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American Machinist
November 1999
Pawtucket Times Rhode Island, USA1994

EDMphasis Magazine

Article About 
J & M Diamond Tool, Inc.
Diamonds make this company sparkle
J & M Diamond Tool Makes Great Strides 
in Machining 
Polycrystalline Diamond

Agile Manufacturing
The Piece Maker
Colt Manufacturing
One way Colt has improved production is by eliminating finish grading as much as possible. Grinding obviously adds the cost of a secondary operation as well as the costs of abrasives and coolant. The machines also need constant realignment for optimum operation.
Hard turning eliminates these cost and saves time. However, the challenge of hard turning is in dealing with parts that can have hardness of 62 to 65 Rc and severe interrupted cuts. Ghokasiyan reports that, in many cases, Colt has to overcome these problems with the right machines and tooling.
The company regularly tests tools to see if they can handle these tough jobs. "We've held a 16 or better finish with CBN tooling made by J & M Diamond Tool and a 32 or better finish with some Mitsubishi and MTK cermets," says Ghokasiyan.
Besides being responsible for purchasing machines for Colt's commercial and military products, Ghokasiyan also selects tooling. "You can have the best machine in the world, but the worst tool," he says. He wants the best combination to remove material quickly, and nowhere is this more true than in hard turning.

The Pawtucket Times
Diamonds make this company sparkle
By Jim McCauley 
For The Times
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Diamonds have a multitude of uses besides adorning various parts of the human anatomy. One of the many uses of this hardest of elements is the manufacture of precision tools. Located on Roger Williams Avenue is a family-owned business that utilizes modern technology and sophisticated equipment to do just that for companies and services both in this country and abroad.
J & M Diamond Tool Inc. specializes in the design and manufacture of polycrystalline (synthetic) and natural diamond tooling, diamond dressing and cutting tools, diamond scribers and engravers, and miniature carbide 
tooling. "We manufacture hundreds of different tools...cutting tools, that are used in all different industries," said Leo Mongeau, owner of J & M. "Depending on what they're going to be used for, we make our tools from diamonds, synthetic diamonds, synthetic sapphires and carbide."
Mongeau said that, to name just a few applications, his products are used in the automobile industry, the fiber optics industry, in making pens and small motors, and in the jewelry and plastics industries.
The company has been located in its present 18,000-square-foot home for five years. "I started the company in 1972 with a partner," said Mongeau. "I bought him out in '87 when he retired and we moved here in 1989.
It must have been a good move because Mongeau said that sales have doubled since then. He says that he's been in the tool business since 1955 when he made phonograph needles, but now it's strictly cutting tools.
"We use a lot of advanced equipment in making the cutting tools," said Mongeau, "everything from wire EDM (electro-discharge machines) to sophisticated grinders from Switzerland. There's $1.5 million invested in machining equipment. This year alone we spent over $250,000 in new complex machinery to keep up with technology." 
"Our tools are used in the automobile industry to make engine blocks and pistons." According to Mongeau the blocks and pistons are made from very abrasive high silica aluminum. Carbide tools won't stand up to the punishment, so diamond tools are necessary.
"We make cleaving tools to cut through glass for the fiber optics industry," said Mongeau, "and engraving tools for pen manufacturers. For instance, at A.T.Cross, all of their pens are lined. We make the tools that make the lines." 
"Jewelry makers use our product for finishing gold chain and plastic manufacturers want mirror finishes on their acrylic pieces. So we make a tool to cut plastic to a mirror finish. With diamond tooling you get much better finishes than with any other material."
Mongeau is particularly proud of a new product developed by Tom Drury, general manager of J & M. It's called Flip Tip CBN Inserts. The CBN stand for cubic boron nitride - an artificially synthesized material exceeded in hardness only by diamond. It's double-edged cutting tool that competes with a Japanese tool with only one cutting edge. "We're the only company in the country able to manufacture the tool," said Mongeau, "and we've received tentative approval from the U.S. Patent Office for the trade name."
Mongeau said that helping him in the everyday operation of the company with its 40 employees is his son Richard and his two daughters, Denise and Lori. He takes care of all sales and marketing himself. "We have 150 distributors throughout the country. We've grown through our distributors and by advertising in trade journals." 
As for the future, Mongeau said, "Business should increase by 10 to 15 percent next year. We've been doing that for the last three or four years."

