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In Abrasive Machining, Timing May Not Be Everything, But…

By James D. Sawyer Editor in Chief, SME Media

For applications requiring a high degree of accuracy and precision, this pavilion has the advanced technology needed

The Maegerle MFP 51 five-axis grinding center is aimed squarely at the heart of the aerospace industry.

If there is a primary goal for what companies in this sector want to deliver to their customers it is quality. But throughput comes in a fairly close second.

Metrology and machinery have advanced to the point where high-precision products are readily achievable for most manufacturers. This is still a key focus because poor quality does not sustain cash flow. At IMTS 2018, the second financial concern, throughput, also is receiving emphasis because time is indeed money.

“We’ve seen an industry move to more versatile machines that can do more in one clamping” in order to increase throughput, said Larry Marchand, vice president of sales, profile division, United Grinding (Miamisburg, OH). This is a continuation of United Grinding’s theme at the last IMTS, when it placed a special focus on automation. This time around the company’s spotlight will shine on the new Maegerle MFP 51, a five-axis grinding center that, the company said, “sets new standards in terms of flexibility, functionality and equipment features.”

Marchand said the target market for the MFP 51 is the aerospace industry. The complexity of aerospace parts is a big driver of what this grinding center has to offer. Being able to achieve that complexity in one clamping not only saves time but also helps achieve the quality aerospace customers demand.

Measurement operations can be an integral part of the machining sequence. “We have a Renishaw probe (in the MFP 51) so we can check in-cycle progress,” said Marchand. “The probe allows you to make a couple of rough cuts and then measure” to see how much more needs to be done.

More flexibility comes from being able to simultaneously or individually exchange grinding wheels and diamond dressing rolls with a double gripper during the individual machining steps. Through-tool coolant delivery is also featured. In addition, the MFP 51 comes with a standard 66-position integrated tool changer. The magazine aids flexibility by being able to carry various grinding wheels, diamond rolls, measuring probes and tools for drilling and milling operations.

“This truly allows you to grind with virtually any abrasive option out there,” said Marchand.

Diamond Wheel Development

Norton Xtrimium Dual-Worm wheels feature a design with a vitrified bond section for grinding and a fine-grit resin section for polishing gear teeth.

And those options are growing to meet the needs of manufacturers. “We understand the new challenges our customers are facing, whether due to the development of new, harder-to-grind materials, tighter finishing specifications or a move towards more automated and controlled manufacturing processes. To address these needs, we continually develop custom solutions that improve the performance of grinding processes,” said Will Lang, technical business development manager, Norton | Saint-Gobain (Worcester, MA).

“As an example,” he added, “we continue to invest in our Norton Winter Paradigm diamond wheels, mostly used today in cutting tool manufacturing. Based on similarity of properties, we believe these wheels could also perform grinding operations on difficult-to-grind engineered alloys and composites, such as gamma titanium aluminide and ceramic-matrix-composites, found in the next generations of aerospace engine components.

“Further, we partner with our customers to help them optimize their overall processes beyond the use of our abrasives wheels. We put our Process Solutions Program (PSP) to work to analyze a specific grinding operation and deliver recommendations for improved cost, quality, productivity, and safety.”

In addition to its Winter Paradigm offerings, the Norton | Saint-Gobain Abrasives booth will showcase new abrasive solutions, including Norton Winter Vitron7 and the Norton Xtrimium platform.

Norton Winter Vitron7 is the next generation of vitrified cBN wheels. When combined with the proprietary CarbonForce core made of carbon fibers, the vitrified cBN wheels are exceptionally lightweight, resulting in improved grinding performance and maximum operator safety when mounting and during changeover.

The Norton Xtrimium platform features a comprehensive range of gear-grinding wheels designed to provide higher profile accuracy, excellent form holding and burn-free grinding in worm, profile and bevel gear applications. The Xtrimium Dual Worm Wheel enables two operations in one grinding wheel, saving time and cost.

Giving Burrs the Shaft

Unlike grinding, deburring doesn’t draw a lot of notice. It is one of the basic procedures like drilling, which often is what generates the need for deburring. But there is still ingenious technology involved in the procedure.

Top left and right: A single-hemisphere Orbitool before and after deburring a 90° cross drilling intersection; bottom left and right: A double Orbitool before and after deburring a four-way cross drilling intersection.

The Orbitool from J.W. Done Corp. (Hayward. CA) is just such a technology. It is aimed at removing burrs left by cross-drilling operations. Whereas most methods of deburring require taking a workpiece off-line (and sometimes to a third-party processor), with the Orbitool the piece can be left in the setup in which it was drilled. According to the company, the tool removes burrs specifically from the intersection of the crossholes. The operation can be tailored to leave a minimally broken edge or a blended radius.

“Generally speaking,” said Stanley Kroll, J.W. Done partner and general manager, “the Orbitool can be used in anything that can spin the tool at the required rpm. In other words, the tool can be used manually or on a CNC machine. For manual use, the tool needs to spin in the range of 5000 to 15,000 rpm, so a variable-speed handheld grinder works best.

“For automated or CNC use, the tool can be run in a VMC or HMC mill, most of which will have the interpolation capability needed for the Orbitool,” Kroll continued. “Our required toolpath is a helical interpolation spiral. This is essentially identical to a thread-milling routine, which is commonly available as a canned cycle in most modern CNC mills.” The tools can also be used in a CNC lathe if the lathe has live tooling and interpolation capability.

