Abrasive Machining, Sawing, and Finishing
The sawing industry is extremely good right now for Pat Mooney Inc., The Saw Company (Addison, IL). According to Pat Thornton, president, "Business is great and there is no indication of a slowdown." The market is demanding more speed, users want to do faster and faster cutting. The Saw Company offers the Nishijimax CNC Carbide Cutoff System, which incorporates CNC technology into the saw, resulting in a rigid system that cuts more parts per hour and more parts per blade than a standard production saw. Because both axes are CNC-operated via servodrive, amp, motor, and ballscrew, the Nishijimax turns at a high rpm with greater chip load. A 45° slant allows increases in chip loads up to 40–50% without significantly decreasing blade life.
"Our customers want to maximize chipmaking time while minimizing the time spent handling parts," says Russell Kaiser, vice president of engineering Cinetic Landis Grinding Corp., (Waynesboro, PA). "Obviously, the time wasted in transferring parts between machines and loading and unloading parts is non-value-added cost for the manufacturer. Consequently, our customers are requesting abrasive machining processes that combine multiple operations in a single machine. In grinding crankshafts, for example, the widely accepted practice has been to separate the pins, mains, and other operations into dedicated grinders. Today, some of our automotive customers producing crankshafts at high-volume levels are considering combining operations into single orbital-crankshaft grinders with twin wheelheads fitted with CBN wheels. Combining multiple operations in one grinder reduces work-in-process and repeated handling of parts.
"This also extends to the grinding of large diesel and heavy-duty crankshafts, which require grinders specially adapted with larger components and grinding programs such as our 'vector' grinding process, to enable processing these parts in a single fixturing."
The company's new Evolution CNC grinder incorporates a high-speed spindle to permit wheel speeds to 250 m/sec with the part rotating at up to 7500 rpm. Outfitted with a 0.5-mm wide wheel, this "peel" grinder can contour complex part shapes much like a lathe, but with grinding accuracy and surface quality. Grinding at such fast speeds produces smaller chips that help improve surface quality on critical parts like transmission shafts. Various part features including faces and grooves can all be accomplished in the same machine, which eliminates additional processing steps and avoids parasitic time for part handling. And the machine can be programmed to handle a large family of parts with little or no changeover.
The Landis LT1 CNC grinder will be introduced equipped with what the company claims is the industry's first hydrostatic, infinitely variable swiveling wheelhead. This highly flexible grinder can be fitted with two grinding wheels of different diameters, and can perform a range of operations, including contouring, plunging, and traverse grinding, with angles ranging from 0 to 230°. This new grinder will enable manufacturers of parts like transmission shafts, which have multiple angles, to process the parts in one fixturing.
The Giustina R220 double-disk grinder will be shown for the first time. Utilizing the productive and accurate rotary plunge method for grinding parts with flat or parallel surfaces, the new R220 grinder accommodates part families by incorporating inserts on the part carriers and utilizing the Siemens 840-D controller's large memory.
Rosler Metal Finishing (Battle Creek, MI) will feature the following equipment:
- FKS 15.1 E-A—fully automatic single-batch centrifugal-disk finishing machine.
- Z 800-HA Turbo Floc—A semiautomatic wastewater treatment system that separates sludge from the effluent stream to allow reuse of the process water.
- R 125 Euro—A vibratory finishing bowl with pneumatic unload system.
"United Grinding brings 15 machines for cylindrical, profile, and tool grinding, plus measuring, from their eight brands: Blohm, EWAG, Jung, Mägerle, Mikrosa, Schaudt, Studer, and Walter," says vice president Chris Stine. "We come with an experienced applications staff to provide solutions, whether that's combining grinding and milling to achieve the best cycle times, solving a wheel problem, or integrating a grinder with automation and a coolant system to create a turnkey installation."
Stine adds that the turbine industry remains robust as suppliers strive to meet the demand for more fuel-efficient turbines and lighter components. "We're bringing a new Blohm Prokos to meet this demand. Its new linear drives make it 30% more productive, and even reduce wheel consumption 20%. The Maegerle MFP-TC features multiaxis part indexing, plus an automated toolchanger that enables grinding, drilling, and milling on one machine. That cuts total handling and machining time considerably. It also assures high precision, because you don't have to change machines, or even fixtures, during production."