Case History from EDMphasis Magazine
J & M Diamond Tool Makes 
Great Strides in Machining 
Polycrystalline Diamond
East Providence, RI - For every new advance in technology, a new challenge is created: how best to economically apply that technology. 
This challenge was faced by J & M Diamond Tool when they began applying EDM technology to polycrystalline diamond (PCD), with an eye toward cost-effective production.
J & M began operating in 1972 and was one of the first to work with PCD, using grinding and forming machine tools. Today, the company designs and manufacture polycrystalline and natural diamond tooling, diamond engravers, diamond dressing and cleaving tools, nd miniature carbide tooling. Approximately 80% of PCD tooling J & M creates is for the automotive industry (tooling for the machining of pistons, brake cylinders, transmission cases, and engine blocks.). The remaining 20% is spread among the aerospace industry (for the machining of engine components), the jewelry industry (for flycutting and engraving), the woodworking industry (for machining particle board, fiber board, and composite materials), and several other applications and industries. For example, a company in the textile industry is now applying PCD for machining water nozzles in advanced, high-speed, high-pressure cutting machines.
The Demand for PCD
For years, carbide was the material of choice for machining steel components for engines. But, as the industry turned to aluminum as a more economical and lighter weight alternative for components such as intake manifolds and engine heads, a new challenge arose: aluminum is a harder metal to machine that steel. Much harder. The silica content in aluminum damaged the carbide, so the carbide tools wore out much more quickly in aluminum than steel.
The only alternative appeared to be costly diamond tools.
To create PCD, crystals of diamond are fused under high pressure and temperature onto a tungsten-carbide substrate. This PCD substrate, which can be made as large as 50mm in diameter, is then cut into segments of different sizes and shapes by wire-cut EDM machines. The cut PCD segments are then brazed onto a steel or carbide shank and cut to final finished shape by the wire EDM machine.
Though more costly initially, diamond cutting tools are considerably harder and more wear resistant than tungsten carbide. This results in finer finishes and increased tool life of 50 to 100 times that of their carbide counterparts. But until recently, few know how to economically apply diamonds as cutting tools for high-speed, high-production applications such as the machining of piston rings or electronic components, or aluminum engine components. The experts at J & M had more than a glimmer of an idea, though.
As Tom Drury, general manager and manufacturing engineer, explains it: "We were experimenting with the use of ram [die-sinking] EDM and found that we could perform limited cuts. In the process of wire-cutting and electrode for use on PCD, we decided to try applying the wire directly to the PCD and got the job done - with greater accuracy and repeatability."
After testing several competitive system, J & M decided that only the AGIECUT wire-cut EDM system could provide the accuracies they required. Subsequently, in 1986 the company purchased a model DEM 315. "The high precision of this EDM system," Drury explains, "enabled our company to cut the polycrystalline diamonds to the tolerances required without damage to the substrate." (The substrate contains cobalt for conductivity, and this cobalt can be depleted if a spark gets too "hot."
The AGIECUT EDM system has proven to be an effective way for J & M Diamond Tool to meet the challenge of economically applying EDM technology in the business of cutting polycrystalline diamond. With the CNC capabilities of the Agie system, the company can run jobs all day long with virtually zero operator intervention. This combination of EDM machining technology and CNC automation enables the company to handle considerably more than they could otherwise handle using grinding techniques.
The AGIE EDM system has enabled J & M to produce polycrystalline grooving tools as small as .006" wide, special end mills with cutting edges as long as 1-1/2" and special concave and convex form tools that would be impossible to manufacture using conventional technology.
Payback on the investment? Mr. Drury has a quick answer for that: "Three years ago, we bought our first wire-cut machine. We worried that we might not have enough work to keep it busy. Now, we have two, the original DEM 315 and a new AC50. We have clearly paid for our first machine with increased productivity and we're well on our way to seeing full payback on the second."

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