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When Grinding Receives An Unprecedented Dimension

When Grinding Receives An Unprecedented Dimension

Dressing technology enables completely new possibilities in grinding with metal bonded CBN and diamond wheels. Article by Fritz Studer AG.

Alfred Mair, Head of Grinding Technology at Fischer AG, faces a challenge. The company, a manufacturer of high-precision spindles, has reached its limits in the grinding of exotic materials such as titanium and hard-to-machine hard materials under the increasing quality demands from the customers. That, plus their need to increase productivity, can’t be solved by  conventional grinding machines. 

Then came Fritz Studer AG’s S41 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine. Specifically designed for large workpieces, it has a length between centres of 1000/1600 mm and a centre height of 225/275 mm. It processes workpieces with high precision up to a maximum weight of 250 kg, just as effectively as small and medium-sized workpieces. But the key for Fischer is the fully integrated WireDress dressing system.

“We had high hopes that we could use metal-bonded grinding wheels for a measurable and reproducible highest quality, have a higher productivity, more universal machining options as well as reduced tool costs,” Mair explains his expectations.

Expectations Exceeded

STUDER configured the S41 with WireDress based on additional requirements from Fischer. Thus, the machine received a special high-speed external grinding motor spindle, an innovative proprietary product of Fischer, in which the axial growth is particularly small.

In addition, the spindle is tapered at the rear end, avoiding possible collision situations. This is a specific benefit for face/shoulder grinding with the spindle at an angle. The S41 is supplemented with a fully automatic workpiece magazine and handling system, which ensures fully automatic series production of the high-quality precision components in a stand-alone operation.

“I am blown away,” says Mair. “Three to five times faster than with conventional technology, with absolute reproducibility, ground in a tolerance range of less than 1μm! I have never seen anything like that! I am extremely impressed.”

The Secret Behind

But how does this dressing technology work? Michael Klotz, project manager for development at Studer, explains, “It is a well-known fact that metal-bonded grinding wheels are much more durable and dimensionally stable when machining difficult-to-machine materials and ultimately enable higher productivity. The problem with this is that metal bonds can only be dressed to a very limited extent using conventional methods in the grinding machine. In addition to this, there is a high dressing tool wear associated with a low cutting ability. This is neither an operator-friendly, nor a high quality and process consistent dressing method.”

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ANCA Discusses Trends Driving The Cutting Tool Industry

ANCA Discusses Trends Driving the Cutting Tool Industry

Pat Boland, co-founder of ANCA talks about electric vehicle manufacturing, their new motor temperature control technology, and his outlook for the year. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Pat Boland

Founded in 1974, ANCA is one of the leading manufacturers of CNC grinding machines, motion controls, and sheet metal solutions. The company has manufacturing plants in Melbourne, Australia, and in Rayong, Thailand, as well as offices in the UK, Germany, China, India, Japan, Brazil, and the United States.

READ: Five Ways To Enhance CNC Machine Manufacturing With The Cloud

Pat Boland is the co-founder and joint managing director of ANCA. In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), he talked about how their industry has changed over the past decades, trends driving the cutting tool industry, and the latest technologies in CNC machines.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MILESTONES THAT THE COMPANY HAS HAD OVER THE YEARS?

Pat Boland (PB): It’s been an interesting 45 years that ANCA has been operating, starting with some very simple four-axis machines, up to complex multi-axis machines today.

One of the key enablers for our machines is software. ANCA has pioneered several aspects of  CNC tool, cutter and grinder technology, and in particular, key software features. We were the first company to integrate in-machine measurement using a probe—measuring the geometry of the cutting tool and adapting the program to regrind it.

READ: ANCA Motion’s Multi-Axis Servo System Conserves 96 Percent Of Energy Wastage

We were the first to introduce full 3D simulation, which generates an accurate 3D model of the tool to be produced. This revolutionised the operation of machines because previously, people had to grind the part, look at it, and then make adjustments. With the simulation, it is possible to completely do that offline and be very confident of what you are going to produce in the machine.

ANCA is known for its innovation. We have our own unique form of servo motors to drive all our machines. We call them tubular linear motors—the introduction of which increased our technological capabilities significantly.