United Grinding's Hans Ueltschi reports that multitasking has been a hot button in cylindrical grinding as well. "We're showing a Schaudt Kairos that combines hardturning and grinding for complete automotive parts in one clamping. We'll also show three Studers that demonstrate our ability to combine ID face and OD grinding, plus form grinding and thread grinding, sometimes on the same machine. Besides the high-production ID grinding system, which can hold extreme accuracies, we'll show how the StuderGrind software suite makes complex operations simple, with pictographic programming. It also will allow you to schedule, and manage your capital assets, as well as generate the quotes for grinding jobs."
Walter's big news is small: an entirely new grinder for small tools and a new measuring machine for small tools. According to Rick Martin, president of the tool grinding division, "we have a radically new design for the grinder, with linear motors, a new spindle, a new axis layout, and in fact, an additional axis. I can't say more than that, except that the target is to be at least 30% faster than anything else on the market." Walter will also show its flagship big tool machine, the Helitronic Vision with autoloader and wheel changer. Martin says, "The ability to automatically switch between up to 12 wheel sets makes it possible to grind a wider variety of tools over longer periods unmanned, plus quick changeover. We've now introduced a wheel-changer option for both Walter tool-grinding lines."
The new Helicheck Plus is a variation on the Helicheck Pro tool-measuring machine. The Plus has an additional camera with 400x magnification and the ability to automatically measure nearly any geometry on tools down to 0.3 mm in diameter, with repeatability down to 0.7µm.
"We also see significant growth in the need for PCD tooling to cut aluminum and composites in aerospace, automotive, and even things like laminate flooring," says Martin. "We're bringing two of our solutions from Ewag, the Ewamatic line and the Easy Grind. Both solve the problem of grinding diamond with diamond to get a mirror finish, and feature automatic in-process wheel regeneration for 30% better cycle times.
"At Hardinge our overall product philosophy is to supply a complete line of turning, milling, and grinding machines to customers machining parts that fit into a small to medium part cube size. For each product line we plan to supply a complete range of machines from basic low-end machines sold primarily on price to machines incorporating the highest technology available in the market today, aimed at providing advanced machining capability to our customers," explains Patrick Ervin, Hardinge company president, (Elmira, NY). "We have been broadening our product line from basic machines to very hightech products, with the focus that regardless of where a product is positioned from a capability perspective it must be considered best-in-class when compared to competition. We realize customers have different machining requirements and we want Hardinge to be able to supply the right product for the right application, at a competitive price. At Hardinge, we realize different manufacturing philosophies are utilized by our customers. On one hand we have the customer who wants one machine to do everything in one setup," explains Ervin. "These machines can do an entire part with maximum production per square foot. It's the multitasking approach. The other type of customer wants a much simpler, lean arrangement with one machine for grinding, another for milling, and so on. These customers want extremely flexible manufacturing capabilities, aimed at responding to changing manufacturing needs immediately. As machines increase in multitasking capabilities, they generally take longer to set up and support. We want to be able to supply products that satisfy either philosophy.
"There is always a question of whether to grind or hard turn. We offer both, but which to choose depends on factors such as type of part and production run. However, we have some advances in cryogenic turning coming along that could change the grinding landscape," he explains. "With grinding you normally rough grind, then finish grind. With cryogenic turning, which introduces nitrogen to the work area, you can cut materials up to 100 Rockwell and eliminate rough grinding, and go directly to finish grinding. Our research has found that parts that required 2.5 hr with grinding alone can be done in 15–20 min with the cryogenic hard-turning processes. We are currently machining cobalt and carbide, and hope ultimately to do ceramics using the cryogenic hard turning process," he concludes.
Sunnen Products Co. (St. Louis) will focus on four product areas. The first is hydraulic components. These are usually parts with tight tolerances, and are difficult to make because of the chance of bow in the bore. The parts are often long with a lot of cross holes, which further complicates the manufacturing. Hydraulic system manufacturers want better sealing and often have problems with leakage. This is a particular problem when dealing with hydraulic equipment where people are at risk, as in aerospace applications.
