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Manufacturers of large gears for wind power and other industries strive to minimize part-production time while optimizing surface finishes. New profile grinding technology from Gleason, called Opti-Grind, is said to significantly improve productivity and quality levels for cylindrical gears as large as 6 meters in diameter. It does this by using multiple parallel wheels simultaneously for profile grinding instead of just a single grinding wheel that is typically used.
The Opti-Grind option is available on new profile grinding machines ranging from the company’s P 400 G model its P 6000 G. When optimum productivity is required, the Opti-Grind system can be as much as 40 percent faster using the multiple wheels to rough-grind four tooth flanks simultaneously compared to a single wheel roughing only two tooth flanks at once. The system can then finish-grind conventionally using a single wheel that has been dressed to produce the desired surface finishes and flank modifications (including grinding of the critical root area without burning). It is said to provide three times better surface finish than conventional processes with the potential to eliminate subsequent processes such as polishing or super finishing.
Gleason’s Windows-based Intelligent Dialogue software is used in conjunction with a Siemens 840D CNC to simplify setup and operation. A grinding technology database recommends and optimizes the production strategy before machining starts, enabling even less experienced operators to manufacture high-quality parts more productively, the company says.