New Centerless Grinder Keeps Shop Moving Forward
When Grind All Inc. realized some of its equipment was out of date, it contacted Total Grinding Solutions about a new centerless grinder in in order to meet AS 9100C regulations.
Since attaining ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2011, the family-owned Brunswick, Ohio-based Grind All Inc. has been applying time and resources toward meeting its ongoing quality goals. During an evaluation process, it came to light that some of its equipment was out of date. That’s when President Henry Matousek Jr. turned to Total Grinding Solutions (TGS).
Over the course of Grind All’s almost 45 years, its customer base has grown to include the aerospace and defense industries. That’s why AS 9100C certification was the logical move for the company since it’s the global standard for quality assurance in the aircraft, space and defense industries. This, along with its ISO 9001:2008 certification and ITAR registration, would make Grind All qualified to offer a complete range of services.
Founded in 1972 by Hank Matousek Sr. as a one-man shop with one used Brown & Sharpe universal grinder in a Central Ohio basement, Grind All has expanded to 52 employees and 45 machines that include precision hones, centerless grinders, internal grinders, cylindrical external grinders, surface grinders and flat lapping systems. Attaining an additional AS 9100C certification was part of that growth.
Obtaining AS 9100C certification wasn’t easy, however. Critical factors are the processes, characteristics, parts and software that have a significant effect on product realization and on the use of the product. Grind All began by evaluating its inventory of centerless grinders, OD grinders, ID grinders, surface grinders, honing machines and flat lapping machines, but it became clear that the company’s Cincinnati 220-8 centerless infeed grinder, involved in making a whole host of parts, was antiquated. Although successfully maintained over the years, it did not provide the reliability and precision required by AS 9100C regulations.
Grind All considered either patching up the Cincinnati or finding an outside source for centerless grinding work, but neither option was economically acceptable. That’s when the company approached TGS.
With a combined 75 years of grinding experience, TGS’ President Dan Geddes and company partner Joe Giacalone developed the TGS machine with a goal to design and build a centerless grinder that would be precise and boast technological innovations. Mr. Geddes and Mr. Giacalone, the founders of TGS, knew the key was to engineer this machine with the latest features, but to sell it at a moderate cost. What resulted was the TGS-CL-6020, which is a centerless grinder that accommodates both through-feed grinding and in-feed grinding with a min-max diameter of 3 mm to 120 mm.
“We applied our hands-on grinding experience with our in-depth knowledge of grinders and set out to design a quality centerless grinder that could handle even the highest volume production runs with extreme accuracy and consistency,” Mr. Giacalone says.
Mr. Geddes says, “We were looking to produce a more economical, more precision-based solution. We know what works, and we were determined to ‘build a better mousetrap.’”
Grind All compared several offerings, but TGS’s CL-6020 stood out because its flexibility accommodates requirements that the machine run a variety of parts and, most likely, two or three different parts and materials per day. The controls on the CNC centerless grinding machine had to be user friendly to minimize training time and shorten the learning curve. Price was a consideration for Grind All, and fortunately the TGS-CL-6020 had been priced to meet the needs of the middle market, whose options previously were low-cost, basic machines or expensive, high-end machines. After a series of test grinds, analyses and consultations, the TGS-CL-6020 was thought to be the best choice.
The process went through several iterations, with the TGS-CL-6020 CNC centerless grinder ultimately launching at an open house in August 2014 at the company’s Warren, Michigan, headquarters. There, Mr. Matousek and his team saw the machine for the first time and appreciated the grinder’s modern design, but were especially pleased to learn that the tooling from the Cincinnati centerless could cross over to the TGS-CL-6020. This meant additional time and finances weren’t necessary.
To further accommodate the AS 9100C criteria for certification, TGS modified the machine controls to mimic what was already in place at Grind All. “The machine’s FANUC controls are great. They’ve always been great. It’s nice to be able to call TGS or FANUC for assistance rather than being tied in to some company’s proprietary software,” Mr. Matousek says. “The TGS is everything we would want in a machine. Once our new centerless got going, it has proven itself as a solid machine that will carry us into the future. It will be around for a long time.”
For more information from Grind All Inc., call 330-220-1600 or 800-514-9421or visit grindall.com.
For more information from Total Grinding Solutions, call 586-541-5300 or visit totalgrindingsolutions.com.