"We have machines that will meet spec and eliminate bow even after heat treat," says Senior Product Manager, Gerry Schnitzler.
The second area is the gear industry. "We have always honed gears, but now we have a machine that can hold squareness to a face better than ever before. Industry wants more speeds in its transmissions, so that means more gears to hone, along with the fixturing and tooling to ensure squareness and minimal runout."
Sunnen is also looking at smaller engines, those of 100 hp (75 kW) and less, such as watercraft and lawn mowers. "Because emission standards for these products are getting stiffer, we have to supply better sealing between faces and minimize blowby in the cylinders," explains Schnitzler. "We want to supply a plateau surface. It will run longer and have better emissions." Plateau honing is like breaking-in an engine before you run it.
Auto transmissions are getting smaller, and generating more speeds that require greater gear precision. "The distance between the gear bore and the teeth is critical," he says. "Maintaining minimal runout is a key to precision. Accurate size and geometry control over the gear bore is critical."
Finally, while it's not major a market, Sunnen will display their ability to hone long, small-bore rifle and pistol barrels. Gun makers have realized a significant increase in weapon accuracy when honing is a final process after rifling.
"Developments in manufacturing normally drive the trends in the cutting tool industry," says Eric Schwarzenbach, president, Rollomatic Inc. (Mundelein, IL). "We see a definite trend toward micromachining and miniature technology in the medical field. The cutting tool industry is significantly moving toward smaller tools."
Lean grinding has also become the focus of many tool grinding companies as global competition intensifies. Lean for tool grinding means less quantities, less setup times, lower cost.
"Grinding traditionally has been a manual art, and we feel that users should definitely look for more automation and technology that supports untended operation," Schwarzenbach explains. "As tool manufacturers continually seek and apply new and more precise tool geometries, it's imperative that visitors to the IMTS look for a partner to whom technology for higher accuracy is a priority. Quest for innovation must be coupled with higher accuracy, higher speeds, better finish, and cost reduction. Versatility in tool grinding will add to the comprehensive competitiveness of a company, and visitors should seek out machines that offer flexibility and resourcefulness."
In the area of rapid machine setup, the company is offering a gap-control system for grinding wheels (AutoTech). For longer untended production, Rollomatic is showing automatic machine drift compensation (ProcessControl). Intended for the circuit drill production, the new NanoGrind machine CNC4000XD is capable of mass production of microdrills from 0.0015" (0.038 mm) upwards. In connection with this machine, they will be demonstrating the external steadyrest setup with a camera (NanoSet). In the cylindrical grinding area, they are introducing a new pinch-and-peel grinder called ShapeSmart NP4 for large diameters. Rollomatic's hydrostatic technology will also be on display, showing a hefty tool grinder with hydrostatic axes and spindle for precision grinding of large tools (FullHydrostatic). — Robert Aronson
Featuring hydrostatic slides, the Kellenberger Kel-Varia cylindrical grinder can do multiple-series operations, including diameters, opposed faces, bores, tapers, polygons, tapered nonrounds, and thread grinding in one chucking. The indexing B axis (0.000030° resolution) allows grinding at almost any angle. There are 28 wheelhead configurations offered, including OD only (version R), OD and face (RS) and C-axis for nonround part geometries and thread grinding. The UR and URS models have a swiveling wheelhead with two external wheels and one internal wheel. Control is Heidenhain's GRINDplusIT.
Ph: (800) 843-8801
Helicheck Plus automatically measures virtually all geometries on tools down to 0.0004" (0.1-mm) diam. The unit features four fixed CCD cameras, four CNC axes, and a massive granite base to dampen vibrations. It has a second backlight camera with 400x magnification. Repeatability is +/- 0.7µm. The unit can measure standard size tools and grinding wheels up to 200-mm diam.
Ph: (540) 710-2408
Model V160 vertical grinding and machining center incorporates ID/OD grinding, autoloading, and rough machining (hard turning) with automatic in-machine wheel dressing and in-process gaging, permitting the production of precision parts complete in a single chucking. Nominal chucking capacity is 160–200 mm. For OD grinding, the flexible grinding spindle accepts grinding wheels to 400-mm diam. For ID grinding, various high-precision ID grinding spindles are available, with speeds ranging from 40,000 to 100,000 rpm. The X axis for the chucking spindle is equipped with a linear motor, allowing rapid traverse speeds to 60 m/min.
