UNITED GRINDING Launches Five New Machines
By Sarah A. Webster
Editor in Chief
THUN, SWITZERLAND – Nearly 2,000 manufacturing professionals from more than 40 countries gathered in this scenic lake city, with commanding views of the Bernese Alps, for the third Grinding Symposium of the UNITED GRINDING Group, the world leader in advanced grinding technologies.
Previously known as Körber Schleifring, the company recently rebranded itself as UNITED GRINDING Group, with the tagline Körber Solutions, in the fall of 2013, part of a strategy to reorient the global marketing of its eight brands, which includes MÄGERLE, BLOHM and JUNG for surface and profile grinding; STUDER, SCHAUDT and MIKROSA for cylindrical grinding; and WALTER and EWAG for tool grinding.
During a packed press conference in an auditorium at the Thun Expo, Stephan Nell, CEO of UNITED GRINDING Group, painted a glowing picture of the company’s financial performance and laid out an exciting vision for the Group’s future – celebrating the launch of five all-new or updated advanced machines at the symposium.
What’s more, Nell said the company will expand on its leadership in grinding by strategically adding other non-grinding processes to its machines and portfolio in the future, part of its focus to offer more efficient, smart production solutions to its customers. Nell said the company was open to adding these technologies through acquisition in addition to its own development.
“In the past, the main priority was optimal design of the grinding process,” he said. But given the extreme precision of today’s machines, innovation is now coming in other areas. For example, the company now offers a MÄGERLE machine that Nell said “is in principle no longer a grinding machine, but a grinding-machining center, which can also mill, turn and drill. … This results in real leaps in productivity.”
This approach toward smart multifunction machines should help keep the UNITED GRINDING Group on a path toward continued success.
Nell said 2013 was the second most successful in the Group’s history, with a turnover of more than 500 million euros. That success was driven by the company’s business, which is diversified globally and by industry. While 24% of the Group’s orders are from Germany, 23% are from the US, 18% are from Western Europe and 17% are from China, with the balance coming from other regions. Automotive and tooling business makes up nearly half of those orders, with the rest split among the aerospace, energy, tool and die making, precision mechanics and other industries.
The company is also putting a renewed focus on its customer service and is doing a customer service satisfaction survey for its eight brands in an effort to improve. UNITED GRINDING already provides support with more than 50 expert help lines and more than 250 service technicians worldwide. In all, the company has 2,200 employees, 450 of which are employed in its customer care operations.
Technical prowess is the core ingredient in UNITED GRINDING’s success and the company showed off five new machines at the event:
- BLOHM Prokos XT, a multi-axis grinding center for fast stroke grinding of complex workpieces that expands on its predecessor, the Prokos. This new machine also does drilling and milling and offers a tool changer with 24 positions that offers shorter changeover times.
- STUDER S141, a new universal internal cylindrical grinding machine that offers the ability to internally grind longer workpieces, such as spindle or rotor shafts or other workpieces common to the machine tool and aerospace industry, among others. The maximum internal grinding length is 250 mm while the external length is 150 mm
- EWAG Laser Line Ultra, a multi-axis ultra short-pulse laser machine that is aimed at encompassing the tool machining market as more companies move to super hard diamond tools where conventional grinding and eroding have limitations. The use of diamond tools is growing as more industries move toward lightweight materials such as carbon fiber (CFRP) as well as special aluminum alloys. The Laser Line Ultra features a 50W high-power picosecond laser fully integrated into the machine and software. The entire system only requires a mounting area of 5 m2, making it the most compact high-end laser production center for super-hard tools.
- SCHAUDT CrankGrind, a crankshaft grinding machine for high speed grinding of crankshaft main and pin bearings. It is equipped with a dual cross slide that enables synchronous machining of adjacent main and pin bearings with two wheels with a minimum grinding wheel distance of 15 mm. The machining time is said to be significantly reduced, while the grinding quality is improved.
- JUNG JE600, a modern surface and profile grinding machine for the highest precision and surface quality. This first machine in a new J generation offers a host of potential applications - from individual component production through to small batch production in all industries. Designed for a grinding range of 300 x 600 mm, the JE600 realizes its full potential particularly when grinding demanding applications in tool and die making.
To showcase the great care and detail of these machines, STUDER also offered a tour of its lean and clean headquarters and factory in Thun, where employees celebrated the company’s 100th year anniversary in 2012.
As part of the symposium, UNITED GRINDING brought together some of the leading technology experts to talk about their research and trends in grinding – much of which focused on strategies for better and more efficient production results as well as reducing waste of materials and energy. In all, there were 20 sessions over the three days.
There seemed to be agreement among some of those speakers that there is room for innovation in the area of coolant application. For example, Dr. – Ing. MBA Dirk Friedrich of Grindaix GmbH spoke about efficient use of coolants in grinding machines, which helps to reduce energy consumption as well as C02 emissions, not to mention results in better finish of products. ME
Published Date : 5/25/2014