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The Walter Helitronic Micro combines a new design with linear motors to achieve 30 percent faster speeds and as much as 50 percent better surface finishes than machines with conventional ball-lead screws, the company says. For this model, the optimal range for high precision production is from 0.02" to 0.50" (0.5 to 12.7 mm) in diameter, though the machine is capable of handling both smaller and larger tools. The machine also features an integrated FANUC robot loader for fast automatic tool changes.
The new machine is based on the company’s Helitronic Vision “big tool” machine, but engineered a new axis layout in order to grind micro tools. Among other changes, the Micro features an X2 axis that automatically moves the tool to center before a grind, thereby achieving better accuracy on ballnose forms. The machine has a three-spindle grinding head for as many as twelve wheels for enhanced flexibility. The B-axis positions the wheel to grind clearance angles with the same point on the wheel throughout the grind.
When Grinding Is Like Turning
This shop leverages a high-speed peel-grinding process that resembles turning to effectively grind challenging materials such as carbide. Inherently low grinding forces mean high material-removal rates are possible.