Ph: (317) 770-6300
Micro Tool Grinder
Machine will have a radically new design intended to achieve 30% faster speeds than competing machines. Company tool grinders are based on a gantry design. The machine uses linear motors to improve cycle times. It also has a new axis layout, including an additional axis, and a radically new grinding spindle.
Walter Grinders Inc.
Ph: (540) 898-3700
Complete abrasive flat finishing/grinding and bore-finishing line of equipment on display will include flat lapping machines and consumable materials; the new FP 700 high-speed double-side fine-grinding system, incorporating an extra-rigid ballscrew/load cell pressure system for extremely high material removal rates on hard materials; and a precise double-disk grinding machine. The Barnes model HV-5000 bore finishing/honing system will also be exhibited.
Lapmaster International Inc.
Ph: (847) 967-2975
The Titan Model from the FMB Pro Mitre Series can precisely mitre-cut 0 to 60° with a 14" (356-mm) cutting capacity. It features a hydraulic control downfeed and variable-speed saw drive. The Accu-Cut blade guide system reportedly allows trouble-free precision, and uses carbide blade guides with set tolerance of 0.0007" (0.018 mm) with top and side roller guides for support into carbide guides. It features variable blade speeds of 62 to 310 fpm (19–94.5 m/min), 24" (610-mm) length stop, clamping vise with quick clamp action, and available recirculating flood coolant system.
Pat Mooney Inc. – The Saw Company
Ph: (800) 323-7503
Abrasive Nylon Disk Brushes
The Burr-Rx line of abrasive nylon disk brushes is designed for in-machine deburring applications. These brushes can be implemented into CNC machining centers or custom-designed machines for immediate results. Disk brushes are available in 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9" (76, 102, 127, 152, and 229-mm) diam, and reportedly are more aggressive than conventional abrasive nylon brushes. They can also remove larger burrs than standard abrasive nylon brushes.
Ph: (800) 835-9999
CBN Tool Edge Prep
The company's Engineered Micro-Geometry (EMG) process provides an alternative for removing defects on CBN tool edges. While applying a T-Land may eliminate the defects, it also creates a negative cutting condition, increasing cutting pressure and decreasing tool performance. EMG radial edge preparation is said to produce lower cutting forces and less corresponding wear, yielding longer tool life. Company also offers CBN inserts, CBN mini tip inserts. PCD-tipped inserts, fulltop CBN and PCD tools, and special CBN tool geometries. The size of the edge preparation applied to these tools can be customized.
Ph: (877) 752-6132
The ShapeSmart NP4 is a cylindrical grinding machine that features the company's new arbor system, which is designated Perfect Arbor. This arbor system uses material elasticity as a means of centering the arbor into the spindles. The two grinding slides have been designed with a new technology called the BoxSlide system, which reportedly enhances stability.
Ph: (603) 927-4723
Honing Small Engines
The SV-1000 vertical honing system incorporates a Windows-based CNC operating system and can hold bore tolerances to within 5 µm with virtually any desired surface finish. Its stroking system produces a true vertical stroke and can dwell in any part of the hole, end-to-end, selectively removing stock. The series is well-suited for medium-to-high production honing in small engine applications and for honing bores 3–65-mm in diam. It has a 5.5-kW spindle motor and servo tool-reciprocation system. Tooling choices include diamond or CBN multistone, plated diamond Krossgrinding tools, and vitrified abrasive.
Sunnen Products Company
Ph: (800) 325-3670
Model FGP-608LM grinder combines linear-motor drive, three-axis, closed-loop electronic control, and structural stability to deliver up to 2.5-g accel/decel speed, 720 times/min reciprocating rate at 5/8" (15.9-mm) stroke and 328 fpm (100 m/min) table speed. Features include 6 x 8" (152 x 203-mm) work area, repeatability of 0.0001" (0.002 mm) in X and 0.000040" (0.001 mm) in Y and Z, and 2000–10,000-rpm spindle speed. Two control options are being offered: Fanuc 18iM control with Fanuc linear motors and the company's own Smart control using Siemens linear motors. Grinding head swivels with +/- 5° adjusting range.