ONE OF YOUR NEW PRODUCTS, THE GCX LINEAR, IS TARGETED FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES (EV). HOW DO YOU SEE THE DEVELOPMENT IN THIS SECTOR?

PB: There are many changes in the sector, which have broad impacts in the wider industry. The pending move to EVs is one of those items. In some ways, the machine tool industry is going to be affected very significantly by the simplification of the drive train of the EV compared to internal combustion engine. That will impact us in terms of demand for cutting tools.

However, there are some aspects in EV manufacturing, such as a large number of very accurate, small gears required for the electric gear boxes where efficiency is absolutely critical. Among those are the internal gears. Traditional methods of manufacturing internal gears such as shaper cutters are relatively slow and have geometrical limitations. But an old concept, called skiving, is becoming very popular to manufacture these internal gears.

READ: EMO 2019: ANCA To Launch Latest Generation Of ToolRoom Software

However, the difficulty with skiving is that every gear design requires a special cutter design, and for Class A, AA cutters, the accuracy of the cutters is extraordinarily tight.

The GCX is based on our TX7, but we have undertaken several developments such as improving the accuracy and efficiency of the machine for manufacturing skiving cutters. With software, we have a complete solution for the design and simulation of the skiving cutters, and the actual simulation of the skiving process.

So, the cutter can be designed, and the actual grinding path for that design can be generated. On the machine, we have redesigned several elements to really step up the accuracy. There is a new headstock, a new dressing technology, and other technologies such as an acoustic emission monitoring system. We also have  motor temperature control or MTC (patent pending), which we developed for skiving gear tool grinding, where we actively measure and control the temperature of all the rotary motors in the machine—the dressing spindles, the grinding spindles, the axis turning the cutter.

I am proud of MTC – our constant temperature spindle control because from an engineering point of view, it is very simple, but it has a big impact on the performance of the machine. And it is something different, and to my knowledge, something unique. Just by changing the firmware and the drive system for the spindle, we were able to hold the temperature, and really have quite a significant impact on the actual stability and performance of the machine. I think it is a breakthrough.

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY?

PB: What we did is, when you run an electric motor, by changing the parameters, you can change the losses in the electric motor. And by changing the losses in the motor, we can regulate the temperature. You set a set point, say 27 deg C: if the temperature is 26 deg C, the machine will deliberately increase the losses in the motor to heat it up until it gets to 27 deg C. Then, if the temperature is over, the machine can reduce the losses to regulate that temperature.

READ: ANCA Motion Challenges The Conventional Approach To Cylindrical Grinding

As far as I know, it is unique. The spindle is a key component. When you get a temperature rise, you will get dimensional variation in the position of the wheel, the grinding wheel, or the cutting tool. Maintaining a very accurate temperature improves the basic dimensional accuracy of the machine.

WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?

PB: Typically, you must warm up a machine by running it through a cycle to get to a working temperature. That takes around half an hour. With this technology, heating the spindle up can reduce that half an hour to maybe 10 minutes. That’s cost saving. And then of course, while you are grinding, you reduce the dimensional variation.

READ: CNC Market Outlook: 7.3% CAGR During 2019-2023

This offers users improved accuracy and stability. We are talking about lights out manufacturing. Everything you can do to keep things stable in that lights out environment is a benefit. We are currently using it in some of our machines: the CPX and GCX Linear. When this technology goes through the rest of our machines, I think it will be highly popular with our customers in terms of improved dimensional stability.

WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS YEAR?

PB: By nature, I am always a bit of a pessimist, and there is a lot happening in the world to cause worry. But the world changes so quickly. China is such a large and diversified industrial market that I think business is going to be tougher there, but nevertheless, it will still be very significant business. Meanwhile, I see ASEAN countries still have a lot of opportunities for growth.

Overall, I expect probably a continuation of the cyclical downturn—but I don’t know how long that cycle is actually going to last. However, we will continue to provide innovative solutions for our customers who may be looking to diversify in response to market trends.

 

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WALTER EWAG’s Michael Schmid On Thailand, Trends, And Future Of Grinding Industry

WALTER EWAG’s Michael Schmid on Thailand, Trends, and Future of Grinding Industry

Michael Schmid of WALTER EWAG discusses the Thailand market, opportunities and challenges, and trends shaping the metalworking industry in the region. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Michael Schmid

WALTER EWAG Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, part of the United Grinding Group headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, specialises in tool grinding, laser machining, eroding, measurement, and software. Its machines are used in fields such as the watch industry, the dental, electrical, automotive and aviation industries, as well as in the manufacture of precision micro-components.

