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United Grinding - The Grind Magazine - August 2015 Issue


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United Grinding - The Grind Magazine - August 2015 Issue - featuring articles regarding CNC Grinding.

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United Grinding - The Grind Magazine - August 2015 Issue

  1. 1. grinding universeFEATURE also in this issue . . . GROUNDBREAKING FOR EXPANSION page 4 GRINDING CONTINUES TO FLY IN AEROSPACE page 55 EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE For Greater Production and Profitability page 3 LESSONS LEARNED FROM SPACE, Hubble Space Telescope Repair Mission, Page 30 ADVANCED SPINDLE TECHNOLOGY Tackles ID Grinding, Page 46 REBUILD AND RETROFIT: Key Life Cycle Options for Grinding Machines, Page 22 ID GRINDERS END SHOP’S PART TOLERANCE NIGHTMARES, Page 16
  2. 2. 3 DIRECTOR’S CUT 4 GRINDING IN MOTION 5 CAREER TRACK 20 A GLIMPSE INTO 34 OPTIMIZE 40 DIGITAL DIGEST 48 IN THE ZONE 55 LAST THOUGHT D E P A R T M E N T S page36 F E A T U R E S 6 Welcome to The UNITED GRINDING Universe Where today’s advanced grinding frontier boosts tomorrow’s productivity. 12 Shop Grinds Precision Parts for Land, Sky and Space MÄGERLE machines help shop profile grind critical parts for NASA. 16 ID Grinders End Shop's Part Tolerance Nightmares STUDER helps global valve manufacturer reduce scrap and speed up operation. 22 Rebuild and Retrofit: Key Life Cycle Options for Grinding Machines Two ways to refresh production capacity in older grinding equipment. 26 BLOHM Grinder Installed at the AMRC BLOHM machine assists in advanced machining research for aerospace sector. 30 10 Lessons, 1 Story NASA astronaut relates Hubble Space Telescope repair mission to manufacturing. 36 CNC Grinding Launches Shop's Aerospace and Defense Work STUDER machine helps shop regain full control of its grinding operations. 42 Shop Combines Automated Grinding and Swiss-Style Turning STUDER helps shop establish niche in high-volume precision parts production. 46 Advanced Spindle Technology Tackles ID Grinding High-speed spindle capacity and wheel size key to ID grinding success. 52 Importance for Proper Filtration and Temperature Control in Grinding Modern metalworking filtration systems take a lot of heat these days. page 30 page 46 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 1
  3. 3. 2 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 United Grinding North America, Inc. 510 Earl Blvd. Miamisburg, OH 45342, USA Tel +1-937-859-1975 Fax +1-937-859-1115 Fredericksburg Branch Office 5160 Lad Land Drive Fredericksburg, VA 22407, USA Tel +1-540-898-3700 Fax +1-540-898-6819 United Grinding Mexico S.A. de C.V. Blvd. Bernardo Quintana No. 7001 Of. 1003 Querétaro, Qro. 76079, Mexico Tel +52-1-555-509-7739 CYLINDRICAL Hans Ueltschi Vice President, Sales 510 Earl Blvd. Miamisburg, OH 45342, USA Tel +1-937-859-1975 Fax +1-937-859-1115 TOOL Markus Stolmar Vice President, Sales 5160 Lad Land Drive Fredericksburg, VA 22407, USA Tel +1-540-898-3700 Fax +1-540-898-6819 SURFACE & PROFILE Larry Marchand Vice President, Sales 510 Earl Blvd. Miamisburg, OH 45342, USA Tel +1-937-859-1975 Fax +1-937-859-1115 CUSTOMER CARE Joseph Szenay Vice President, Customer Care 510 Earl Blvd. Miamisburg, OH 45342, USA Tel +1-937-847-1234 Fax +1-937-859-6915 the GRIND Publisher Ted Neckel Director of Corporate Marketing Tel +1-937-847-1229 Layout & Design dgs Marketing Engineers © 2015. All Rights Reserved. UNITED GRINDING Group International United Grinding (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. 1128, Tai Shun Road Anting Town Jiading District Shanghai 201814, China Tel +86-21-3958-7333 Fax +86-21-3958-7338 United Grinding (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Beijing Branch Office Room 202, Building 18 Tower B, Universal Business Park No.10 Jiuxianqiao Road Chaoyang District Beijing 100015, China Tel +86-10-8526-1040 Fax +86-10-6500-6579 United Grinding (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Chongqing Branch Office 15-11 Building 4, No.18 Jinshan Road, Longxi Street, Yubei District, Chongqing 401147, China Tel +86-23-6370-3600 Fax +86-23-6374-1055 United Grinding (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Guangzhou Branch Office Room 2003, 20/F Center Plaza Tower B 161 Linhexi Road Tianhe District Guangzhou 510620, China Tel +86-20-3862-1241 Fax +86-20-3862-1270 United Grinding GmbH India Branch Office No. 487 - D1 & D2A 4th Phase, KIADB Main Road Peenya Industrial Area Bangalore 560058, India Tel +91-80-415-54-601 Fax +91-80-415-54-603 United Grinding GmbH Moscow Office Puschkinskaja nabereschnaja, 8-a 119334 Moscow, Russia Tel +7-495-956-93-57 Fax +495-956-93-59 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 3 Explore The Universe FOR GREATER PRODUCTION AND PROFITABILITY D I R E C T O R’ S C U T Ted Neckel Director of Corporate Marketing, United Grinding North America, Inc. “The mindset of advancement and discovery is also true in business. Each of us is on a mission every day to find new and better ways of improving production and profitability.” I recently watched a video on the Hubble Space Telescope, one of the largest and most versatile space telescopes ever launched into Earth’s orbit. This video answered many important questions, including one of the most basic: why do we put telescopes into space? Space-based observation is an important tool for research and knowledge advancement. It’s crucial for providing images and data unattainable by ground-based telescopes and fulfilling our instinctive curiosity to discover something new. It occurred to me as I watched this video that the mindset of advancement and discovery is also true in business. Each of us is on a mission every day to find new and better ways of improving production and profitability. When you call on UNITED GRINDING with a challenge, we have the opportunity to place our “telescope” amongst the brightest stars in the industry to help you. In a sense, each one of the UNITED GRINDING brands is another resource we can call upon to determine the best solution to meet your specific need. During The UNITED GRINDING Universe Event, all of these brands, along with a myriad of industry experts that we have aligned with to support you, will be together under one roof. This event gives you a fantastic opportunity to speak directly with industry experts, see 11 different machine demonstrations and enhance your knowledge of grinding during the 17 educational presentations. You can present your drawings and ideas to a think tank of experts to discover the best solution for your application, and network with the most dedicated people in the grinding industry. Plus, we know you’ll enjoy hearing from Story Musgrave, a physician and retired NASA astronaut, who will, at a special evening event, share his belief that dedication is the key to success. By joining us at The UNITED GRINDING Universe Event, you have proven that you are dedicated to investing in your company and to finding new technologies and solutions. We vow to provide you with that same intense dedication and to utilize our resources to help you increase your competitive advantage in the marketplace. Specialist for CNC rotary tables General importer for North America Rotec Tools Ltd. 5 Schuman Road, Millwood, NY 10546 Phone: (914) 941-7311 Fax: (914) 941-0226 Email: Wanted: local representatives New generation 500: • Modular design: 4 basic modules – over 170 variations • Up to 111 min-1 – clamp and release quickly – short cycle time • High degree of accuracy: concentricity, geometry and positioning • Compact and rigid construction – high spindle clamping torque • Fully impervious to IP67 as standard – IP68 optional (waterproof in bath) • Large workpiece clamp range • Competitive prices Rotec Tools Ltd.