Chevalier Machinery Inc.
Ph: (800) 243-8253
The CSM14B 14" (356-mm) is a metalcutting saw with dry cutting technology. Equipped with a fast-cutting Metal Devil 14" 72-tooth steel cutting carbide-tipped blade, it has a lowspeed, high-torque motor optimized for metalcutting at 15 amps and 1300 rpm for clean cuts. The steel base provides stability with pre-drilled holes for easy boltdown to a workbench. With six preset markings in the base, the vise can be set for 45 or 90° cuts. Additional features include chip collection tray, adjustable chip deflector, and a fully enclosed blade when not engaged in cutting.
M.K. Morse Co.
Ph: (330) 453-8187
Five-Axis CNC Insert Grinder
The WAC 735 Centro grinder is a rigid machine with hydrostatic bearings supporting the grinding spindle for maximum vibration damping and durability. It features the company's patented C-Force clamping system, which allows complete grinding of geometrically complex tool inserts in a single clamping. Grinding wheel diameter is 400 mm. An integrated centering prism with automatic height adjustment yields precise mechanical centering of tool inserts, which can range in size from 4 to 50 mm. Kompensa 3D, an integrated, automatic measuring system, provides pre-process gaging of insert blanks, and precision post-process gaging of finished inserts.
Ph: (248) 719-5501
Column Cold Saw
The American-made CLM 350 semiautomatic circular cold saw features a rigid column design which allows cutting up to 4" (102-mm) tool steel. Standard features include: completely hydraulic down stroke, up stroke, built-in hydraulic feed-pressure reducing valve, hydraulic material clamping, ability to miter 45°, flood coolant system, separate coolant reservoir and chip collection drawer, electric foot pedal, emergency lock-out tag-out, one blade, and 30" (762-mm) material stop.
Scotchman Industries Inc.
Ph: (605) 859-2542 Ext. 205
Rotary Surface Grinder
An alternative to conventional surface grinding, the IG 280 SD rotary surface grinder has a 20-hp (15-kW) spindle. Along with its 27" (686-mm) swing diam, the IG 280 SD features an adjustable three-point column-alignment system that allows canting the grinding wheel for easier stock removal or simple re-zeroing of the column alignment to establish a cross-hatch pattern. Servodriven autofeed control cycle uses conversationally programmable machine parameters. Footprint is 60 x 60" (1524 x 1524 mm), and standard features include variable-speed grinding spindle, integral mist collection, and coolant-filtration systems.
DCM Tech Inc.
Ph: (800) 533-5339
Model MFP 50 grinding machine uses a traversing sliding column design, preloaded ballscrews, and hydrostatic guideway bearings in the Y axis. Movements of the three main part-movement axes are done by the machine table. A two or three-axis table-mounted indexer allows up to seven-axis grinding. Main axes can rapid at 20 m/min. Travel in X is 500 mm, in Y and Z, 660 mm. Spindle speeds range to 10,000 rpm. A 20-tool ATC can switch tools in 8 sec; maximum dimensions are 300 x 60 x 76 mm.
Ph: (937) 847-1222
The model 450 double-disk grinder features a horizontal and vertical grinding spindle arrangement, CBN and diamond grinding wheels (optional use), and 457-mm grinding wheel diam. Drive power per grinding wheel is 11–22 kW, and the machine's footprint is 1800 x 1600 x 1400 mm. It weighs 4500 kg, and unfixtured workpiece height can range from 2 to 30 mm. Fixtured workpiece height is 80 mm.
Peter Wolters of America Inc.
Ph: (847) 390-3356
This grinder features a turret with two spindle pod mounting positions. The pods, which can be optimized for the use of different size grinding wheels, may be optionally fitted with left or right-hand wheels adapted to specific applications. The grinder's turret has infinitely variable positioning with a 230° working range. Other features of the LT1-1200 grinder include hydrostatic wheelheadbearings and linear-motor positioning of both the X and Z axes. It can accommodate a 1200-mm maximum workpiece length with a 150-mm maximum workpiece swing. A swing-down rotary dresser is provided.