READ: Reducing Cost-Per-Part of Your Tools

WALTER EWAG is a system and solutions provider for complete tool machining. It offers an extensive product range  for manufacturing  and re-grinding  of rotation symmetrical  tools and inserts made of tungsten carbide, HSS , PCD PCBN   or any other super hard materials  like MCD , CWD and even natural diamonds.

At the recent METALEX 2019 event in Thailand, Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News sat down with Michael Schmid, managing director of WALTER EWAG in Singapore, to discuss the Thailand market, opportunities and challenges, and trends shaping the metalworking industry in the region.

WHAT ARE YOUR ACTIVITIES IN THAILAND?

Michael Schmid (MS): We have been doing business in Thailand for more than 20 years now. In fact, we installed our first CNC machines here in Thailand in 1996.

Currently, we have a training and demo centre in the country, where we do test cuts and demonstrations for customers. Our customer care, service engineers, and applications specialists, are all based here.

READ: Walter Enables Automatic Detection and Alignment of Tools and Blanks

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE YOU SEEING IN THAILAND, AND WHICH INDUSTRIES ARE DRIVING GROWTH?

MS: With our substantial product portfolio and the specialised team of technicians, we can actually cater to all needs in terms of tool making and resharpening required in the industrial environment—which Thailand has, such as the automotive, aerospace, semiconductor, and all kinds of metalworking industry.

WHAT ARE TOP CHALLENGES OF YOUR CUSTOMERS?

MS: Some of the challenges are finding skilled people and developing know-how in cutting tool technology. But also, major challenges include productivity and quality, and being innovative in tool design.

READ: Walter Strengthens Tool Offering With Acquisition Of Melin Tool Company

HOW ARE YOU HELPING CUSTOMERS ADDRESS THESE ISSUES?

MS: Our aim is to help customers, educate them, and train them, through our software and machine design. There are a lot of possibilities to be creative. We help them become more creative in utilising our machines.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS UNIQUE IN THE MARKET?

MS: If you look, for example, at our Helitronic Series, these machines are extremely  powerful and  have  very unique and efficient kinematics, which provides an ultimate stability and accuracy. All  that, together with our in-house developed Tool Studio software, open all kind of possibilities in terms of flexibility, dynamics and performance for our customers in today’s modern tool manufacturing  world.

READ: A Look at Walter’s Two-in-One Machining Concept

Last but not least our  tool grinding know how of over 50 years  has of course  influenced our todays  products in  unique way  as well.

WHAT TRENDS ARE SHAPING THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW?

MS: One of the big topics is Industry 4.0.  In this show, VDW is having a presentation about umati, a standardised interface linking machines. Besides that, of course, automation is always an issue. Lights-out production, smart manufacturing—these are something we hear every day from our customers, and a lot of companies are now working towards this. Apart from that, there are also new, innovative tool geometries, machines, tools, software—there’s a lot of possibility to change.

Of course, there are also new materials coming—lighter materials for e-mobility, for example. There industry is changing a lot—and I think that’s the interesting part in our business.

WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS YEAR?

MS: I don’t want to be pessimistic, but I also can’t be too optimistic, because when I talk to people here at the show, and the customers throughout the year, we saw some declines here and there. But some industries are still doing well.

READ: Tools At The Touch Of A Button

It will be an interesting time to come in the next six to 12 months, because of all the changes happening. Maybe, we’ll have more time to think about new things for the industry. Considering this, I would not say it will be bad; I would say let us be all optimistic and look forward to a promising, interesting time.

Like I said, in the last years, we’ve been very busy. Maybe, now we have a little bit of time to think about how to do things differently, how to increase our efficiency; I think it should be a target for everybody because, if there is a crisis coming, and we get out of it, we should be fresh, more efficient, and more powerful.