  4. 4. technical school or degreed program at a community college or engineering school. It should be noted that 50 percent of STEM-related jobs do not require a four-year degree, but a certificate or two-year associate degree, according to a Brookings Institution report. That is why young people need to consider all their educational opportunities. By starting with an associate degree, the overall cost of an education is much lower, and students can then earn a four-year engineering degree while earning a living. There are no quantifiable numbers on whether the push for STEM education and emphasis on careers in manufacturing are working. The research only goes back a few years, and it will take more time to see if the number of young people going into manufacturing and engineering programs increases. We certainly have seen many school systems launching or improving their STEM programs. A great way for young people to see where a STEM education can take them is Manufacturing Day — an outreach initiative where manufacturers invite young people and the community to come in and learn about manufacturing. This allows those young people to interact with industry professionals and learn about today’s manufacturing sector as well as applicable career opportunities. Learn More: 4 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 5 On April 29, 2015, Walter s.r.o. held a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of their production site in Kuřim, Czech Republic, a project involving an investment of $6.5 billion (6 billion euros). To enable additional growth, the assembly area will be expanded by 21,500 square feet (2,000 m²) and a new 7,000 square feet (650 m²) shipping hall will be built. In celebratory speeches, Drago Sukalovský, mayor of Kuřim, Jürgen Schock, Walter Maschinenbau GmbH CEO, and Michael Horn, United Grinding Group AG COO, praised the commitment of the enterprise in the Kuřim region, a traditional center of mechanical engineering. As a production company for Walter Maschinenbau GmbH, the local entity Walter s.r.o. is part of the United Grinding Group AG. In their speeches, Franz Dettling, managing director at Walter s.r.o. and the responsible architect, Daniel Makovský, emphasized the production related advantages of the new building. In addition to the expanded area, a structured floor space concept for an optimized value-added chain is key to the entire concept. Walter s.r.o. had already invested approximately $8.7 billion (8 billion euros) in 2014 to expand the machining department by a new pallet automation system and to acquire new machining centers. At the Kuřim site, this expansion also included modern offices and a larger cafeteria. Kuřim has been building machines for Walter Maschinenbau GmbH in Tübingen, Germany since 1996. Initially, the focus was on the production of WALTER tool-grinding machines; however, this was quickly expanded by Kuřim’s own range of CNC measuring machines. With the integration into the United Grinding Group AG of Körber AG holding with annual sales of more than $2.4 billion (2 billion euros,) further machines from the United Grinding Group AG’s grinding portfolio complement the range. CAREER TRACK Future Skilled Labor Stems From a Good Educational Foundation Due to general economic growth and expansion, and baby boomers retiring left and right, U.S. manufacturing continues to desperately need more skilled workers. In 2012, The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte LLP released a well-publicized study that estimated about 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs were going unfilled. Although that job number is down to about 300,000 on a monthly basis, a new 2015 study suggests that by 2025, the number could be as high as 2 million. Of the 3.4 million manufacturing jobs likely to be needed over the next decade, only 1.4 million are expected to be filled as a result of the skills gap. The AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology is working hard to build the workforce that will combat this problem. In addition to working on policy in Washington, D.C., AMT lobbies at the state level and in local communities to encourage more young people to seek careers in manufacturing. This includes extensive collaborative efforts with national organizations, middle and high schools, career and technical schools, community colleges and engineering schools to bring as much awareness as possible to careers in manufacturing. One well-promoted step is to get students, parents and teachers interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and, hopefully, in manufacturing. AMT provides information on how students can receive the right education for a career in manufacturing, as well as where to get that education, whether they seek a certificate from a Greg Jones Vice President of Smartforce Development, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology WALTER MASCHINENBAU GMBH HOLDS GROUNDBREAKING FOR EXPANSION of its production site in Kuřim, Czech Republic
  5. 5. STATION SUBJECT 09:00 09:45 10:00 10:15 10:45 11:30 12:30 1:00 1:15 1:30 2:15 2:45 3:00 3:15 4:00 1 STUDER: “Small Footprint - Big Results” Match Grinding with the perfect machine pair. 2 STUDER: Cylindrical Grinding to the highest accuracy for many industries. 3 . 4 STUDER: Radius Grinding of Complex Workpieces 5 STUDER: Precision and Passion for ID Grinding of Parts with a Large Diameter. 6 7 with the Key to Measurement Technology. 8 EWAG: Progressive Thinking in an Environment that requires Out of the Box Solutions LUNCH BREAK 9 “Free Parts” - Utilizing Automation and Software to Maximize Lights Out Manufacturing 10 11 BLOHM: Continuous Dress Creep Feed Grinding. “Mastering the Materials of Tomorrow”. 12 The Grinding Doc: How to Overcome Grinding Errors and Achieve Maximum Results. 13 14 MARPOSS: In-Process Measurement for Your Internal Grinding Applications. 15 NORTON: Precision Grinding faster than Machining 16 EBBCO: Non Standard Backwash Systems 17 MIKROSA: The Guide to Centerless Grinding Presentation Schedule Main Training RoomCustomer Care Training Room Showroom No Presentation NEW! The UNITED GRINDING Universe Event | OVERVIEW AND PRESENTATION SCHEDULE W E L C O M E T O T H E U N I T E D G R I N D I N G See the new STUDER S151 internal cylindrical grinding machine. The S151 has advanced features that make it ideal for grinding spindle shafts, spindle housings, rotor shafts, axes and flange parts. Network with executive team members and brand experts from Europe. Representatives from each of the UNITED GRINDING brands will be on hand to help you find the best grinding strategy for growing and/or optimizing your unique operation. Discuss specific grinding challenges with application engineers. Our experts will answer your questions and show you how new developments in surface and profile, cylindrical and tool grinding can produce precision parts. Check out an advanced automation cell for lights-out manufacturing. This demonstration will show you how the right technology can help you meet increased demand and enhance productivity. The UNITED GRINDING Universe Event is the perfect place to discover new ways to increase your competitive advantage. Throughout the event, you will see the latest grinding technologies, techniques and turnkey solutions, and will experience first-hand how ID/OD, match, creep feed, centerless, radius, universal and other modern grinding techniques can improve productivity and boost part quality. 6 event highlights you do not want to miss. Meet legendary astronaut, Story Musgrave. A NASA astronaut for more than 30 years, Musgrave flew on six spaceflights and was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission. His story and magnetic personality will inspire you to believe that anything is possible. Experience the latest in internal grinding technology. Our innovative internal grinding solutions will be on display so you can see how to best meet your toughest internal grinding challenges. 6 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 7
  6. 6. Peter Beaupre Beaupre is a Key Account Manager for UNITED GRINDING NorthAmerica. Healsohasexperienceas anapplicationsengineer forEWAG,amanufacturing engineer for cutting tool companies, and the owner of a diamond tool manufacturingbusiness. He will uncover new ideas for capitalizing on technology to become more competitive in cutting tool manufacturing in his presentation “Progressive Thinking in an Environment that requires Out-of-the-Box Solutions.” Jeffrey Badger Badger has a Ph.D. as well as extensive experience on the shop floor and working in more than 30 countries. He will present “How to Overcome Grinding Errors and Achieve Maximum Results” where he will discuss methods to eliminate burn in cylindrical grinding, cope with shoulder grinding and the common causes of problems with hitting tight tolerances. Mike Hitchiner Hitchiner is OEM Technology Manager at Norton Abrasives and has 36 years of experience in R&D and technical field development of superabrasives and advanced ceramic abrasives. He will present “Precision Grinding Faster than Machining,” highlighting state-of-the-art ceramic grain and CBN technologies and their applications. He will analyze processes in terms of chip modeling and explain how to exceed stock removal capability and achieve cost benefits over traditional machining operations. 8 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 9 William B. Cram As Regional Sales Manager for UNITED GRINDING North America, Cram has sold 13 STUDER S41 grinding machines since its introduction in 2011 to various manufacturers in aerospace, construction and agricultural industries. In his presentation, “Economical Cylindrical Grinding with Maximum Flexibility,” he will review the features of the machine and how its accuracy benefits customers. Nick Schuetz Schuetz, Regional Sales Manager, UNITED GRINDING North America, has 30 years of grinding experience, including HVOF coating and reliable grinding process and productivity. His presentation, “Cylindrical Grinding to the Highest Accuracy for Many Industries,” will highlight how a STUDER machine is constructed, optimized “grinding processes” and return on investment. Greg Sorge Sorge has been a Regional Sales Manager, UNITED GRINDING North America for nearly five years. He will present “Continuous Dress Creep Feed Grinding: Mastering the Materials of Tomorrow,” which will cover the typical applications and benefits of continuous dress creep feed grinding, including the usual feeds, speeds and material removal rates. It will conclude with a demonstration depicting the attributes of continuous dress creep feed grinding. Markus Stolmar Stolmar, Vice President, Sales Tool Group, UNITED GRINDING North America, has been with the company 15 years. He will present “Driving Profitability with Eroding PCD,” providing an overview of the current status of machining solutions, including grinding, erosion and laser, for the manufacture of tools made from superhard materials such as PCD, CVD and CBN. Douglas Emerson Emerson is Regional Sales Manager at UNITED GRINDING North America and has 30 years of grinding experience in the areas of sales, application and service. His “Small Footprint - Big Results – Match Grinding with the Perfect Machine Pair” presentation will cover the theory of grinding OD and ID ground parts that will then be matched together. He will also detail the machines, process, ancillary equipment and the results. Andrew Osborn Recently named to SME’s 30-under-30 list, Osborn is Product Engineer at UNITED GRINDING North America. His presentation, “Radius Grinding of Complex Workpieces to Best Possible Surface Finish,” will cover how to utilize machine technology for forming complex shapes in the ID of exotic materials with superabrasive wheels, practices that can improve the surface finish, and the wheels to properly execute an internal grinding operation. Phil Wiss Wiss, Regional Sales Manager, UNITED GRINDING North America, will present, “The Art of CNC Profile Dressing.” He will demonstrate the ease of CNC dressing of intricate forms utilizing the GripsProfile 32 software program by uploading a profile, generating a dress simulation, dressing the grinding wheel, confirming the accuracy of the dressed form and modifying the grinding wheel to an alternative profile. Frank Powell Powell, Product Manager, Grinder Products, has 34 years at Marposs Corp. He started as a service engineer specializing in grinder applications and has worked on a development team for autonomous manufacturing for an automotive OEM. Powell’s presentation, “In-Process Measurement for Your Internal Grinding Applications,” will explain how the application of in-process gauging can benefit a process and the considerations required on an internal grinder application. Fred Poppe Poppe is Process Filtration Product Manager for Ebbco, Inc. He is well known for his practical, down-to- earth explanations of complex grinding topics and will present on “Non Standard Backwash Systems.” He will discuss the benefits of clean, chilled grinding fluids and what they can do for production, tool life, part finish and carbide reclamation. He will also highlight the benefits of backwash central systems serving up to 20 machines. Brian Jackson As Cylindrical Applications Engineer for UNITED GRINDING North America, Jackson has been working with STUDER grinding machines for more than 17 years. In his presentation, “Utilizing Software to Obtain Precision and Efficiency,”he will provide an overview on how StuderGRIND software can help program machines with proven technologies that can reduce cycle time, simulate machine movements and produce accurate customer quotations. Otto Kartsen Otto is Technical Director, Centerless, at SCHAUDT MIKROSA. He will present “Guide to Centerless Grinding,” which provides an overview of past and current machine designs. He will then showcase new machine concepts that will further enhance process possibilities. Stefan Krannitz Krannitz, Application Engineer, UNITED GRINDING North America, has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. His presentation, “Unlocking the Efficiencies of Your Production with the Key to Measurement Technology,” will showcase the measuring machine portfolio of Walter Maschinenbau GmbH and its capabilities. Mike Monnin Monnin is Regional Automation Manager for Acieta and has 30 years of experience in factory automation, including programming, integration and application development. Hewill present“FreeParts–UtilizingAutomationand SoftwaretoMaximizeLightsoutManufacturing.” Hewillshowhowtolowermachineinterrupttimes resultinginproductionefficiencygains,andunder whatconditionsconsistentmachineoperation deliverspredictabledowntimeevents. Michael Rottet Rottet, Product Manager, Internal Grinding, STUDER, has 33 years of experience in the grinding industry and has participated in the development of new grinding machines. Rottet will present “Precision and Passion for ID Grinding of Parts with a Large Diameter,” where attendees will learn about new internal grinding products introduced by STUDER, including some application examples, and the new STUDER S151 and its capabilities. pplication engineers will be available during the more than 16 technology demonstrations to answer questions and discuss how new developments in surface and profile, cylindrical and tool grinding can produce precision parts at the best possible value. Supplementary technical lectures will follow these demonstrations so attendees can further explore the new grinding frontier. The UNITED GRINDING Universe Event | PRESENTERS
  8. 8. Form Grind can grind any shape or profile generated along a surface. Specific parts include turbine blades for aerospace engines, auxiliary power generators and locomotive turbo chargers. For NASA, it profile grinds extremely precise titanium hyperbolic quadrupoles used in space vehicles’ mass spectrometers. The instruments analyze planetary atmospheres, a key task in the Cassini and Maven missions. Established in 1978, Form Grind started out in a leased 4,000-square-foot manufacturing space with two manual crush form grinders. Today, the company is a 42,420-square-foot operation with ISO 9001:2008 certification, including the AS9100 standard set forth by the aerospace industry to satisfy DOD, NASA and FAA quality requirements. Among its keys to success, Form Grind relies on the precision output of more than 20 MÄGERLE surface and profile grinders from UNITED GRINDING and a wide array of support equipment. The company also takes pride in its advanced creep-feed grinding operations, which involves removing large amounts of stock on any material in a single pass, with higher precision and better surface finishes than conventional methods. CNC Technology Form Grind produces turbine blades with tight tolerances and rigid specifications, ranging in size from a few inches to over two feet long. For example, some blades must meet weight tolerances reaching three decimals in grams in addition to strict dimensional requirements. Because turbine engine manufacturers F E A T U R E 12 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 13 orm Grind Corporation, located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, employs precision grinders, innovative processes and experienced staff to process critical parts for customers that include energy-products makers, major aerospace OEMs and NASA. By using the latest CNC grinding technology integrated with engineering, tooling and quality assurance, the company can efficiently take on varying production volumes while maintaining strict customer requirements. In fact, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center recognized Form Grind for its advanced engineering role in the Cassini mission to Saturn and Maven mission to Mars. Form Grind can grind any shape or profile generated along a surface. Specific parts include turbine blades for aerospace engines, auxiliary power generators and locomotive turbo chargers.