Cinetic Landis Grinding Corp.
Ph: (877) 557-6677
A dual-column metalcutting bandsaw, Model DC-310NC has a 1 1/4" (31.8-mm) blade and a 5-hp (3.7-kW) band drive motor. It can saw rectangles to 12 x 12" (305 x 305 mm) and rounds to 12" diam. Numeric controls have a programming capacity of ten jobs, including the number of cuts and cut lengths in each. Kerf compensation and multiple indexing are automatically controlled. Other features include a powered band brush, rapid travel vise index control, and multiple indexing up to 10 times with a 16" (406-mm) stroke.
DoALL Sawing Products
Ph: (847) 258-8862
An internal production cylindrical grinder, the S120 is intended for use on parts that typically have an ID of 50 mm or less. Center height is 125 mm, swing diam is 130 mm. An integrated automated feed system is included on the machine. Three-phase servomotors with prestressed ballscrews power the X and Z axes; cross-slide X-axis travel is 300 mm at speeds to 15 m/min. Linear resolution is 0.0001 mm, and Z axis travel is 180 mm. The machine offers vitrified CBN, rotary dressing tools, and touch-dressing capabilities.
Ph: (937) 847-1222
Described as a new style of profile grinder, the UPZ-210Li is intended to deliver ultra-high precision in carbide and punch-die profile jobs. Equpped with linear motor drive, it can achieve up to 300 reciprocations/minute (0.79" or 20-mm table stroke). It features profile-measurement capability without removal of the workpiece via a CCD camera system. Chuck size is 6.8 x 4" (173 x 102-mm), wheel OD is 2.75" (7-mm) OD (6" or 152-mm optional), table load capacity is 11 lb (5 kg), and longitudinal speed is 0.032–98.4 fpm (0.9–30 m/min).
Ph: (847) 520-7700
Flexible Honing Tool
The ATB flexible honing tool has round abrasive media fastened to the ends of flexible filaments. Self-centering, the flexible filaments are engineered to provide the correct pressure to create a correct hone. Rigid abrasive media is firmly attached to the end of the filaments, making the tool suitable for difficult crosshole deburring and edge-radiusing applications. The tools come in silicon carbide and aluminum oxide, in grit sizes 60 to 320.
Osborn International, a unit of Jason Inc.
Ph: (216) 361-1900 Ext. 201
Creep Feed and HEDGE Grinding
Macro modular CNC grinders are designed for creep feed and HEDG grinding applications. The designs eliminate surface grinder features. Three linear motions are performed with the wheel head, which results in optimum layouts for four and five-axis applications. It is also the base for index table machines, which allows loading internal to the cycle. Siemens 840D is the standard control on the unit. Machines can have from three to 12 axes and direct-drive spindles are available from 3000 to 16,000 rpm and 15–50 hp (11.25–37.5 kW).
Micron Machine Tools Inc.
Ph: (413) 732-0681
Superabrasive Wheels Cut Cost
Univel G-Force patented hybrid polyimide superabrasive grinding wheels improve the performance through a grain-locking mechanism and a self-dressing wear-resistant bond. Operation has shown the wheels can reduce total grinding by 30%. They require less reconditioning than current generation superabrasive products and wheel profiles can be regenerated on the machine by using a 12,000-rpm Max TORQ-BPR dressing system that eliminates the need for stick dressing or dressing with a diamond roll after being profiles.
Ph: (508) 795-5709
Model DC1420HA-C automatic, double-column bandsaw uses a 1 1/4 x 17'8" x 0.042" (31.8 x 5385 x 1.0-mm) blade powered by a 7.5-hp (5.6-kW) motor. It has a cutting capacity of 14" round x 20" flat (356 x 508 mm). The Control Console is located on the front of the saw. Located on the top of the saw, the company's patented Cut Watcher system monitors the cut for squareness to a preset deviation value. Automatic bar-feed has a 0–24" (610-mm) feed stroke capable of multiple indexes.
HE&M Saw Inc.
Ph: (918) 825-4821
This article was first published in the August 2006 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.