 

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WALTER: HELITRONIC RAPTOR For The Production And Regrinding Of Tools

WALTER: HELITRONIC RAPTOR For The Production And Regrinding Of Tools

For some time the market has been demanding that machine tools must be “more flexible”, “universal” and “automated”. The equally important requirements of “more specialised” and “more cost-effective” often cannot be reconciled with these demands. However, this is exactly what WALTER has achieved with the latest extension of their grinding machine portfolio, the HELITRONIC RAPTOR. WALTER offers the right machine solution for the grinding of tools for every customer application.

Flexible and cost-effective:

The HELITRONIC RAPTOR is a flexible and universal tool grinding machine especially designed for the grinding and re-sharpening of rotationally symmetrical tools for the metal and wood industry.

The specialised equipment of the HELITRONIC RAPTOR:

“Specialised” means in this case: optimising the important equipment options so that the HELITRONIC RAPTOR is targeted at the re-sharpening sector of rotationally symmetrical tools, in which one usually

– does not require a large variety of automation

– does not require automatic tool support systems

– does not require an automatic change of grinding wheels

– but still requires a high degree of flexibility in the working area for large and diverse types of tools.

For this reason, the HELITRONIC RAPTOR – unlike other machines from WALTER – is not configured for options such as wheel changer, robot loader or hydraulic tool support systems.

Tools with a maximum diameter of 320 mm and a maximum length of 280 mm including end face operation can be ground with the HELITRONIC RAPTOR. For automatic loading of up to 500 tools, an optional top loader, integrated in the working area, is available.

Further equipment features are:

– Low vibration, solid grey cast iron, gantry type construction

– 11,5 KW spindle motor

– Grinding software HELITRONIC TOOL STUDIO

– Top loader (option)

– Glass scales (option)

– Torque drive for the A axis (option)

– Probe for measuring the grinding wheels (option)

– Manual support steady rest (option)

– and other options

 

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WALTER: New Eroding And Grinding Machine With The Well-Known “Two-In-One” Concept

WALTER: New Eroding And Grinding Machine With The Well-Known “Two-In-One” Concept

For some time the market has been demanding that machine tools must be “more flexible”, “universal” and “automated”. The equally important requirements of “more specialised” and “more cost-effective” often cannot be reconciled with these demands. However, this is exactly what WALTER has achieved with the latest extension of the EDM machine portfolio, the HELITRONIC RAPTOR DIAMOND. WALTER offers the right machine solution for the eroding of tools for every customer application.

Flexible and cost-effective:

The HELITRONIC RAPTOR DIAMOND is a flexible and universal tool erosion and grinding machine especially designed for the re-sharpening of PCD tools. Equipped with the “Two-in-One” concept from WALTER, which has been tried and tested for almost two decades. Whether for wood or metal tools, the HELITRONIC RAPTOR DIAMOND offers highest flexibility. It is equipped with the FINE PULSE TECHNOLOGY, which since its introduction a few years ago has set new standards in eroding technology. With the finest frequency, users can produce a perfect surface finish and cutting edge on a PCD tool without compromising the machining time.

The specialised equipment of the HELITRONIC RAPTOR DIAMOND:

“Specialised” means in this case: optimising the important equipment options so that the HELITRONIC RAPTOR DIAMOND is targeted at the re-sharpening sector of PCD tools, in which one usually

– does not require a large variety of automation

– does not require automatic tool support systems

– does not require an automatic change of electrodes and grinding wheels

– but still requires a high degree of flexibility in the working area for large and diverse types of tools.

For this reason, the HELITRONIC RAPTOR DIAMOND – unlike other machines from WALTER – is not configured for optional wheel/electrode changer, robot loader or hydraulic tool support systems. As with all other WALTER “Two-in-One” EDM and grinding machines, the standard delivery includes the electrode/grinding wheel mounting via an HSK interface.

Tools with a maximum diameter of 400 mm and a maximum length of 270 mm including end face operation can be eroded or ground with the HELITRONIC RAPTOR DIAMOND. For automatic loading of up to 500 tools, an optional top loader, integrated in the working area, is available.

Further equipment features are:

– Fine Pulse Technology

– 11,5 KW spindle motor

– Grinding and EDM software HELITRONIC TOOL STUDIO

– Walter Window Mode P51 / P52

– Top loader (option)

– Glass scales (option)

– Torque drive for the A axis (option)

– Probe for measuring the grinding wheels (option)

– Manual support steady rest (option)

– and other options

 

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Studer: A New Lease Of Life For Your Machine

Studer: A New Lease of Life for Your Machine

Any grinding machine with 45,000 operating hours on its log will wear. The question is, will you buy a new one, or refurbish the old one? Find out in this article from STUDER.