  9. 9. 14 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 15 "The beauty with creep feed grinding or profile grinding is that you can grind hardened materials directly to size.” then we’ll do another feature in a separate operation. There is no real clear-cut best way to do things. When you start a job you have to be pragmatic and look at what the goal is, what the volume is and what it potentially could be, and how elaborate your tooling should be to maximize efficiency. It is all about easing cycle time out of the process and achieving the most output.” Shorter cycle times, however, must be achieved while maintaining process security. Intricate casting processes and new workpiece materials have pushed up the cost of rough blade castings, with some valued at $1,000 or more. As a result, much effort goes into establishing and verifying a reliable process. “It is important to have an open structure grinding wheel and speeds, feeds and coolant locations set so that you are removing the material as fast as possible, but also without burning or cracking parts,” Treichler said. “We are very proud that we have less than one tenth of one percent of scrap; OEMs tell us that that when they ship us a set of 100 blade castings, we will send 100 blades back.” Blade dimensions are verified through dual inspection methods. Treichler said Form Grind always submits the parts it grinds to two methods of inspection: “We check first articles in the inspection room where we have a CMM and a 30" optical comparator, then we empower the operators to perform in-process inspection.” At each of the more than 25 different grinders on the shop floor, there is a surface plate where the operator can use hard tooling and different types of go/no go and plug gages that verify certain part features. For final inspection, the CMM holds parts in a free state to check and verify the six point nest dimensional features on the blade. Such overall verification is not possible in-process when a part moves from machine to machine for different operations. “Turbine blades tend to have 100 percent in-process inspection, and in final inspection we do a statistical process sampling,” Treichler said. The Future of Grinding Treichler is a firm believer in the key role of grinding in the production of precision parts, especially of gas turbine components. “A company tries to mill a feature then sends the part out to heat treat and gets distortion. Then they try to fix those distortions,” he said. “Milling can be consistent and accurate, but for features such as fir trees with 0.002" tolerances, the speed and capability of the diamond dresser to dress all those points on a conventional wheel and grind them all at once offers a clear advantage. The beauty with creep feed grinding or profile grinding is that you can grind hardened materials directly to size.” Learn more When two sets of multi-piece fixturing are built for a job, one is always on the machine and the grinder can run continuously. Treichler pointed out that continuous, accurate output is largely dependent on grinding machine capabilities, and noted that the MÄGERLE machines, some with 20" diameter wheels and 100-hp, water-cooled AC spindle drives, run 20 hours a day, six days a week. “To compete in a global environment you must have a really strong piece of equipment that can continuously grind parts,” he said. He added that the grinders’ rigidity and strength also come into play when grinding the tough nickel-base alloys that comprise most gas turbine blades. The complexity and permanence of Form Grind’s custom-fabricated tooling depends on job requirements. Typically, a blade-grinding program of 100,000 blades a year will employ elaborate, high-capacity tooling. Initial tooling costs will be significant, but will be more than recovered over the high-volume run. A blade program that has 500 to 1,000 pieces per year, on the other hand, may use fixtures that hold six to 10 parts as opposed to 20 at a time, and tooling costs will better match the program’s return. Process Strategies Depending on factors such as blade size, workpiece material, and tolerance requirements, Form Grind establishes different grinding processes for different blades. “For some larger blades we might want to creep feed grind and reduce the reciprocation at the end of the process,” Treichler said. “For other blades we may do some creep feed passes and then some reciprocating and final dressing at the very end. There is some tribal knowledge, or black magic if you will, in the art and science of grinding.” Form Grind begins process planning with a team that includes marketing, tool designers, toolmakers and production managers. “We try to see what makes the most sense in terms of the best way to break down a process,” Treichler said. “We will at times break up the operations to where we use certain machines for the fir tree operation continually raise the operating temperatures of their products to reduce emissions and increase efficiency, the blades often feature complex contours and internal coring engineered to manage heat. The acute contours and coring increase the challenges of grinding and fixturing the blades. Form Grind fills a mid-range production niche. Vice president and general manager Gary Treichler said, “Although some blade programs are as large as 100,000 pieces yearly, at the end of the day we are a job shop. Most of our runs are 500 to 1,000 blades at a time.” CNC technology enables the shop to efficiently handle varying volumes. While the shop’s first manual machines required constant skilled attention, today’s CNC equipment permits setting up multiple machines that can be tended by one operator after production runs begin. “We don’t do strictly untended operation, but certainly there are jobs where cycle times may be 10 or 15 minutes and an operator can load and watch multiple machines,” Treichler said. “The CNC equipment basically allows us to work smarter. We’ve had around 50 employees for the last 10 years, and with additional MÄGERLE grinders we have doubled our output over that decade with the same workforce.” Quick job turnover is crucial for Form Grind. The company may set up a job in a day, run it for two to five days, then take it off the machine to make room for the next job. Some jobs repeat on a monthly, quarterly, yearly or even longer basis. Tooling Fabrication Form Grind’s responsiveness and flexibility is due in part to the in-house design and fabrication of its workholding tooling. “We are able to maximize efficiency by loading many parts into holding fixtures,” Treichler said. “We want to maximize efficiency where we get as many parts as close together as possible to get the best bang for the buck.” For smaller blades in 1" to 3" sizes, the shop uses guillotine-type six point nest fixtures that hold 20 blades for an operation. The fixturing is engineered to position the parts so the wheel is not grinding air and operating at shallow depths of cut, maximizing wheel usage.
