is one of the leading producers of gear hobs and thread rolling heads. Additionally, LMT Fette and LMT Kieninger form the competence center for milling within LMT Tools.
When the toolmaker Wilhelm FETTE founded his workshop in Altona near Hamburg in 1908, Germany was at the beginning of a crucial phase of industrialization. His plant manufactured milling, cutting and punching tools for the metalworking sector – first in jobbing production by artisans and later on an industrial scale. Manufacturing industry in the up-and-coming metropolis of Hamburg appreciated his tool solutions, which were soon known for their quality far beyond the borders of the city state.
In 1917, FETTE was a co-founder of the German Precision Tool Association. In the same year, the company was also a founding member of the Standards Committee for General Mechanical Engineering, a forerunner of the German Institute for Standardization, which is now better known by its German acronym, DIN. At that time the committee played a major role in defining quality and size standards for tools, thereby establishing industrial norms that are still valid internationally today.
100 years of milling-expertise
The production of gear hobs began in 1916. These are tools that enable users to produce gear wheels of different sizes, and they have remained one of the company’s core products until the present day. LMT Fette now supplies almost all major transmission system manufacturers worldwide, especially in the car industry. In addition to small module hobs, the company offers hobs equipped with indexable inserts. These enable users to manufacture large gear wheels, for example, for wind turbines.
Gear Hobs innovations
Since the company was founded, LMT Fette specialists have striven to improve gear wheel production. As a result, LMT Fette was one of the first tool manufacturers to produce carbide hobs. Working with a manufacturer of gear cutting machines, it developed the ChamferCut tool system that enables users to carry out gear cutting and deburring in a single work process. In 2010 the company launched Nanosphere, the world’s first nanostructured multilayer coating for gear hobs. This high-tech coating protects tools against the extreme conditions of the machining process. For hobs and involute gear cutters with indexable inserts, LMT Fette developed Nanotherm, a heatresistant coating which protects blades against the high temperatures that occur during the milling of large gears. LMT Fette's most recent hob development bears the name Speedcore. The special feature of this tool is its intermetallic core, which facilitates significantly higher cutting speeds.
Patent on Rolling Heads
LMT Fette can look back on a similar tradition in thread rolling heads as it has in cutting tools. These new kinds of rolling heads were developed by LMT Fette in 1952 and then patented in Germany and Europe. They not only produce threads in a matter of seconds, but also offer the advantage of not cutting through the grain of the metal because the raw material is shaped by pressure during rolling in a chipless process. The threads are therefore stronger and their surfaces smoother, which means they can withstand higher pressures. Rolling is becoming another core competency of LMT Fette. Although the fundamental technical principle of rolling has not changed for over 50 years, LMT Fette has repeatedly succeeded in innovating the process. In 2010 LMT Fette launched Protec, the world’s first coating for thread rollers. It also makes it possible to roll the high-tensile materials that are increasingly being used in safety-related components such as connecting pins.
How will LMT Fette use its expertise in the future? The company has clearly positioned itself within the market and the Group by focusing on the applications of gear cutting, thread rolling and milling. Jointly with the die and mold making specialists at LMT Kieninger, LMT Fette will continue to advance the development of milling systems. LMT Fette is opening up new areas of application for its rolling systems where Threads have previously been produced by cutting or circular milling. Examples include components in which threaded pins are located close together, such as the injection systems of modern engines. Another area with enormous potential is the production of sucker rods for the oil and gas industry that comply with the standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API). In 2012 LMT Fette began offering a complete range of appropriate thread formers and rolling heads and commenced sales in the USA.
Growth opportunities for gear cutting systems are primarily emerging worldwide in the automotive industry and the wind energy sector, where increasing numbers of large gears are required. As a partner for complete gear production systems LMT FETTE offers these users a comprehensive range of products and services, from initial tool procurement to tool reconditioning.