How to Improve Cycle Times by Choosing the Right Drill (Time Study)

Watch the video of this time study at the bottom of the page

Using a CNC machine to drill is safer, faster, and more accurate than using other traditional style drilling methods. Drilling with a CNC helps reduce the margin of error because a minimal amount of hands-on work is performed by the operator. When paired with the right tooling a CNC machine can dramatically improve cycle times. 

In the past, we ran a time study where we tested the FlexCNC vs. the Fosdik Radial Drill (watch it here). The FlexCNC was able to drill faster and accomplish much more in 5 minutes than the Fosdick. Since shops are always looking for ways to speed up production, we decided to test two drills to see if one drill could perform the job faster than the other.

We ran the test on two different Allied Machine & Engineering Drills. Both are great drills, but we wanted to test cycle times and the quality of each hole. The test involved the GEN3SYS XT Pro Insert Drill and the 4TEX IC Drill. Both drills are 1.343” in diameter, drilling a hole 2.00” deep in 1018 cold-rolled steel. 


400 SFM (1137 RPM)
.016 IPR (18.3 IPM)
8.5 Seconds per hole
45 Second Cycle time

4Tex Allied Insert Drill

800 SFM (2275 RPM)
.0032 IPR (7.3 IPM)
20 Seconds per hole 
1 min 4 Sec Cycle time

Holes Drilled with the 4Tex Drill
Holes Drilled with the GEN3SWYS XT Pro Drill

The drilling process can be tedious and time-consuming. Fab shops with long or large parts spend too much time on each part; the added refixturing time makes the drilling process entirely too long. Whether you’re using mag drills, gang drills, or radial drills, a switch to the FlexCNC can increase cycle times and save shops significant amounts of time and money in the long run.

One response to “How to Improve Cycle Times by Choosing the Right Drill (Time Study)”

  1. Thanks for sharing your results Flexarm! This was a great comparison to show how the Gen3sys® XT Pro shines in high penetration applications. IC drills are really great on low horsepower machines or when drilling through interrupted cuts, but they aren’t the first choice for a high penetration application.
    If folks would like, they can see an application where the 4TEX would be the be the better drill to select here: https://www.alliedmachine.com/Marketing-Videos/Training-Video-4TEX-4140-Incline-Block.aspx

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