  10. 10. 16 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 17 ost people have work-related dreams. However, for Ruben Ramirez Jr., the grinding supervisor at HydraForce, Inc., holding tight tolerances on complex parts was a waking nightmare. According to Ramirez, manufacturing consistency and predictability is crucial in meeting the company’s goals of product quality and reliability in its precision valve and manifold manufacturing operations. A typical challenge was grinding the ODs and IDs of hardened-steel valve spool and guide components. Used in valves for agricultural and earth moving equipment, the small, complex parts are at most 12.7 mm in length and usually less than that size in diameter. The parts’ sizes and shapes made them difficult to load and time consuming to accurately grind their ODs on a centerless grinder. Afterwards, the parts would transfer to an ID grinder where they were clamped on the OD for internal grinding operations. Achieving the required concentricity took too much time, and the scrap rate was unacceptable. “We were scrapping on the first operation and then adding to that scrap from the second operation,” explained Ramirez. “Needless to say that trying to hold the specs the way we were processing the parts was extremely challenging.” Today, HydraForce does its primary cylindrical and ID grinding on STUDER machines from UNITED GRINDING. Among the STUDER machines at the company’s Lincolnshire, Illinois, facility are three S30 cylindrical CNC grinders, an S21 cylindrical CNC and two favoritCNC universal grinders. However, most recently, HydraForce added two STUDER ID CNC grinders: a CT450 and a CT550. In both of the machines, workpieces move on the cross slide, while the internal grinding spindles are fixed to the machine base, thus maximizing stability and rigidity. The arrangement also enhances accessibility for workpiece set-ups and changes and facilitates automation. The spindle setup allows for up to three internal grinding spindles to be mounted in a linear configuration and customized for specific applications. The CT450 accommodates workpieces up to 230-mm long and grinding lengths of 150 mm, while the CT550 handles parts up to 650-mm long and grinding lengths up to 150 mm. A 305-mm OD grinding wheel can be mounted on either machine. The modular, flexible arrangement of spindles enables the machines to be optimized for output volumes ranging from individual parts to large-scale production. The grinders also support integrated and autonomous loading systems. F E A T U R E
  11. 11. Ramirez said the CT450 is fitted with OD and ID wheels, enabling OD and face grinding as well as ID operations. The CT550 has two ID spindles and can run three separate internal grinding procedures. “The concentricity or runout from one ID bore to another on consecutive operations is essentially zero. It’s very accurate,” he said, “Which helps us produce load holding valves that have zero leakage.” Ramirez’s grinding challenges were greatly reduced because HydraForce can perform both OD and ID grinding on the same CT450 machine. Previously, when grinding the valve spools and guides, the OD and ID operations consumed about five minutes each per part, not counting the time lost transferring the parts between machines. And again, the need to fixture the parts twice also contributed to increased scrap rates. “Now, on the CT450, we complete parts in a minute and hold 0.0025-mm tolerances on both the IDs and the ODs. And we’ve reduced scrap by about 75 percent,” said Ramirez. HydraForce, founded in 1985 in Lincolnshire, supplies hydraulic components to the mobile equipment industry. The company provides a comprehensive selection of high- quality cartridge valves, manifolds and high-performance electronic controls for tractors, excavators, harvesters, wheel loaders and material handling equipment. HydraForce has manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia and a network of 120 stocking distributors that support customers worldwide. The company employs a group technology approach to product planning, design and manufacturing that utilizes a few basic components to create many different models. The cost-effective engineering strategy enhances manufacturing consistency and product availability. Early in its history, HydraForce sought subcontractors for grinding but no suppliers were able to hold the tight tolerances required by the precision valve components. As a result, about 15 years ago the company began to bring grinding operations in house, including both OD and ID grinding processes. HydraForce runs parts in batches of 500 to 10,000 pieces. Although Ramirez typically prefers to finish an order for one valve before beginning work on the next one, an immediate customer request sometimes requires a run to be interrupted. “Even though we switch back and forth many times and we may make four setups a week on the same STUDER machine, we are still able to hold dimensions,” he said. For HydraForce’s CT450, experts from UNITED GRINDING and robotic integrator Acieta, LLC worked together and provided turnkey automation, and according to Ramirez, the system helps keep the machine constantly running. He added that the automation loads a part in about six seconds, a loading speed of which an operator is incapable. HydraForce plans to also fit its CT550 grinder with a similar turnkey automation system. “We were really impressed with the automation on the CT450, and it made us realize that it is the way to go for the CT550 as well,” commented Ramirez. “It will be a great help if the operator doesn't have to be there the majority of the day. This will free up that operator to run another non-automated machine.” Ramirez emphasized the importance of support from UNITED GRINDING – from the ordering process through the runoffs that prove the machine’s capability to make HydraForce parts, to delivery and setup. “They give us support throughout the life of the machines. We have machines in here that are probably 12 years old, and they still help us out,” said Ramirez. He went on to say that quality drives HydraForce’s manufacturing efforts. “It is on our mission statement to provide our customers with the highest quality part,” he said, and emphasized that the accurate, consistent results from STUDER grinders help the company carry out that mission. Learn more “The concentricity or runout from one ID bore to another on consecutive operations is essentially zero.” “it’s very accurate ... which helps us produce load holding valves that have zero leakage.” 18 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 19
  12. 12. Vieira’s Life Sales Engineer Provides Advice at Work and at Play A G L I M P S E I N T O Since I was a little kid, I have been interested in stars and space. I was hooked the first time I saw Saturn and its rings, then when the Comet Shoemaker Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in 1994. My most powerful telescope works at 480 X magnification, but even my lower power one allows me to see the entire moon. I’m a fan of partial moons because of the nice light and dark contrast. I’m also in the process of grinding my own telescope lens by hand for even higher levels of magnification. Another part of my hobby is astrophotography, which involves taking a series of images over the course of a night. With a little Photoshop, I end up with cool very professional looking photos. A camera is more sensitive than the human eye, and that fact allows me to see the best colors. I’m also a member of the Cincinnati Astronomical Society. We do a lot of outreach stargazing events in public parks for people interested in astronomy. They look through the various types and sizes of telescopes we have set up, and we answer any questions. I guess you could say I not only advise people about the best grinding equipment, but also about the best astronomy equipment. They are both application-driven. It all depends on if the user wants to look at planets, be able to see far away or just take pictures. Everything fits together as a complete package or process, just like a grinding machine. What I enjoy most about UNITED GRINDING is working with the best people in the industry. The amount of know-how within the company is incredible. If someone doesn’t know the answer, they know the right person to ask. Everyone helps until the problem is solved. I also enjoy the challenge of creating unique solutions for my customers’ toughest jobs. oth in my professional life and my personal life, people come to me for advice. At work, I guide customers on how to best maximize a machine or process, and as an amateur astronomer, I help people gaze at the stars. At UNITED GRINDING, I find myself in the newly created position of sales engineer for spare parts in the cylindrical division. I help customers with retrofits and rebuilds, and this position allows me the flexibility to be their single point of contact. When a customer calls about their STUDER machine, I examine the problem from every angle, onsite or remotely. If the customer needs a better solution for processing a part on that machine, I might suggest various gaging, clamping, automatic loading, cycle-time reduction or programming solutions. Or they may want to put a new product line through that machine or need after-sales support to determine the best way to use the machine. And being the single point of contact, I know the entire retrofit kit is going to show up and be right the first time. If needed, I can even go to the site and install the new parts, then train the operators on the retrofit machine. I’ve been with UNITED GRINDING for seven years working as an applications engineer in the cylindrical division and as a service engineer where I repaired machines. Previously, I worked for an OEM machine builder running STUDER machines. Other jobs I’ve had include a machine operator at an aerospace shop and a FANUC integrator building automation cells. I’ve also worked as a hot rod car technician. My father also works for UNITED GRINDING in the applications division. Coming from a family of engineers and machine builders, I have always loved taking things apart and figuring how to put them back together. I’m like the character in the old TV show Star Trek — Lt. Commander “Scotty” Scott, chief engineer, which is also appropriate considering my hobby is astronomy. 20 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 21
  13. 13. 22 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 he productive life cycle of any machine tool is limited. Be it a lathe, mill or grinder, a machine’s accuracy and reliability eventually will deteriorate. How long that takes depends on the machine’s basic structure; how often and hard it is used; and how it is maintained. Shops that carefully track machine utilization find that downtime of 20 percent or more of available machine time — due to unanticipated stoppages, adjustment and maintenance — generally represents an unacceptable burden on scheduling, maintenance operations and profitability. Two key options available to recover grinding production capacity include rebuilding the machine and retrofitting it with selected upgraded technology. Shops can also repurpose existing grinders for work different than their original intent, or replace them with brand new grinders. Rebuild and Retrofit: KeyLifeCycleOptionsforGrindingMachines Rebuild/Overhaul Rebuilding or overhauling a grinding machine involves disassembling it entirely and examining every mechanical, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic system. Components are replaced or repaired where necessary and re-qualified to OEM standards. Every bolt, nut, rivet, hose and pipe gets the same treatment. Newer technologies such as monitoring devices may be added. Other updates can include items such as LED lighting and controls. Except for its basic structure, which is abrasive blasted and repainted, the reassembled machine is essentially brand new. A full rebuild costs about 75 percent as much as a new machine. The typical rebuild cycle might be 15 years; longer if the machine is lightly used and well maintained. But that span is much shorter if the machine runs three shifts a day, every day, with minimal maintenance. Large, specialized grinding machines such as those used in critical aerospace applications are prime candidates for renewal via a comprehensive overhaul. Retrofit Depending on a machine’s overall condition and how it has been used, a possible approach is a partial rebuild that retrofits a machine with newer technology. If a machine’s electrical systems and control are in top shape but the machine has been worked very hard and/or received minimal maintenance, only the mechanical systems may need to be overhauled. This involves a replacement of mechanical elements that are worn out or damaged beyond repair. On the other hand, a machine’s mechanical systems may be in excellent condition, with inspections confirming that axes and accuracy match OEM standards. In that case, an electrical overhaul including replacement of the electrical cabinet, all wiring and the servomotors may be appropriate. The mechanics of the machine and the original enclosure would remain. If a machine’s CNC unit is outdated, a new control will increase operational speed, productivity and convenience. An important consideration is the life cycle of the control itself. Control makers such as FANUC and Siemens typically introduce new control technology about every ten years. So when needing a new control, it may be advantageous to look for a replacement control that is in the early phase of its cycle to benefit from the longer planned lifespan and control maker’s support. F E A T U R E Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 23
