Deburring Tool Knoepfel Eisenbart
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Automated Deburring of Cross Bores

08.01.2024 | Automation of the manufacturing processes also requires analysis of the deburring methods. Knoepfel AG implements the deburring solutions of HEULE Precision Tools in the production of highly complex mechanical components – also for cross bores.

Image: Thomas Eisenbart (centre), Eisenbart GmbH, hands over to Knoepfel AG – Thomas Dietsche (right), Head of Production and Technology, Daniel Boehrer (left), Machining Specialist – the customised HEULE deburring tool.



Whether mechanical engineering, process engineering, aircraft construction or fluid power technology: in all these industrial sectors, highly complex machines and systems are built from various components. Manufacturers depend upon external specialist partners with a high level of expertise. One of these manufacturers is the company Knoepfel AG from Walzenhausen in Switzerland. The approximately 50 employees are focused on the production of complex, high-precision mechanical components. Thanks to its process-oriented approach and "zero error" mindset, Knoepfel AG is not only a pioneer for series production, but also well suited to produce small batches and even one-off parts.


In recent years, Knoepfel AG has transformed from a small workshop into one of the leading manufacturers in its field in Europe, however, the transformation is not yet complete: The company is continuously developing itself, streamlining processes and thereby also improving the range of services for its customers. For this reason, Knoepfel AG invests in automation and the most up-to-date production technologies in the high-precision sector, enabling reliable and cost-effective production strategies, even for demanding applications.


Application-specific deburring tool as a solution

Such a strategy was required some time ago in the production of a wheel bearing made of high-tensile steel. A convincing machining concept was quickly presented to the customer, whereupon production of the hundreds of components per year was started. After a few months, Knoepfel AG recognised further automation potential. The workpiece has intersecting cross bores with a diameter of 7.0 mm. 

Knoepfel Deburring Situation

Knoepfel AG was looking for a method to remove burrs on internal bore intersections automatically and reliably.

Until now, the resulting burrs on the internal bore intersections were being removed manually with deburring scrapers and brushes, which was extremely time consuming. In the future, this process step must be fully automated so that the high-precision components will come off the machine completely finished and burr-free.


Knoepfel already uses mechanical deburring tools from HEULE Precision Tools for various other applications. The official representative of HEULE for the Swiss market, Eisenbart GmbH, was consulted about the feasibility of automatically deburring the cross bores. Thomas Eisenbart accompanied Knoepfel AG closely during the application analysis and coordinated a visit to HEULE's production site in Balgach, during which not only the various deburring options were presented, but also the first tests were carried out with the COFA-X tool from the X-BORES series. This tool concept is always customised by HEULE to suit the specific application requirements of the customer. It is suitable for intersecting bores with a main bore to cross bore ratio of 1:1, as well as for applications with axial offset.


Time saving of 12 minutes per part

During the initial tests at HEULE, it became apparent that the workpiece material itself presented the greatest challenge, as the surface of the material hardens due to the heat produced during cutting. These tests resulted in modifications to the tool, after which Knoepfel carried out further testing in its own factory. The deburring results achieved were met with great enthusiasm, a high quality and process-stable solution had finally been found. The X-BORES tool has now been fully integrated into the series production.

Knoepfel Deburring Situation with Solution

The application-specific deburring tool from HEULE's X-BORES range is perfectly suited for the cross bores application with bore-Ø 7.0 mm in a ratio of 1:1.

By eliminating the time-consuming manual deburring, up to 12 minutes are saved per workpiece, which amounts to around 280 hours per year based on a production quantity of 1,400 workpieces. The elimination of manual deburring also enables reallocation of the employee’s skills to carry out more valuable tasks. Daniel Boehrer, CNC turning specialist at Knoepfel, is also impressed by the new solution and especially by the long blade life: «I always check the tool after about 300 parts. Most of the time, it shows that the blade is still working perfectly.»


Thomas Dietsche, Head of Production and Technology at Knoepfel, is particularly pleased with the stable and reliable process: «We no longer have to worry about annoying burrs remaining and can focus our attention on other challenges.» The entire Knoepfel AG team also appreciates the personal and professional support provided by Thomas Eisenbart, CEO of Eisenbart GmbH, who not only coordinated the entire enquiry process between HEULE and Knoepfel, but also supported with his technical knowledge of the HEULE tools in case of questions. For example, during the photo shoot for this article, Thomas advised Knoepfel's employees in a very uncomplicated and spontaneous manner on the use and optimisation possibilities of the HEULE tools already in use. Just as a partnership should be: close to the customer and always solution-orientated.