Before

LMT Kieninger specialises in highly demanding machining tasks and manufactures special tools for die and mould making. One of its equipment is the Studer S40 Grinding Machine, which has been in use for 14 years now.

“The S40 was the Rolls Royce of grinding machines. But the machine still wears over time and after intensive use,” admits Heiko Braun, Group Manager of Cylindrical/Surface Grinding and Assembly at LMT Kieninger.

It was clear to LMT Kieninger that they should send the cylindrical grinding machine to the STUDER factory in Switzerland for an overhaul. STUDER provided them with a loan machine for around three months and took care of everything from—from collection through to customs formalities.

“We were very satisfied with the loan machine. Apart from a few little things, we were able to continue grinding as usual,” sums up Braun.

What’s special about machine overhauls at STUDER is that it is the only company to refurbish the machines’ guideways to the original specifications. After the assemblies have been reinstalled, the machine geometry is equivalent to that of a new machine.

“This point in particular really convinced us. We notice the difference. Since the overhaul, we have been grinding with the precision of a new machine. I can only recommend a machine overhaul. Everything went without a hitch, the investment has paid off and a 1,600 mm machine is worth its weight in gold for us,” says Braun.

Rebuild—New from Old

After

A rebuild, or a machine overhaul, makes sense—and not just economically. The operator gets his familiar machine back and continues where he stopped before the overhaul. The difference is that his old machine is like new.

In STUDER‘s factory, specialists disassemble the machine into all its individual parts. The guideways are completely refurbished, the assemblies overhauled, the wear parts in the electric cabinet replaced, and the hydraulic and lubricating system as well as all valves replaced. If old spare parts can no longer be obtained, STUDER provides an alternative solution. The casing and components are sand-blasted and then given a fresh coat of paint.

After assembly, the geometry is like that of a new machine. Commissioning is carried out by STUDER Customer Care, including a functional and geometry inspection, which are all CE-compliant.

“Over 20 people work on machine overhauls at STUDER. This shows the value of rebuild and retrofit at the company. The customers are always enthusiastic about the transformation and are delighted to put an as-new machine into operation at an excellent price-performance ratio,” says Marcos Cotarelo, Divisional Head and Customer Care Consultant at STUDER.

Expanding the Component Range

If the customer wishes to expand his component range at the same time as the overhaul, he can do it with a retrofit. During the machine overhaul, the machine can be modified or retrofitted to the customer’s requirements. This opens up new production possibilities on the same machine. Ingold Tools AG has taken advantage of this STUDER service.

Ingold Tools has been producing high-precision and complex parts for spindle, compressor, hydraulic, and general machine manufacturing since 1946. Its machinery include a variety of CNC and conventional machines, including robotics and automation solutions for turning, milling/drilling, honing, lapping, barrel finishing, sand-blasting, laser marking, as well as surface and cylindrical grinding.

The cylindrical grinding shop already has several conventional and CNC STUDER machines. A further machine is currently being overhauled in the STUDER production halls—an 18-year old S21 with two external spindles and continuous fine adjustment of the turret wheelhead (B-axis fine), which the two managing directors Christoph Jenzer and Edgar Stich recently took on as a second-hand machine.

The S21 will not only be updated in line with the latest developments, but will also be retrofitted to suit the needs of Ingold Tools. In particular, the cylindrical grinding machine will have an additional internal grinding spindle for internal cylindrical grinding and the relevant fixture for swiveling the tailstock into the park position. The S21 will also have a new spindle cooling system with its own circuit, as well as a hydraulically swiveling dressing unit. For all grinding machines to have the same mounting, the universal tool headstock will also be upgraded from MK4 to MK5.

“This deal is perfect for us. Thanks to the retrofit, we get the second-hand machine with 50 percent new hardware,” says Jenzer.

Trusted Quality

The S21 is the second factory-rebuilt STUDER machine at Ingold Tools. In 2016, the company took on a second-hand S31 machine, which STUDER overhauled.