  14. 14. Corporate budgeting policies may be a final determining factor in the choice to rebuild or replace a grinding machine. Restrictions on capital spending can make an overhaul, which usually is considered a maintenance expense, the only way to reclaim the production capacity of a worn machine. On the other hand, some companies’ capital spending strategies and allocations promote purchase of new machines. Depreciation, incentives and other tax-related issues can vary in relation to the age of a machine. Advanced grinding machines from UNITED GRINDING are engineered and manufactured to provide many years of trouble-free, accurate and profitable service. Ongoing maintenance, per manufacturer’s recommendations, will further extend service life. And when a machine moves toward the end of its initial life cycle, users have a range of options regarding the best path to continued productivity. Learn more 24 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 25 PRECISION SPEED POWER Grinding Spindle repair and service on all makes and models. Grinding Arbor and accessory sales. Quality and Expertise that only an OEM spindle manufacturer can provide. Over 75 years of excellence at your service. Contact us today to start your FISCHER experience. FISCHER USA, Inc. | Racine WI | | | T 800 333 6173 | F 262 632 6730 O O O O O *Grinding wheel not included percentage of machines being repurposed will continue to grow as the industry continues to move away from long-term contracts for large volumes of identical parts to more flexible and dynamic manufacturing scenarios of rapidly changing part types and volumes. Repurposing a grinding machine typically involves adding features that will enable it to carry out more complex and productive grinding or to work with ancillary systems such as automation. A machine originally built in an open configuration may require the design, fabrication and addition of an enclosure to permit use of high-pressure coolant and advanced technology grinding wheels. Another machine might be repurposed to employ robotic automation by fitting automatic doors with opening/closing drives and laser-based safety systems. A machine without the capability for rotary dressing can be fitted with a rotary dresser and related drives and controls. True reverse engineering is rarely needed, but adding new systems can require re-engineering of hydraulic or pneumatic systems and design and fabrication of new sheet metal components. Replace An obvious alternative to a worn and unreliable grinder is replacing it with a new machine. In many cases, however, the choice between rebuilding and replacing is not so obvious. Cost considerations play a key role in the decision to rebuild or buy new. The 25 percent savings of a rebuild compared with the price of a new machine is much less significant when applied to the price of a new, basic 3-axis production grinder than it is relative to the purchase of a multi-million dollar machine engineered for specialized work. A perfect example of such systems are those that grind aerospace blades and vanes. Lead times are another important factor. The lead time for a new machine’s basic welded or cast iron structure alone can be four to six months, depending on the size of the machine. Adding those months to the time required to construct the rest of the machine results in an eight to fourteen month or longer total lead time — dependent again on the machine’s size, type and brand. The lead time for a rebuild may be only half that of a new machine because the rebuild utilizes the machine’s existing structure. But even that shorter delay can disrupt production excessively. For example, a busy shop with five 3-axis grinders that all perform similar operations will lose significant capacity during the months while a machine is off the floor for a rebuild. Buying a new grinder enables the shop to use the old machine to grind parts without interruption until the replacement is ready to install. A key element of control technology is the human-machine interface, or HMI. A control with a state-of-the-art HMI will incorporate an interactive, question-and-answer procedure that enables an operator who is far from an expert in programming to create productive grinding programs by simply answering questions and entering relevant part, wheel and machine data. Some machines may work well overall but possess outdated subsystems. Many elements of machine technology have changed significantly over the last 15 to 20 years. The feedback systems that locate machine axes are good examples. Machines with older motion encoders that do not feature glass scales must execute a multi-minute homing process to establish the positions of the machine axes each time the machine is turned on. The absolute encoders in glass scale systems, on the other hand, store the position of axes when the machine is shut off or if power fails. This eliminates the need for a homing routine when the machine powers back on. The new encoders also offer resolution 100 times higher than previous measurement methods. Servomotors have improved over recent decades as well, and are perhaps 50 times more accurate than earlier machine motion technology. If a machine has not been updated in 15 to 20 years, adding new and upgraded technologies can extend the next rebuild cycle. For example, retrofitting a ball screw lubricating system that was unavailable on the machine twenty years ago will enable the ball screws to last significantly longer. If the machine’s ongoing workload remains unchanged, the time between rebuilds lengthens significantly. Repurpose In general, approximately 60 percent of overhauled machines return to their facilities to handle basically the same operations and workload they did prior. The remaining machines undergo additional changes intended to repurpose them for upgraded or different tasks. The
  15. 15. PROFIMAT MC 607 5-axis CNC grinding machine manufactured by Blohm Jung GmbH in Germany has been supplied in close cooperation with UK agent, J.R.A. Bennett Ltd, at The University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing. It follows a rigorous tender process that involved evaluating hundreds of parameters and included grinding trials at the machine builder’s factory in Hamburg. The moving-column grinding machine is located within the Design, Prototyping and Testing Center, a major expansion of the original AMRC building within the Advanced Manufacturing Park, which is supported by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and the European Regional Development Fund. The center concentrates on the development of high-value manufacturing technologies mainly for the aerospace, Formula One and high-end automotive sectors. Medical applications will also be developed, as earlier this year a new facility was set up within the center, called Medical AMRC, to concentrate specifically on this industry. One application will be to investigate finish grinding of prosthetics that have been 3D-printed layer-by-layer from cobalt-chrome powder. Knee joints will be a particular target due to their multiple profiled planes. F E A T U R E 26 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 27 Capable of producing highly complex components, the BLOHM PROFIMAT MC is ideal for supporting the center’s aim of looking at how the design process can reduce manufacturing costs long term, particularly by combining different technologies. A highly capable machine is desirable for such an endeavor. The PROFIMAT has features in abundance to assist in research and development programs and in evaluating wheel consumption against metal removal for achieving different levels of accuracy and surface finish. The latest Siemens Solution line 840D control, which includes a BLOHM user interface, can be used to program the machine’s five CNC axes to interpolate simultaneously. BLOHM Grinder Installed at the AMRC
  16. 16. The flow rate and pressure of the coolant are programmed for each application to give the best results. Consistency is achieved by automatically maintaining the same angle between nozzle and wheel as the latter wears. It is achieved by mounting the nozzle on a positioning unit which is programmable in X and Y so that its distance from the wheel and the orientation remain the same. The cleaning jets are mounted just above the coolant nozzle, which is angled directly at the point of grinding. The carriage carrying both sets of nozzles is also adjustable automatically or manually in the Z-axis. Initial grindability trials have already been carried out on Inconel and aerospace grade steels, with more exotic materials destined for evaluation shortly along with the cobalt-chrome alloy for medical applications. Learn more Complicated surfaces may be generated in this way, without using profiled wheels. Alternatively, one or both of the rotary axes on the table can be clamped while the others move simultaneously, a strategy that allows the number of separate machining operations for producing a component to be reduced, often to one. The result is a reduction in manufacturing cost and an increase in accuracy through less tolerance build-up. All wheel dressing options are available on the machine, including continuous, pulse and table dressing, as well as contour generation of grinding wheel profiles. If one of the in-process methods is chosen, one of two diamond dressing rolls can be selected under program control from an overhead, swiveling unit. Flexibility of use extends to the ability to deploy mills, drills and other cutters in addition to grinding wheels, all housed in a 24-position tool magazine to the left of the machine, ready for automatic change into and out of the spindle. Grinding wheels up to a 16-inch diameter by a 4-inch width can be employed. The machine will accommodate all types of wheels, including aluminium oxide, CBN (cubic boron nitride), vitrified CBN and diamond electroplated steel. The compact, 9.3-ton grinder is the next-generation PROFITMAT MC, which offers higher rapid positioning, especially in the Y and Z axes, than its predecessor. Direct drives and larger ball screws have made it possible for the machine to offer feed rates of 98 feet/min in X and 39 feet/min in Y and Z. The Y and Z axes have also benefited from larger linear roller guideways. The design upgrade also yields an acceleration of 7 feet/s2 in all axes, double of what it was before. Linear scales are fitted for absolute, high-precision feedback of axis positions to the control. A 52 kW motor, HSK-A 80 grinding spindle and reinforced wheelhead, coupled with increased machine rigidity, lead to higher productivity and component accuracy, commensurate with the type of advanced research being carried out at the AMRC. A more accessible, swiveling control panel that is adjustable for height, stainless steel guarding and an automatic door as standard are extra new features, along with safety integration in the control and double wiring to provide redundancy for critical operating functions. To increase productivity, the machine has a wheel cleaning system, called RazorTec® , that projects filtered coolant at the wheel at 30-40 bar pressure. This forces metallic debris out of the porous structure of the wheel, keeping it sharp and maintaining its profile. Furthermore, infeed rates increase, stock removal is maximized and there is a lower risk of burning the workpiece. Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 29 To increase productivity, the machine has a wheel cleaning system, called RazorTec® , that projects filtered coolant at the wheel. Flexibility of use extends to the ability to deploy mills, drills and other cutters in addition to grinding wheels, all housed in a 24-position tool magazine to the left of the machine, ready for automatic change into and out of the spindle. PROFIMAT MC 607 at the AMRC, showing the machine’s stainless steel guarding and swing-out control system. When the coolant becomes a Liquid Tool. Blaser Swisslube AG 3415 Hasle-Rüegsau, Switzerland Phone +41 34 460 01 01 «The right product – correctly applied, and I guarantee a higher feed rate.» Rico Pollak Head of Grinding Technology 28 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015
