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Lessons in Grinding

A two-day event at United Grinding’s headquarters highlighted a range of new grinding strategies and approaches for many of today’s challenging applications.

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This photo taken of the Blohm Profimat MT608 creep-feed grinding machine at the event seems dark, but that was appropriate ambiance giving the “universe of grinding” theme. In fact, the event featured a speech from Story Musgrave, NASA astronaut that was part of the team that repaired the Hubble telescope in 1993, who noted how the strategies and solutions required to carry out such a repair mirror those needed by today’s advanced manufacturers.
 

Last week, I attended the United Grinding Universe event at the company’s headquarters in Miamisburg, Ohio, where 400+ attendees were presented with new technologies and strategies for challenging ID/OD, match, centerless, radius, universal and creep-feed grinding applications. The event featured 11 machine demonstrations/presentations on the company’s showroom for its Studer, Blohm, Walter and Ewag brands and additional presentations in its training rooms.

One of the showroom presentations featured the new Studer S151 universal internal cylindrical grinding machine for large-diameter components. This machine line offers a swing above table of 21.6 inches and is available in versions that can accept part lengths of 27.5 inches or 51.1 inches. It features the company’s StuderGuide technology that has a hybrid guideway design incorporating the advantages of both hydrostatic and hydrodynamic guides. When combined with precision drives, 0.1-micron resolution accuracy is possible.

Another demonstrated the advantages of continuous-dress, creep-feed grinding for difficult new materials using the Blohm Profimat MT608. Compared to typical reciprocal grinding operations that take light, fast cuts, creep-feed grinding takes deeper cuts with a slow feed motion. Benefits include increased accuracy and form holding capability, less thermal damage, higher material removal rates, burr reduction and ability to machine heat-treated alloys. Constant in-feed of the diamond dressing roll into the wheel enables the wheel to maintain its form and sharpness throughout the operation.

Still another highlighted the advantages of gaging for match-grinding components such as plungers. This station featured a Studer S110 internal grinding machine with programmable B axis and compact Studer S11cylindrical grinding machine with integrated automation. (The latter, which I saw unveiled last year, is highlighted in this blog post.) Combining machines and measurement feedback in such a way offers a more productive, automated alternative to conventional match grinding approach that typically called for ID grinding of one of the components, inspection and sorting, OD grinding of the mating components, and then size adjustment to match or pair with ID-ground parts. 

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