“We grind to a bearing tolerance and diameter of 1 mm. STUDER guarantees this accuracy after the overhaul. Either way, an overhauled STUDER will run just as long as a new machine,” says Stich.

Jenzer and Stich see a further advantage of the machine overhaul in the operation—their employees don’t need to get used to a new machine with a new control system.

Ingold Tools has relied on STUDER since its establishment. The first external cylindrical grinding machine was a Type 01 from 1955. This was still in use when Jenzer joined the company 13 years ago.

“We like working with STUDER. The service personnel are quick to respond, and our customer care consultant supports us wherever he can. It’s not without reason that we have so many STUDER machines,” he says.

A new machine? Jenzer and Stich both agree that they wouldn’t rule it out, as a new machine always offers advantages that an old one doesn’t have, such as faster travel in all axes, simpler set-up of the machine, and easy programming with less technical knowledge. But the employees are looking forward to the overhauled S21, which will soon be on its way to Inkwil in Bern.

 

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Arrow Precision Relies On STUDER Grinding Tech

Arrow Precision Relies on STUDER Grinding Tech

Increasing global demand for Arrow Precision’s crankshafts recently prompted a search for a premium quality, highly-productive grinding machine that had the capabilities to grind crankshaft main bearing journals and pins to the company’s challenging dimensional and surface finish standards. Here’s what drove the company to select Studer.

StuderWIN software helps the operator achieve complex grinding tasks.

Established in 1974 by David Arnold, and currently under the direction of David’s son Ian, Arrow Precision continues to abide by the founder’s guiding principles of quality, innovation and service. The Hinckley, Leicestershire-based business’ highly skilled workforce have access to a wide range of premium quality machine tools enabling the company’s high-quality connecting rods and crankshafts to deliver ultimate levels of performance.

Having gained a global reputation for the components it produces, Arrow Precision now supplies three main automotive sectors. The company manufactures OE connecting rods and crankshafts for use in performance production road cars for prestigious customers throughout the world. In addition, a custom service is provided offering unique forgings, custom designs and the one-off manufacture of complete sets of rods for classic and vintage cars. Last but not least, the motorsport industry’s insistence on dealing with vendors with high-levels of technical expertise, flexible manufacturing process, and fast delivery times, means that Arrow Precision is now a major supplier to this most challenging of automotive sectors.

Increasing global demand for Arrow Precision’s crankshafts recently prompted a search for a premium quality, highly-productive grinding machine that had the capabilities to grind crankshaft main bearing journals and pins to the company’s challenging dimensional and surface finish standards. Having assessed several machines from leading manufacturers against a demanding list of criteria, a practical demonstration of a Studer S41 CNC universal grinding machine convinced Arnold that the advanced Studer offering was the ideal answer to the company’s requirements.

The S41

With distances between centres of 1,000/1,600 mm, centre heights of 225mm/275mm and the capability of machining workpieces with a maximum weight of 250kg, the Studer S41 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine was designed to accommodate medium to large workpieces. While majority of daily grinding tasks can be efficiently performed on the machine, the S41 can also be configured for single-purpose use.

Studer’s S41 boasts a wide range of advanced technical features, such as the StuderGuide guideway system, high-precision axis drives with linear motors, and extremely fast direct drive of the B-axis, ensuring great flexibility, high precision and short auxiliary times. Given the diverse nature of the S41’s users, potential customers are able to choose from a large number of wheelhead variants. With up to four grinding wheels, the S41 fulfils virtually every requirement for complete machining.

The S41 is based on a robust Granitan S103 mineral casting machine bed. Developed and produced in the company’s own plant using the most modern industrial techniques, The advantageous material structure, has proven its value over many years. The excellent dampening characteristics of the S41’s machine base ensure outstanding surface quality of all ground workpieces. The use of Granitan S103 extends the service life of the grinding wheels, leading to reduced downtimes. In addition, temporary temperature fluctuations are compensated by the favourable thermal behaviour of this remarkable material.

The Studer S41’s versatile universal workhead enables both live spindle grinding and grinding between centres. The machine can also be fitted with a specially designed chuck workhead for chuck applications. The workhead is mounted on low-maintenance roller-bearings that have an excellent roundness accuracy of below 0.0004mm (optional, 0.0002mm). Fine adjustment allows for cylindricity corrections in the 1µm range during live spindle operations. As with the machine’s tailstock, its workhead is also equipped with an air cushion lift-off to simplify movement during setup and resetting.