  17. 17. fter the Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, NASA discovered a significant flaw. The curvature of the primary mirror was incorrect, which affected the images sent back to Earth. Twelve other major systems in the telescope also needed repair. In 1993, I was part of a team of astronauts sent up on Space Shuttle Endeavour to do those repairs. Part of the repair process required us to go on a spacewalk to reach the telescope. For such an undertaking, it is critical to develop the solutions then organize a plan to make sure they are executed as precisely as possible. And while this strategy ensures the success of a NASA mission, it can also provide valuable lessons for successful manufacturing operations as well. 1. Teamwork is vital. In space, the success of the mission and the safety of the team is contingent on the team‘s ability to work together. Each member brings unique experience and important expertise that can inspire others. Collaboration and communication is key to resolving challenges. A big part of any manufacturing operation is teamwork. Individuals must work together to solve complex problems and achieve goals that are impossible for one person to accomplish on their own. It is F E A T U R E imagination and listening and learning from others. Once in space, there is little that can be done from Earth to fix a problem. But NASA’s engineers always come up with creative solutions. Manufacturing requires creative solutions as well. Engineers like a challenge and come up with innovations that are smart and efficient. It must be a solution that solves a real-world problem; however, a solution that customers don’t really want or need is not the answer. 4. Experience leads to innovation. Part of finding solutions is using experience, even from youth. While performing the telescope repairs, I relied on my past education and experience. When I was 13, if the tractor broke down while I was working in the field, either Story Musgrave, NASA Astronaut and Lead Spacewalker, Hubble Space Telescope Repair Mission 30 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 31 important to have an environment that supports teamwork so each member can share knowledge and resources and be flexible to meet deadlines. 2. Identify your goals. Part of a successful NASA team is each member knowing his or her job. Each person has to have an identity and a clear role so they know what is expected of them. This also means they take responsibility for their own actions. In manufacturing, every team member must know his or her mission and goals as well. It benefits them to see how their mission fits into the overall company. 3. Focus on solutions. Creating solutions (finding a new and better way) to achieve goals in space requires I fixed it or walked home. So I fixed it. Those were life-changing experiences. In addition to education and training, you have to rely on past experiences in manufacturing. The tinkering and problem solving you may have done in your youth provides life-long lessons. 5. Communication ensures continuity. Once NASA had the repair solution, I had to choreograph the dance. How am I going move the tools around, change a part, move my body into the correct position? It is taking those steps and forming a pattern, a rhythm, to accomplish the job. I ultimately choreographed every detail. And focusing on the steps, instead of the end result, is what tends to guarantee success. It is the same in the manufacturing process. Once the course of action is determined to create a product or solve a problem, the plan must be laid out so everyone knows his or her steps. Every step that is taken in manufacturing is integral to the process as a whole. 6. Work in iterations. Part of doing the dance is having the right touch, the right amount of finesse. To move something in space, you drop it and leave it. If you want it to go faster, you give it a gentle push. Finesse is important in manufacturing as well. Not every problem needs to be tackled head on, full speed. You have to know when to try subtle changes and be able to adapt to altering situations. 7. Pay attention to the details. The success of any mission is in the details. It is important to move to the physical world and receive training and perform testing. You practice and practice. The knowledge has to be in the body. You have to understand what you are doing, how you are going to do it and how good you are getting at it. 10L E S S O N S, 1S T O R Y
  18. 18. 9. Be curious. Why do we work so hard to explore space? The instinctive curiosity we come into the world with requires a quest, a journey, to find answers. The real reason for space exploration is to reach out and touch our universe, and be touched by our universe. It is the same with manufacturing. To discover a better solution, you have to have an interest in the result. Curiosity leads you to explore alternatives. 10. Success is a marathon, not a race. Human curiosity means looking beyond our solar system into new galaxies to discover something unique. With manufacturing, you should look to the stars for inspiration. You can make a real difference in the world. I worked on the Hubble Space Telescope mission for 17 years, and I gave every ounce of my being, as did my fellow team members. We planned, worked hard and accomplished tasks we had set out to do. And that is the key to success in anything in life. Dedication. Learn more 32 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 33 Training for the repair mission meant working underwater in a NASA testing pool to create the space experience. Working in the tank showed me there was only a 1" clearance between my backpack and the structure. So I had to figure out how to fit in the allotted space on the telescope to apply the right amount of torque for the repair. Success in manufacturing also requires proper training. A company that improves its employees’ skills helps create a strong team. Part of that is focusing on details. Good production people pay attention to the details and hate deviations. 8. Have the right tools to succeed. To make the telescope repairs possible, I had to have the right tool at the right place and the right time. I eventually designed about 300 tools for Hubble. At NASA, we put real tools on real instruments to get the feedback. I drove the mechanism and I could feel it. So when I was in space, it was not just a blind turned bolt. I felt the bolt. In manufacturing, no one can do his or her job without the right tools, and it is up to management to make sure team members have what they need. Human curiosity means looking beyond our solar system into new galaxies to discover something unique. With manufacturing, you should look to the stars for inspiration. You can make a real difference in the world. S.L. Munson & Company Representative for U.S.A., Canada and Mexico: 1404 Old Dairy - Columbia, SC 29201, U.S.A. phone: (803) 252-321 or (800) 285-3211 - fax (803) 929-0507 web: e-mail
  19. 19. 34 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 35 O P T I M I Z E op Shops from Gardner Business Media is an annual benchmarking program for machine shops of all types and sizes. It allows owners and managers to compare their operational practices with leading U.S. shops and single out ways to emulate those top performers. The comprehensive program collects survey data from several machining companies to pinpoint optimal shopfloor practices as well as operational and business metrics that define success in parts manufacturing. While the Top Shops survey asks new questions every year, a core set of key questions remains an annual staple. This allows Gardner to compare current and past data for identifying industry trends. Gardner presented the 2015 survey to North American shops earlier this year, which included independent shops that primarily perform short-run and other non-repeating work; contract shops that are independent and primarily have contracts for repeating part numbers; and captive shops within a manufacturing company. While the survey itself encompasses a broad range of topic areas, from equipment types to workholding strategies, this article hones in on industry segments, investments, machining strategies, profit margins, sales and marketing tools and employees. The 2015 survey data shows that Top Shops tend to serve a wide variety of industries, which suggests these companies are highly agile and better equipped to develop processes in line with the latest market trends. The greatest increases in industries served by Top Shops were aerospace, automotive and defense. Other leading markets included machinery/equipment, medical and oil and gas, although the latter two were down slightly in the past year. On the nuts and bolts side of the business, Top Shops tend to invest more in capital equipment and use more advanced machining strategies. Over the past few years, the percentage of Top Shops performing 5-axis positioning and full simultaneous 5-axis contouring has increased dramatically. Whereas, those percentages remained virtually unchanged or even decreased among other shops. Furthermore, a higher percentage of Top Shops perform more high-speed machining as well as lights- out operations than others. From the survey, a variety of business metrics demonstrate how Top Shops have more effective overall operations. The biggest indicator of business health is profit margins, and Top Shops tend to have higher profit margins than other shops, even though the profit margins for all shops have remained level. And, while sales growth at Top Shops was higher, the sales growth rate has slowed for all shops across the board. A greater number of Top Shops have increased their use of sales and marketing tools. These include websites and YouTube videos — along with print advertising, company tours and trade shows — to taut their capabilities. For other shops, the increase is minimal or even non-existent. Top Shops also place high value on employees, which is important in a time when skilled labor is hard to find. Top Shops will provide other benefits, besides high salaries, to reward and retain good employees. Additionally, Top Shops tend to offer annual review and pay-raise programs. And, when compared with other shops, Top Shops put more emphasis on formal training. In fact, training programs at Top Shops have grown immensely over the past three years. In summary, the 2015 survey results indicate that Top Shops tend to make greater investments in capital equipment, advanced machine tool technology and employees to ensure the highest levels of production capability and efficiency for optimized shop floor operations. These investments, along with strategic sales and marketing efforts, thus lead to greater overall financial performance. By Steve Kline, Jr., Director of Market Intelligence, Gardner Business Media Top Shops tend to make greater investments in capital equipment, advanced machine tool technology and employees to ensure the highest levels of production capability and efficiency for optimized shop floor operations.
