Making the step up from manual or hydraulic grinders to CNC can be a scary proposition. How do you operate it? How do you program it? How do you make it productive?
The people at Shigiya (USA) Ltd. (Vernon Hills, Illinois) think they have an answer, at least for cylindrical grinding, in the new GPS series of CNC machines. With 12- or 16-inch swings, and 24- or 40-inch between center capacity, the machines are sized to handle the most common grinding requirements. But equally important, they are designed to offer an ease of operation that makes CNC technology accessible to a wider range of users. According to the builder, the aim of the new line is to provide "the capability to handle multi-diameter and complex shaped parts with consistent results."
Much of that capability is due to Shigiya's original conversational programming software, resident in the Fanuc CNC, that simplifies even complex grinding operations. The software lets operators create part programs through a "memory teach" method. For example, to grind a shaft, the operator simply moves the wheel to the beginning and ending grinding positions and records those points in memory. The conversational program then determines the proper grinding pattern (plunge, oscillate and traverse) and grinding parameters, as well as dressing frequency. The operator can then use those parameters as selected, or edit them if desired.
The standard wheel size on the grinders is 16 inches by two inches, but it can use wheels up to three inches wide. The spindle is supported by hydrodynamic bearings and driven by a seven-horsepower motor. Or, an optional package delivers 10 horsepower to 20-inch by four-inch wheels.
The grinders offer a number of standard features including a swivel table to allow conventional taper grinding of up to eleven, nine, or seven degrees, depending on the center distance from the machine. Also, the tailstock has a fine taper adjustment for ease of setup, and an automatic flagging feature helps locate shoulders or the workpiece position. Other standard features include hydraulic tank and pump, coolant tank and pump, and live and dead workhead. Also important to new users, Shigiya says that they will offer unlimited training to help make the most with the machine.