An Orbitool consists of one or two hemispherical carbide cutters with a stainless steel disc that guides the tool along the wall of the hole. This arrangement attaches to whatever power source is being used (VMC, HMC, etc.) via a flexible drive shaft made of tool steel. There are standard sizes for the length of the driveshaft and the size of the cutter. Custom sizes are also available.

“One of the primary advantages of Orbitool,” said Kroll, “which was not possible with most other deburring tools before it, is the ability to deburr nearly any cross-drilled intersection. We are not limited to 90° intersections. The tool works best around cross-drilled intersections ranging from 60° to 90°, but we’ve had many customers over the years using it on 45° and 30° intersections as well.”

Grinding Triple Header

Of the 15 machines JTEKT Toyoda Americas Corp. (Arlington Heights, IL) will feature in its booth, six are new and three of these are grinding machines. Two of the grinding machines are from the company’s GL4i line.

JTEKT Toyoda Americas will feature two new GL4i Switch universal grinding machines in its booth.

The GL4i-50 Switch is a universal grinding machine with a manually adjustable wheelhead for straight and angular applications. It has a 45° swivel increment that allows flexible grinding of smaller diameter journals. Stabilized grinding from a new, reinforced bed design and a New Toyopuc-Touch control are said to deliver faster cycle times and a reduced chance of burning on face grinds.

The new GL4i-100 Switch is a universal grinding machine with a 400-mm swing. It also features increased part capacity. And like the GL4i-50, it, too, has an adjustable wheelhead for straight and angled configuration.

The third grinding machine, a compact companion to Toyoda’s GS300H, the GS200H is aimed at high-volume production lines. It integrates gear part processes of a lathe, gear skiving and machining center capabilities, allowing for high productivity and flexible machining.

Power-Pack Robots

Quick-change tool systems can help improve throughput, and Suhner Industrial Products (Rome, GA) now provides robot solutions for fully-automated manufacturing. The company’s new tool system offers a number of machine tools that can be mounted directly on a robot arm ready for continuous use.

Suhner says these power-pack machine tools are compatible with robots from all manufacturers, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.

Suhner’s quick-change solutions allow robot-based drilling, grinding, filing, cutting and deburring.

Features include programmable touch forces of the active flange and interactive surface tracking. This allows operations that were previously not suitable for automation to now be automated. Other features include programmable process forces, balanced tolerances (shapes) and reduced programming time and effort for complex parts. Performance and process assurance compared to known systems, such as load cells, can be drastically increased.

Tools are available for brushing, polishing, filing, belt sanding or tool spindles.

A Surprise—And More Robots

ANCA (Wixom, MI) will be unveiling a brand new machine at IMTS, one the company is not willing to discuss just yet. The only hint comes in a release in which ANCA co-founder Pat McCluskey is quoted as saying, “Our team at ANCA have dedicated themselves to designing even better technology solutions so that our industry can continue to evolve.”

ANCA is introducing the AR300 as a low-cost robotic tool-loading solution.

The company’s focus at McCormick Place will not be entirely on the new machine, however. Robots also have been in the forefront of the thoughts of the ANCA team. In part that’s because more than 50% of all the machines the company has sold have an automated loader. It’s also because ANCA has been working on a low-cost solution for tool loading, the AR300, which is aimed at improving productivity.

With a capacity of 380 tools, the three-axis robot can handle tool sizes up to 20-mm Ø x 150-mm long. The loader is contained within the footprint of ANCA’s compact FX5 Linear unit. Besides the automation aspect of the AR300, productivity is also supported by the fact that gripper fingers do not need to be changed between batches.

The AR300 has been designed and is manufactured by ANCA itself.

Other robotic solutions in the ANCA booth will include an FX7 Linear with an optional FANUC robot tool loader and six-station wheel changer, allowing untended capacity for up to 1092 tools.

Partnering Up

Sunnen Products Co. (St. Louis, MO), will have a dual presence in McCormick Place. That’s because the world’s largest vertically integrated manufacturer of honing systems for precision bore sizing and finishing has acquired BTA Heller Inc. As a result, Sunnen and BTA Heller, a provider of primary hole generation, each will have a booth. The combination of companies will be able to offer single-source bore creation and finishing solutions.

The SVL-2115 automatic lapping system is one of the automated systems Sunnen will be unveiling at IMTS.

IMTS 2018 will also serve as the formal premiere of Sunnen’s new series of automated skiving and roller burnishing systems. The SHD series is said to be 60-70% faster than traditional honing and is intended to deliver precise tolerances and high-quality surface finishes. It is claimed that it can finish the inside diameter of hydraulic cylinders (among other applications) in one pass.

Other new automated systems that will be presented are the SVL-2115 automatic lapping system and the SV-30 cylinder hone with step-and-repeat automation.

Getting It Together

Gehring (Farmington Hills, MI), a machine tool builder known for its honing expertise, has found a partner. The German-headquartered supplier of solutions for internal combustion engines is merging with cooperING, a presence in the electromobility space. With locations in Wernigerode, Germany, and Nuvolera, Italy, copperING has extensive experience as a manufacturer of production technology in the field of electrical powertrains.

According to a release from Gehring, the integration of copperING into the Gehring Group will enable customers to receive a wide range of innovative production technologies for their various drive concepts from a single source.

Manufacturing Engineering’s IMTS Abrasive Machining/Sawing/Finishing Pavilion coverage continues in the August Digital Issue. Click here to see more products that will be showcased in this pavilion.


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