  20. 20. With new markets and customers came the demand for increasingly more complex and even higher precision parts. “Anybody can make the easy stuff,” Labrie said. “Our customers’ engineers continue to push the design and manufacturability limits, and we embrace the challenge. We have a great group of people here who are really smart.” Advanced manufacturing systems also help J&E meet such challenges and fulfill customer requirements. “We try to stay on top of the curve as far as technology goes,” said Labrie. “We have the latest and greatest on the floor, whether it is for programming or machining or tooling. We are quite willing to spend capital on equipment, and make the right moves to keep our customers happy.” It was with customer needs in mind that the shop recently added advanced CNC grinding capability to maximize flexibility, precision and job turnaround speed. Previously, grinding capability at the shop was limited to OD, ID and flat grinding and some lapping on machines that were “old relics,” according to Labrie. They were incapable of any real production work, so J&E subcontracted out its production grinding. However, issues with cost and scheduling constantly arose. “We manufacture parts from beginning to end, from raw stock to finished parts. We could no longer depend on someone else to grind parts to the schedule we needed,” said Labrie. “We were at the mercy of our supplier. He did a fantastic job but had many other customers also vying for his time. This is when we acquired a CNC grinder to eliminate a lot of those problems, and it did.” Southampton, Massachusetts, precision machine shop acquired an advanced CNC cylindrical grinder and realized wide-ranging positive effects on work flow and delivery, part quality and machine utilization along with production costs and quoting. J&E Precision Tool, Inc. started in 1979 in a one-stall garage. Initially the shop provided general commercial machining services, including toolmaking and production of firearms parts and fixtures. But, it sought to take on higher- precision work, specifically in the aerospace and defense industry sector. Participation in the new markets grew from word of mouth, as did J&E’s reputation for consistent on-time delivery of high quality parts. Expanding business produced a need for more manufacturing space and equipment. In 2001, J&E moved to its current 45,000-square foot facility and today employs 70 people as well as operates a broad selection of CNC equipment that includes 3-, 4- and 5-axis milling machines, 10 lathes, and a 7-axis milling and turning center. J&E now serves customers across the United States in not only the aerospace and defense markets, but also the microwave equipment industry — a niche market that, according to Jon Labrie, general manager at J&E Precision Tool, “has been growing like wildfire” for the shop. 36 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 37 CNC Grinding Launches Shop'sAerospace and DefenseWork Anybody can make the easy stuff ... our customers’ engineers continue to push the design and manufacturability limits, and we embrace the challenge. F E A T U R E
  21. 21. competitive pricing. The STUDER grinder also enables the shop to take on jobs it would have had to turn down in the past. J&E produces some parts small enough to require a microscope for inspection. “We’ve drilled holes down to 0.0005" in diameter, and we’ve run end mills measuring just under 0.0008" in diameter,” said Labrie. At the same time, the shop also machines parts as large as 20" x 60" x 18". Job lot sizes range from one to upwards of 2,500 pieces. And at any given time, J&E can have a hundred jobs being processed simultaneously. Adding flexible CNC grinding technology has affected nearly every aspect of J&E’s production process. Grinding capability and process control has facilitated the addition of new markets and customers, higher part quality and reliable delivery times, and lower costs. Labrie expects the progress to continue; “We never stop looking forward,” he said. Learn more After thoroughly researching available grinding technology, J&E purchased a STUDER S33 universal cylindrical grinder from UNITED GRINDING in mid-2013. The S33 processes medium-sized workpieces in individual and batch production and features one ID wheel and two OD wheels. Its wheelhead has two motor spindles for external grinding as well as an internal grinding attachment, which allows J&E to grind complex workpieces in single clampings. UNITED GRINDING helped J&E get up to speed quickly with the new machine. “They came into our facility and trained us for a week” Labrie said. “Then, after we ran the machine for a while, they came back for another week once we knew more about what we were doing and had more questions.” With the acquisition of the STUDER grinder, J&E regained full control of its grinding process. “If I want to put two shifts on a part, I can. If I want to run over the weekend, the machine will. That is huge when it comes to delivery,” Labrie said. 38 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 39 Use of the S33 grinder also enhances the shop’s ability to maintain top part quality. Previously, some parts were both roughed and finished on turning centers. Now, many of those same parts are roughed on a turning center and finished on the grinder. “Not only are we getting higher quality parts, we are getting them done faster as well,” said Labrie. “Plus, replacing turning with grinding frees up our turning centers to process other parts.” From its work on aerospace and defense projects, J&E is familiar with machining of high-performance materials such as stainless steels, titaniums, nickel-based alloys and aluminum. But what takes the shop to the next level, according to Labrie, is grinding those materials. When grinding exotic materials, he explained, choices of wheel types, speeds and feeds and cutting fluids can make a significant difference in final part dimensions and quality. The shop occasionally resorts to trial and error to find optimal grinding parameters, but the grinding knowledge and experience of staff personnel usually produces the best combinations of tooling and parameters. The machine’s operators also program the shop’s grinding processes. Creating effective grinding setups is another challenge. Labrie said that setups occasionally involve “crazy stuff and other unique fixtures” to hold parts because not all of them are round and simple to clamp. “With tight tolerances you don’t want to squeeze a thin- walled part out of round, or push the process too hard, or add stresses during grinding,” he advised. “And fixturing is often the determining factor of whether or not a part is acceptable once grinding is complete.” Grinding parts in-house instead of subcontracting the work positively affects the quoting process at J&E. Labrie pointed out that quotes previously took into account the subcontractor’s grinding charge, which included the subcontractor’s overhead costs and profit margin. Now, with the grinding performed in-house, those outside costs are eliminated, and in turn, J&E can offer customers more Not only are we getting higher quality parts, we are getting them done faster as well ... plus, replacing turning with grinding frees up our turning centers to process other parts.
  22. 22. 40 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 41 D I G I T A L D I G E S T through rates. And it works. A recent study suggests that 25 percent more consumers look at in-feed, native ad placements over standard banner ads. Use of native advertising is growing rapidly. While companies marketing to consumers have been using native advertising for quite some time, business-to-business marketers are starting to see the benefits as they become more entrenched in social media and online marketing. Here are some important things to keep in mind if you want to use native advertising tactics to drive business in your shop: Provide Good Content The best native advertisements deliver useful information to the reader or viewer. It gives them something that will help them work better or become more efficient or profitable. The content you provide is a reflection of your brand. If it is not well written or not worth reading, you risk losing credibility. Remember, you want the reader to come back each time they see a new ad from you. Remain Transparent While the premise of native advertising is that it follows the same format as the content around it in order to blend in, the ads must still adhere to certain guidelines when it comes to designing and labeling content. These types of ads, which are paid-for advertising placements, must be clearly identified as sponsored content or ads. Choose a Strong Headline Most often, native ads are designed to elicit the user to click to view a video or read an article. But make sure you pique their interest or curiosity with a benefit-driven headline. For example, if you post a video showing how you’ve expanded the grinding capabilities in your shop, use a headline such as: Imagine What You Can Achieve with Our New Grinding Services. CyClotron ProduCts, InC. Visit our website: Cyclotron Products, Inc. offers a complete line of filtration systems designed to remove solid particles from water soluble and synthetic industrial fluids using the most economical and efficient methods. Leaders in Filtration Systems CYC LONIC FILTRAT ION ENVIR ONMENTALLY RESPON SIBLE Economical Efficient • Extends coolant life. • Up to 30% longer grinding wheel life. • No purchase of replaceable filter media. • Low maintenance costs. • Small footprint. • More parts per dressing cycle. • Less machine downtime. • Eliminates amount of liquid waste. • Consistent coolant aeration eliminates bacteria problems. • Closer tolerances on critical parts. Enviromentally Responsible Cyclonic filtration benefits the environment as no disposable media is used in the process. This saves petroleum, preserves countless trees, and eliminates the associated environmental impact created by the disposal of spent filter media. Contact us to discuss all of your filtration needs. (262) 898-0710 • Fax (262) 898-0748 • 1509 Rapids Drive • Racine, WI 53404 We see them every time we look at our LinkedIn or Facebook feed or use a browser to search the Internet. These videos, posts and articles resemble and blend in perfectly with posts from friends, updates from professional connections as well as our online search results. But, what a lot of us don’t realize (yet) is that this content is part of a growing digital media trend called native advertising. In other words, a highly strategic form of online advertising that mimics the content around it. The goal of native advertising is similar to other forms of advertising. After all, it all boils down to creating brand awareness and generating interest in a company or product. The real difference comes from how native advertising looks and prompts the audience to take action, such as click to learn more or watch a video. Native advertisements are presented in the same format as editorial content so they feel less intrusive to the target audience. This is a strategy that was developed in hopes of increasing click- native advertising: [ney-tiv ad-ver-tahy-zing] a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. beeffective learnmore response ASubtleApproachthatDrivesBIGResults WHY USE NATIVE ADVERTISING? • People prefer them. 70% of people want to learn about products through content rather than traditional advertising • Drives purchases. Native ads registered 18% higher lift in purchase intent than banner ads. • Achieves brand goals. 97% of mobile media buyers report that native ads were very or somewhat effective at achieving branding goals get
  23. 23. 42 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 43 ounded in 1978 in Akron, Ohio, Copen Machine has grown from a garage job shop with a single manual knee mill into a full-service machining and fabrication provider specializing in high-volume precision parts production. And, for this demanding line of work, the company has carved out a unique marketplace niche using Swiss-style lathes in conjunction with automated cylindrical grinding operations. Now located in Kent, Ohio, Copen Machine offers a comprehensive range of machining services. Its major customers include those in the commercial food processing, firearms and physical security industries. The company processes a wide variety of materials, from steel and aluminum to plastic, titanium and super alloys. However, stainless steel parts comprise the majority of the company’s production. The company has three facilities. The main plant houses CNC Swiss machining and CNC cylindrical grinding. A second houses conventional CNC turning and milling, and the third handles fabrication and manual machining. Travis Copen, president of Copen Machine, pointed out that the company’s strength is its high-volume CNC Swiss machining. Its 18 CNC Swiss-style lathes continuously produce annual part runs in the millions, operating six days a week in an environment that could be considered “lights out.” The transformation into high production came gradually at Copen Machine. Early jobs included components for bank vaults and ATMs. As parts grew increasingly more complex, they required highly advanced machining processes. In 1994, the company added CNC capability with a custom- modified boring mill. With the new equipment came new customers and additional equipment. Customer demand for smaller precision parts in larger volumes prompted the purchase of the company’s first CNC Swiss-style lathe in 2003. As key customers continued to experience rapid business growth, demand for the Swiss-machined parts accelerated, creating a need for increased capacity. For instance, Copen went from machining 100,000 parts a year for a particular customer to more than a million a year. About a third of parts produced on the Swiss-style machines require precision grinding. The company routinely works with a few reliable top-quality grinding subcontractors. However, rapidly growing customer requirements for higher volumes and quick turnarounds exceeded the capacities of these grinding suppliers. As a result, Copen decided to bring some of the high-volume grinding operations in-house. He thoroughly researched advanced CNC grinders, focusing on those best suited for automation. “To automate grinding is one thing,” said Copen, “but to automate high-volume, tight-tolerance, lights-out grinding is something else.” Copen Machine decided on a STUDER S22 production cylindrical grinder from UNITED GRINDING. The machine offers a maximum grinding length of 800 mm and a center height of 175 mm. “We kicked the tires and liked the fact that the machine was solidly constructed and fully enclosed,” said Copen. “The enclosure is optimal for automation. Parts can move in and out of the machine without having to open it. That capability increases process consistency, which is the key to successful unattended operations.” Copen Machine worked with robotic integrator Matrix Design Group for the S22 cell that consists of the grinder, a FANUC ArcMate 100i robot and a gantry loader. The robot takes parts from manually racked trays and loads them onto the gantry that delivers the parts into the grinder. Shop CombinesAutomated Grinding and Swiss-StyleTurning F E A T U R E Copen Machine specializes in high-volume precision parts production for the commercial food processing, firearms and physical securities industries.