The machine’s direct-drive workhead is primarily used for live spindle grinding of heavy workpieces and for high-precision C-axis applications. When form grinding, the range of parts is expanded by the design configuration of the S41’s direct drive. This design also allows the installation of a high-precision measuring system directly on the spindle.

To an ever-increasing extent, the claim of ‘complete machining’ includes the ability to efficiently perform accurate form and thread grinding operations. These processes are made possible by the position of the S41’s speed-controlled C-axis. The standard C-axis with measuring system on the drive motor is suitable for thread grinding. A direct measuring system is mounted on the workhead spindle (C-axis) to ensure the highest form accuracy. Acceleration and grinding forces are absorbed without difficulty through the high dynamic rigidity of the axis drives.

The machine’s generously dimensioned tailstock barrel, designed for the deployment of Morse 4 taper centres, glides in the tailstock housing. Its centre pressure can be adjusted with the delicate precision required for grinding high-precision workpieces. If required, the tailstock can be equipped with a hydraulically actuated barrel retraction for workpiece changeover. Fine adjustment enables cylindricity corrections in the range below 1 µm when grinding between centres. An air cushion lift-off facilitates simple movement during setup and resetting. A cooling lubricant is passed through the tailstock and totally covers the barrel and diamond holder, to guarantee optimum thermal stability.

Arrow’s S41 is equipped with an Arobotech automatic 3-Point Steady Rest.

Promise delivered

The recently installed S41 is now fully operational on two-shifts and delivering on all of the claims made by Studer. Also, in some areas the machine is exceeding Arrow Precision’s expectations. For example, as the flexible machine can perform both external and internal precision grinding tasks, in addition to the external grinding of crankshafts journal and pins, the S41 is used to grind internal features such as flywheel location bores. Crankshaft bores that previously took 30 minutes to grind on a manual machine now take less than three minutes to complete. As well as producing outstanding levels of surface finish on crank journals and pins, the Studer S41 is now achieving sub-micron levels of diameter grinding accuracy.

“As demand for our crankshafts has grown to such an extent that a strain had been placed on our existing grinding resources, we decided to source a new, high-precision CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine,” Arnold explained. “As achieving the specified diameter and surface finish characteristics of crankshaft journals and pins constitutes, the most critical crankshaft machining process, the highest standards of precision grinding is of paramount importance, therefore our new grinding machine needed to be of the highest possible technical standard.”

Since the company manufactures crankshafts in series production and in short runs, in addition to producing runoffs, it re required a machine with great flexibility and quick change over times.

“Furthermore, as we are often tasked with manufacturing crankshafts with really short lead times by our autosport customers, we needed a fast, extremely efficient machine,” said Arnold. “In addition to the S41 proving its outstanding flexibility, speed and technical capabilities, it helped our purchasing decision that we were aware of Studer’s excellent reputation for the quality of the company’s machines and for if its levels of customer service. The assistance provided by Mark Maurice of UK Studer agent Micronz was invaluable in helping us to specify the machine, arranging a demonstration at Studer’s HQ in Switzerland, ensuring a trouble-free installation and organising our operators’ training.

“As our operators received excellent on-machine training, and as Studer’s controls and software is so intuitive, our staff soon mastered the S41. Although, it helps that on the rare occasion that we have a problem, Studer personnel are just a phone-call away and able to provide and instant solution.

“Not only has the exceptional speed and efficiency of our new Studer CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine removed the possibility of production bottlenecks from our grinding department, the extra capacity it has created and the additional capabilities it provides has opened-up addition commercial opportunities for us.

 

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Walter Enables Automatic Detection And Alignment Of Tools And Blanks

Walter Enables Automatic Detection and Alignment of Tools and Blanks

Walter Enables Automatic Detection and Alignment of Tools and Blanks For correct pre-positioning prior to machining, WALTER now offers a new TOOL VISION SYSTEM for all its tool grinding / eroding machines with robot loader. This Walter Automatic Detection system detects contact free, the orientation of the tool or blank, with e.g. brazed PCD plates on the front, sintered PCD veins or with cooling channels. The detecting is done automatically and during idle time. This means significant timesaving compared to the manual measurement method, eliminates human errors and avoids damage to the tool due to the non-contact method.

