First Level Solution
Standard taps have features that satisfy most applications. They are “General-Purpose” taps for this reason. Dimensionally, they try to hit the sweet spot, and check most of the common boxes. Shanks and squares are accommodated by standard tool holders. The lengths of the tool, and length of thread, are sufficient for most set-ups and part requirements for depth of thread. Pitch-diameters are safely above the Go Gage to produce the specified Class-of-Fit for finished thread, and still distant enough from the “No-Go” to avoid any risk of producing oversized thread. Easy, in a cookie-cutter world, but not always that simple.
Second Level Solutions
Tap Manufacturers raised the bar to another level of performance by offering “Application-Specific” designs frequently referred to as “High Performance”. These tools benefit from the use of premium steels and cutting-edge geometries that match a general family of materials. Frequently, coatings are applied to provide additional improvement. However, these taps continue to follow the lead of “standards” in dimension. Blank dimensions and standard H or D limits are typically maintained.
The Need for More
Product cycles bring changes in design and engineering, and new demands on manufacturing. Now, you find the holes to be threaded might be twice as deep, and out of reach for a standard length tap. The material specified no longer cuts like butter. On top of that, they want you to compensate for the plating they’ve decided to add because it looks nice. A process change has been made, and your parts are now threaded before heat-treat. But, when they come back the threads that gaged fine the first time are now too tight. You ask yourself, “Why didn’t they leave well enough alone?” The answer lies in the goal for continuous improvement.
Third Level Solutions
North American Tool presents a third level of performance. We offer a match to each specific application. Dimensions can be assigned to solve set-up issues, and part demands. Pitch-diameters can be tweaked to resolve “fit” and gaging issues. Application-specific geometries can be assigned to the tap to adapt to changing materials, and take it beyond general-purpose, or even application-specific results. Coatings and Surface Treatments not usually available on stock “Industry Standard” taps can improve performance even further.
- A special tap(solution) could allow what was once an unworkable project to see production.
- It may reduce the number of tool changes required, especially if a combination drill/tap, or tandem tap combining rougher and finisher on one tool, is applicable.
- Finished thread size and finish can be dialed-in by adjusting tool geometry and pitch-diameters to provide a more uniform part, reducing scrap.
- Solutions designed specifically for the application may actually cost less per hole tapped by improving performance.
- While they may be referred to as “specials”, they are also solutions, and solutions make for a very happy customer!