Melbourne, Australia – Competing in a global market is always challenging, often relying on proven suppliers who play a key role in ensuring long-term success. Oscar Cutting Tools Pty Ltd is a “boutique” carbide tool manufacturer that focuses on the manufacture and export of high precision carbide tools and endmills made from solid carbide. It also produces customised tools which are distributed in the Australian market under the “Evolute” brand.

Surface Technology Coatings is a long-time supplier of PVD coating services to Oscar Cutting Tools. Hard coatings are applied to specifications that vary according to the tools’ application. The majority of tools sent to STC for PVD coating require a coating process using titanium aluminium nitride (TiAlN) in preparation for a final polishing process.

“Our primary export markets are the United States, Europe, China, Malaysia and Canada”, said Darren Griffett, Oscar Cutting Tools’ managing director.

Competitive markets

“These are highly competitive and price sensitive markets which have become accessible to us through our automated production process which enables us to work around the clock, as well as a reliance on the PVD coating treatment provided by Surface Technology Coatings.

“As a specialist supplier of custom endmills, our strength lies in our ability to create a tool for a specific application. Rather than selling tools, our philosophy is to provide solutions.

“The endmills we produce range from one millimetre to thirty-five millimetres diameter which satisfies the majority of our customers’ applications. The specification to which we produce is for high precision aerospace components. We have achieved particular success in the Canadian market for the supply of balanced tools for aerospace component applications which require high precision machining of 7000 series aluminium, titanium and other hard materials.

Specialised tools, delivered quickly

“As well as the aerospace market, our extremely flexible approach has enabled us to build a customer base in medical and general markets. We are able to satisfy customers who need fast delivery of special tools for individual applications”, said Darren.

Surface Technology Coatings has been supplying PVD coating services to Oscar Cutting tools for more than six years.

“Surface Technology Coatings have demonstrated their ability to provide a high quality coating service within our demanding timeframes, while maintaining an excellent quality assurance and logistics system. This enables us to concentrate on production without having to worry about the logistics associated with outsourcing processes.

Reliable, high quality coating

“Turnaround time is extremely important to us as we often are required to working to tight deadlines. Depending on the coating needed, STC is able to turn around products for us within two to three days. The benefit of sourcing PVD services from STC is that they are running their chambers very regularly, which significantly reduces the turnaround time. The quality and consistency of coatings is extremely important. STC has an extremely rigid testing process which involves a constant review of coating quality. This supplier’s coating machinery and process is world-renowned, industry best practice, so we never have any concerns about the quality of the coatings.

“STC is also very good in the way they handle tools. Their production process is highly protective of the critical surfaces and their system of booking in jobs, product handling on the cleaning line and the whole process is state-of-the-art. Tools sent for coating always returned in their correct boxes and this saves us a lot of time in not having to constantly check or having to repackage products. This attention to the detail of logistics makes our job a lot more efficient”, Darren concluded.