The WALTER TOOL VISION SYSTEM is permanently installed in the robot cell and available with two lenses. The one lens for tool diameter from 1.7 mm to 12 mm, the other lens for tool diameter from 6 mm to 32 mm.

 

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Studer Grinding Machine Capable To Large Tasks

Studer Grinding Machine Capable To Large Tasks

Studer’s S31 grinding machine performs complex and varied grinding tasks precisely and reliably, and can be used to produce small to medium-sized workpieces with a distance between centres of 400, 650, 1,000 and 1,600mm and a centre height of 175mm in individual, small batch and high-volume production. With a high-resolution B-axis of 0.00005 deg, the swivelling wheelhead enables efficient external, internal and surface grinding in a single clamping.

With its machine bed made from solid Granitan S103, the universal cylindrical grinding machine features high dimensional stability due to its favourable thermal behaviour, with the mineral casting equalising short-term variations in temperature. Studer’s S31’s redesigned machine base geometry and innovative base temperature control ensure quick and stable production. The fixing of the dressing device on the double T-slot of the longitudinal slide drastically reduces the complexity of setup and changeover. Further, the S31 features StuderGuide guideways with their damping component in the direction of movement.

Based on the Studer T-slide concept, the S31 has an extended X-axis stroke of 370mm—enabling a large number of wheelhead variants, which can be precisely tailored to customers’ requirements. Its turret wheelhead can be equipped with several grinding wheels, and with the Studer Quick-Set software for grinding wheel alignment, changeover times are reduced by up to 90 percent.

Studer’s S31 enables grinding of different diameters and cones with just one grinding wheel and without time-consuming intermediate dressing—all made possible by the direct drive on the B-axis with a positioning scatter of <1in.

 

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The Versatile Machine For Large Tasks

The versatile machine for large tasks

The S31 performs complex and varied grinding tasks precisely and reliably. It can be used to produce small to medium-sized workpieces with a distance between centers of 400, 650, 1000 and 1600 mm and a center height of 175 mm in individual, small batch and high-volume production. With a high-resolution B-axis of 0.00005° the swiveling wheelhead enables efficient external, internal and surface grinding in a single clamping.

The foundation of the universal cylindrical grinding machine is the machine bed made from solid Granitan S103. This provides high dimensional stability thanks to its favorable thermal behavior, while the mineral casting largely equalises short-term variations in temperature. STUDER has redesigned the machine base geometry and added an innovative base temperature control. This ensures quick and stable production. The fixing of the dressing device on the double T-slot of the longitudinal slide drastically reduces the complexity of setup and changeover. A further highlight: The S31 features StuderGuide guideways with their damping component in the direction of movement.

Very Wide Range Of Wheelhead Variants

The S31 is based on the STUDER T-slide concept. It now has an extended X-axis stroke of 370 mm. This enables a large number of wheelhead variants, which can be precisely tailored to the customer’s requirements. Customers can choose between the turret wheelhead with continuously variable B-axis or B-axis with 1° Hirth coupling. The turret wheelhead can be equipped with several grinding wheels. Thanks to the software for grinding wheel alignment, STUDER Quick-Set, changeover times are reduced by up to 90 percent. The new S31 enables grinding of different diameters and cones with just one grinding wheel and without time-consuming intermediate dressing. This is made possible by the direct drive on the B-axis with a positioning scatter of <1“.

Impressive Software

StuderWIN enables reliable programming and efficient operation. StuderTechnology also automatically calculates the optimal grinding parameters in a matter of seconds, based on just a little information. This means good quality and a stable process at the first attempt.  The optional integrated modules such as StuderForm, StuderThread or StuderContourBasic, extend the functionality of the machine.

The S31 is equipped with a Fanuc 0i-TF and is optionally available with the Fanuc 31i-B for High Speed Machining (HSM). The PCU manual control unit enables setup of the machine close to the grinding process. Non-productive times can be reduced to a minimum with the electronic contact detection function. In addition, the standardised loader interface enables automation of the S31.

 

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