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Quality powertrain components are vital to the performance of any vehicle. With the increasing variety of powertrain technologies, there is no one-size-fits-all tooling to address the variety of materials and processes applied to bring quality engines, motors and transmissions to market.

Star Cutter is recognized for developing custom-engineered tooling solutions for the automotive industry that solve unique challenges, helping to reduce machining time, improve quality while driving overall cost savings. We analyze your process, materials, equipment and requirements to provide a solution that optimizes your particular application challenge.

Solutions for powertrain components including transmission cases, housings, valve bodies, converters, cylinder heads, blocks, pump covers, and shafts. Star Cutter’s automotive solutions are available within traditional internal combustion engines or emerging electric vehicle components.

Carbide Drills & Reamers

Solid Carbide Drills for Aluminum Components are made from selective wear-resistant carbide grades that include special cutting geometries, bolthole circles and coolant hole sizes for application optimization. Advanced coatings are also available. Designed specifically for prismatic aluminum components such as valve bodies, housings, transmission cases and more, these drills have proven to achieve ≥ 2x compared to other offerings.

Our Solid Carbide Core Drills with 2, 3 or 4 flutes are suited for cast aluminum and iron components such as cylinder heads, cylinder blocks, valve bodies, fluid power components and more. They are designed for both enlarging or finishing holes from castings or correcting cast core pin conditions. These custom-designed tools are engineered per application based upon casting conditions and can be reground multiple times to extend the total tool life cycle, resulting in overall lower tool costs.

Our line of tight tolerance specialized carbide reamers are used in difficult-to-machine applications such as tappet bores and powdered metal valve guides. Star’s offering includes the patented Super Round Tool (SRT) product, a two-in-one tool that combines multiple straight flutes for consistent hole location with multiple helical flutes to ensure roundness and finish. The precision of the roundness/straightness of these SRT reamers is within 2 – 4 microns, which is up to 5x greater than a typical tool for these applications.

Case Studies

Transmission Housing Valve Body

Material: 380 Cast aluminum
Original Tool: Competitor Carbide Drill
Issue: Poor tool life
Action: Replaced current drill with custom designed carbide drill

  • Special carbide grade
  • Optimized coolant hole configuration
  • Tight tolerance geometries

Results: Improved tool life by 266%
Savings: $23,100

Engine Head Valve Guide

Material: Powdered Metal
Original Tool: Traditional Reamer
Issue: Hole concentricity
Action: Designed tool with select carbide grade and coating
Results: Improved concentricity

Deep Hole Drilling Solutions

Star Cutter carries a full line of deep hole drilling solutions including a variety of Gundrills and Deep Hole Twist Drills, which are specifically designed for each application. These deep hole drilling products are available in a variety of carbide grades and advanced coatings to help optimize tool life, chip formation and chip evacuation. In some customer applications, these deep hole drills have been shown to provide overall reduced CPU as compared to competitor products. This improvement is possible given the attention to detail during Star’s design phase when we marry our product to your application’s specific needs and challenges.

Like most of Star’s custom cutting tool solutions, our solid carbide Gundrills and Deep Hole Twist Drills can be reground many times, helping to lower your CPU.

PCD Tooling

Our high-performance PCD tools, like other Star Cutter solutions, are engineered to customer requirements. PCD products include, but are not limited to, circular milling tools, face milling tools, combination tools, counterbore tools, precision reamers, multi-step reamers and PCD drills. Our PCD grade selection enables us to provide solutions for machining a variety of non-ferrous material, including composites.

In developing our PCD solutions, we review the application’s part requirements to engineer our design for the optimal tool that enhances part quality while providing the lowest CPU.

Case Studies

Competitor PCD Interpolating Mill

Material: Cast aluminum
Issue: Tool cost and process issues

  • Retipped tool with different PCD grade to improve the process
  • Updated the print so PCD could be recut between retips

Results: Lowered tool repair cost, Improved process
Savings: $20,200

Competitor PCD Pocket Mill

Material: Cast Aluminum
Issue: Tool cost and process issues

  • Changed tool design from three rows of 7 PCDs (21) to two rows of 7 PCDs (14)
  • Changed grade of PCD
  • Designed tool so PCD could be recut between retips

Savings: $326,450

Combination Tooling Cost Advantage

Conventional Processing - 3 Tools

Service Life 40,000
10,000 Bores 60,000 Threads
Tool Costs $1,111 $527 $346
Service Life Costs $833 6x$166 $57
Total Costs $3,875
Tool Cost / Bore $0.055
Processing Cost ($55/h) $0.121 (8.85 sec)
Total Cost / Bore $0.176

Combination Tool Design

Service Life 70,000
Bores / Thread
Tool Costs
Service Life Costs
Total Costs $2,218
Tool Cost / Bore $0.032
Processing Cost ($55/h) $0.040 (2.88 sec)
Total Cost / Bore $0.071

The Combination tool is 2.5x Cheaper than Conventional Processing.

3D Printed Tools

Star Cutter Company, in alliance with its strategic partner Neher Group, offers 3D printed PCD monoblock tool bodies and chip deflectors. Tools produced using additive manufacturing can achieve more complex designs, better chip evacuation and optimized coolant hole and cooling channel locations, helping achieve MQL goals.

There can be a 30% reduction in tool weight with 3D printed tools, yet they maintain the equivalent torsional stiffness of a steel ground body tool. The 3D printer technology is typically applied to large reamers, interpolating and milling cutters. As with all Star Cutter tools, the engineering team works with the customer to provide the optimal tool design for each application.

Round Tool Reconditioning Services

Control your tool costs and keep your tools running efficiently with individualized round tool reconditioning and resharpening support services. We use state-of-the-art technology to restore all manufacturers’ tools and types including deep hole drills, special carbide drills and reamers – including cavity port tooling; and fixed pocket PCD tooling to their original sharpened quality, condition, and performance. Advanced recoating services are also available to improve tool performance after sharpening.

Star Cutter Company has developed into a world leader in the cutting tool industry. Each of our six manufacturing facilities specializes in producing a specific type of product or service: solid carbide cutting tools, carbide blanks and preforms, gundrills, gear cutting tools, and 5-axis CNC tool and cutter grinding machines.

23461 Industrial Park Drive
Farmington Hills, MI 48335

Tel. 248-474-8200
Fax. 248-474-9518