Rolling taps for tapping deep blind holes

UFS , the acronym for Utensili Filettatori Sparone, is an Italian company specialising in threading tools .
The company has been operating with its own brand for over 75 years . We design, manufacture and distribute a wide range of products, with approx imately 8,000 standard items .
We also supply private label products for specialist retailers, and numerous special items with specific tolerances or made to the customer’s own design.
The company is still family-run, and employs some 60 staff directly, as well as a number of multi-firm agents .

In the past 10 years we have upgraded our facilities to meet market demand, with changes to technology, production processes and organisation as part of an ongoing transformation, competing
with the leaders in our sector. Our specialist staff, metrology lab and testing rooms are the pillars of quality that determine the transformation of our production processes, following innovation
in the development of threading machinery.

Expansion of production, new research labs, state-of-the-art computerised systems for the management and planning of orders and quality certification are natural and ongoing developments that
have strengthened the organisation of workers and their tasks, allowing us to achieve exceptional productivity levels and complete control of the entire process .
Several automated warehouses divided by raw material, semi-finished and finished goods, combined with well-organised logistics, guarantee delivery of standard items within 24-48 hours
from order confirmation, anywhere in Europe.

Three factories – S ites 1, 2 and 3 – make up the operational area of UFS, with an annual production of over 500,000 tools . Diversification allows us to optimise processes throughout the production cycle: turning, hardening and tempering items, followed by definition of the grooving geometry and the adjustment of tools, which are then PVD coated. Upstream from the manufacturing process is our technical department, which designs the tools in collaboration with the R&D department, with checks and testing at every stage of development.

Our production area covers over 5,000 square metres and is split between 3 sites . Production is fed by the semi-finished goods warehouse on S ite 3, which delivers blanks that are tempered and checked for geometric precision and metal composition.
The average stock of more than 250,000 semi-finished items means we can keep our production lines operating constantly, reducing delivery times . There are 50 workstations, mainly for numerically-controlled special adjustments but also washing, polishing, perforation, marking, painting and labelling; this allows us to meet market demand, working in two shifts to max imise production capacity.

The finished goods warehouse contains an average of 500,000 standard tools, of diameters ranging from 2 mm to 3 inches . A production planning system (I.4.0 certification) allows all orders to be programmed, as well as optimising the warehouse using forecasting software that can optimise batches, ensuring an excellent level of service in sales of standard products . Similar advantages are found in the supply of special items.

In addition to production, Site 1 contains a number of offices – technical, planning, logistics, administration and acquisitions – the company leadership, and the HR office.
Our relationship with employees is a key factor for the UFS owners and management. Many of our staff think of themselves as a family and consider their colleagues to be friends.

At UFS there’s a mood of synergy, a willingness to contribute to the results for both personal satisfaction and respect for colleagues .
Site 2 is a short distance from Site
1. The factory was installed in the late 90s and organised to contain the most advanced technologies . In fact, it was named UFS Technology.
It was originally a testing centre for UFS -produced threading tools compared with items produced by our competitors . Little by little it gained the status of a research centre, working on improvements to the geometry of the tools and developments in coating processes .

UFS prioritises research and development, which allows us to grow in terms of quality, always guaranteeing consistent performance in the tools we make. On the one hand, the ex perience of our engineers remains the the key element in a niche sector: professionals who devote their time and ex pertise to understand the behaviour of the tools during tapping. Nothing is left to chance.
On the other hand, our ability to support our customers during the production phase is essential. This is one of the distinctive factors of the R&D department.
In 2010, the former UFS Technology was ex tended and equipped for the plasma coatings (PVD) which characterise tools when used in highly automated standard processes, in which the main
criterion for the customer is the amount of threading possible.
This demands resistance to wear and tear and high working temperatures, as well as easy removal of shavings . These can only be achieved by coating the surface of the tool with special
metal deposits, using specific recipes and plasma-generating kilns . Surface treatments are carried out by the vapour deposition of chromium nitride, titanium nitride, titanium carbonitride, titanium and aluminium nitride; coatings that are calibrated and customised for the specific intended use of the product.

Our in-house production of coatings has allowed UFS to considerably improve its performance in terms of the production cycle, guaranteeing higher quality, greater repeatability and rapid, secure delivery times . The entire coating process is handled by a central planning system, and is therefore perfectly aligned with the production process .
Some years ago we established metrology lab B, with adjoining testing rooms, in order to check the properties and lifespan of our coated products. By means of constant cross-referencing and
comparison between the technical office, the production department and the R&D department, items are trialled, tested, corrected, developed and tested again.

The ex pansion of UFS in a mountainous area – which inevitably imposes certain limits in terms of availability of space – required moving production which could not be absorbed by the main factory ; premises were found in an area just a few hundred metres away.
This necessity entailed in-depth changes to the organisation of production, and a rationalisation of technical processes . This applied particularly to heat treatments, which use kilns for tempering
and P V D coatings, making them autonomous in both logistics and management terms .

This led us to S ite 3, an ultra- modern facility that has been in full operation since 2020, containing all processes related to the manufacture of blanks, profiles and tempered items which form the base of all other processes, since they are produced to basic characteristics of shape, length and diameter.
Here we find the turning, tempering and vulcanisation departments and metrology lab A , which carries out all the necessary checks on incoming materials and tempering.

All metal properties are meticulously checked by analysing bars of special steels using a mass spectrometer.
The factory contains an automatic machine that can handle over 40 tonnes of raw material, divided into over 260 barcodes, with conventional diameters of special steels and sintered powders . Tempered materials are analysed for hardness and checked for carbides . Over the years UFS has identified the best-performing processes for every type of alloy.
Residence and cooling times are fundamental in heat treatments, guaranteeing certified quality in the products before they are moved to other departments for finishing.