  24. 24. “We needed the ability to load 1,000 parts at a time into the machine so it would be able to run for a significant number of hours,” Copen said. “The grinding and robotic loading process can be below 30 seconds per part. Our lot sizes for automated grinding range anywhere from 1,000 to 50,000 parts. For us, it’s not practical to set up an automated 100-piece run of basic OD ground parts.” He added that the plan was to automate the grinding process immediately with lights-out operations being the goal from the start. The company replaced the standard coolant filtration arrangement and instead installed a deep bed filter to remove large amounts of material produced by continuous operations. There is also a larger size mist collector that features a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter to absorb mist that could negatively affect humidity and air quality in the temperature-controlled facility. Key personnel are also present in the plant to check on cell operation, troubleshoot problems and pull parts for SPC inspections. While the automated S22 added significant production capacity, the prodigious output of the Swiss machines outpaced the grinding cell. Consequently, Copen Machine added two more STUDER Universal Grinders — an S31 and S33 — and is in the process of automating both machines. Part precision requirements at Copen Machine dictate grinding strategies. Typical machining size tolerance is +/- 0.0002". Grinding tolerances may be half that, surface finish requirements as fine as 4Ra and roundness/cylindricity tolerances are 0.000050" or better. Parts are machined from bar stock as small as 0.125" in diameter. Some production shafts exceed 12” long. Tight tolerances and the possible flexing of longer parts often require OD grinding between centers. Parts usually feature multiple diameters and interrupted cuts. The shop step dresses its grinding wheels to produce multiple diameters. Interrupted cuts, on the other hand, pose a bit more of a challenge. “We run parts that require we hold both tight overall tolerance as well as even tighter roundness tolerance. On top of that, they may have an interrupted grind surface,” Copen said. “To handle this, everything has to be right. It’s impossible to grind over a milled flat and hold 0.000050" part roundness unless you have a strong, solid machine. That’s why we went with STUDER grinders. Their mineral-casting Granitan® bases are very rigid and provide optimum thermal stability. At 18,000 lbs., the machines just do not move.” The S22 grinder at Copen Machine features a 24"-diameter wheel. The bigger wheel has a larger surface area and offers greater life between dresses. Copen said a company which is interested in high-volume CNC grinding should consider a machine with a larger wheel. He added that he always avoids using machines that have anything less than a 20" wheel. Copen Machine uses aluminum oxide wheels and dresses them with rotary diamonds on the S22 grinder and with stationary diamonds on the other two STUDER machines. There is virtually no dresser wear. Careful dressing techniques are necessary because the 630 stainless steel that is the company’s mainstay workpiece material will quickly load up any wheel explained Copen. He added that the steepest learning curves involve selecting the proper wheel, finding a feedrate conducive to grinding gummy stainless steels, then establishing dress frequencies that will maximize process reliability. Copen Machine develops reliable parameters through comprehensive testing — first trying different grinding “We run parts that require we hold both tight overall tolerance as well as even tighter roundness tolerance. That’s why we went with STUDER grinders. 44 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 45 “We don’t automate to eliminate jobs. We do it to increase capacity and enhance job opportunities. Automation takes the pressure off our machinists so they can focus on quality.” wheels, then tweaking the process through continuous improvement. “You have to be very patient when grinding,” Copen said. “You take small controlled steps and document everything that you do. You have to dim the lights before going completely lights out with grinding.” Copen added that maintaining a customer’s desired part surface finish is to a large degree determined by the grinding feedrate and dressing frequency, which also affects wheel life. “If you grind too fast, you are going to load the wheel and need to dress it more. On the other hand, if you grind more slowly and less aggressively to prevent wheel loading, you are going to burn the part surface,” he said. Once he has determined appropriate grinding and dressing parameters, Copen relies on STUDER integrated software that provides modules for wheel contact detection and automatic wheel balancing along with other functions that ensure trouble-free grinding. Additionally, the software aids in automated operations through monitoring of wheel wear and the condition of machine components. Because many of the parts that the company grinds are similar, Copen Machine stores, then slightly modifies grinding programs whenever possible to keep part changeovers typically well within two hours. All three of the shop’s STUDER machines have in-process gauging that is especially valuable on long production runs. Copen noted that in the company’s high-volume environment the carbide contacts of the in-process gauging system exhibited rapid wear. Installing diamond contacts remedied the problem. Their mineral-casting Granitan bases are very rigid and provide optimum thermal stability. At 18,000 lbs., the machines just do not move.” Continuous preventive maintenance, according to Copen, is imperative when it comes to high-volume, lights-out automated grinding operations. “You can’t skimp on routine maintenance because machines are only as reliable as you keep them,” he said. “Diligent preventive maintenance comes with a cost, but it is something you must do.” Maintenance activities include daily inspection for dirt and sludge buildup and overall cleanliness of automation grippers and machine coolant. Proper coolant pressure and fill levels are also inspected. Weekly checks should cover automation belts/conveyors and other components, while monthly checks focus on machine lubricants and hydraulics. Copen pointed out that preventive maintenance is a team effort, with operators performing some of it on a daily basis. “The key is cross training at every level. The automation dictates the volume of production we are able to get, and the maintenance helps us to achieve it.” Smooth running, trouble-fee automation provides high- volume throughput along with process and part consistency. “Automation has added about 35 percent to our existing capacity,” said Copen. “We don’t automate to eliminate jobs. We do it to increase capacity and enhance job opportunities. Automation takes the pressure off our machinists so they can focus on quality.” In addition to producing high volumes of top-quality parts quickly, Copen Machine has established procedures that enable it to meet demanding customer delivery requirements, including shipments within 24 hours and servicing of Kanban systems. Copen said, “It comes down to the ability to produce high-quality components consistently. You can make a million good parts in our niche of the business, but one bad part can cost you a customer.” Learn more
  25. 25. By Doug Kranz, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, FISCHER USA, Inc. chieving maximum productivity and profitability when externally grinding cylindrical workpieces is a challenge on its own. Grinding internal diameters, however, poses additional challenges, including problems clearing swarf and difficulty controlling heat generated in the basically enclosed ID grinding process. The grinding spindle is a key component in successful grinding operations. Spindle speed capacity is one of the most important features of an ID grinding spindle. Achieving high grinding speeds necessitates application of direct-drive spindles. For ID grinding of small-diameter bores, the spindle must be able to rotate a small wheel at a surface speed sufficient to produce good grinding results. For example, an operation such as finish grinding of diesel fuel injectors with a 3-mm diameter grinding wheel will require spindle speeds in excess of 120,000 rpm. Inadequate spindle speed when grinding small bores will cause increased grinding forces, reduced material removal rates, poor part surface finish and accuracies, and overall reduced grinding performance. Advanced spindle technology is needed to achieve the high spindle speeds required for internal grinding. The spindle bearings should be as large as possible in order to support the largest diameter spindle shaft. This will maximize spindle rigidity, which is a requirement for high-accuracy grinding. However, this means that the bearings must run at extremely high speeds. Advanced bearing and spindle design and advanced lubrication techniques are required to achieve these high bearing speeds. The rotor of the internal motor must have a sufficient diameter to produce ample torque for grinding operations throughout a wide speed range, and must also fit the largest spindle shaft possible. This requires advanced shaft and rotor design to remain stable and well balanced at top speed, withstanding the high centrifugal forces produced at high rotational speeds. The size of the grinding wheel is another major factor in ID grinding productivity. A wheel that is too large will not generate sufficient pressure to cut effectively and will quickly become dull. In addition, an overly large wheel will impede coolant flow, raising temperatures in the grinding zone and interfering with swarf removal. On the other hand, a wheel that is too small grinds inefficiently because it presents a relatively small amount of abrasive to the workpiece. Excessive pressure that results from the use of an undersize wheel will accelerate wheel wear and increase load on the spindle. For internal grinding, the ideal wheel has a diameter that is about 70 to 80 percent of the intended bore diameter. For very small holes, it may be necessary to apply a wheel that represents a greater percentage of the bore diameter. Grinding wheels should be free cutting and generate as little heat as possible, because the enclosed nature of ID grinding traps and sustains heat in the grinding zone. Accordingly, comprehensive cooling of spindle components is crucial. A spindle should feature separate liquid cooling circuits for front and rear bearings as well as for the spindle motor itself. Spindle bearing lubrication, another thermal management factor, generally is an oil/air mix provided by direct injection. Cooling the wheel/workpiece interface is equally essential. High-performance grinding spindles feature coolant-through shaft unions that deliver coolant directly to the grinding zone. They do so at pressures upwards of 30 bar to effectively cool for spindle speeds up to 180,000 rpm. Rigid support and smooth operation of spindle bearings enable consistent production of required part surface finishes. Bearings typically perform for 15,000 to 25,000 hours before needing overhaul. However, grinding fluid, high temperatures and swarf that make up the hostile grinding environment can contaminate bearings and shorten their lives exponentially. Top quality spindles have labyrinth seals combined with an air curtain ring at the interface of the rotating shaft and stationary housing to prevent contaminants from entering. The ID grinding spindle must be as short and stiff as possible to resist forces of grinding and compact enough to best utilize the limited machine workspace available. Mounting the grinding wheels on tungsten carbide quills will also enhance stiffness. The quill should be as short as possible; in general, a quill with a length/diameter ratio of 3:1 or less will provide sufficient rigidity for ID grinding. Conversely, when the length-diameter ratio is equal to or greater than 6:1, problems involving chatter, deflection and taper of the ground part can arise. Workholding is another area where ID grinding prompts special considerations. ID grinding is not performed between centers, so workpiece clamping has to present the part in perfect alignment with the grinding spindle to assure concentricity. The clamping arrangement must hold the workpiece securely but not distort it, a task that may be difficult when internally grinding thin-walled parts. Aside from the spindle technology, the most important contributors to long and effective spindle life are the machine operators. It is essential that those who run the grinding machines receive sufficient training and develop full awareness of the factors that affect spindle operation. Knowledgeable operators, combined with advanced spindle technology, can help a shop get the best out of its ID grinding operations. Learn more 46 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 Grind/Grinding Universe Issue 2015 47 F E A T U R E Advanced Spindle Technology Tackles ID Grinding The grinding spindle is a key component in successful ID grinding operations. Tool-tip concentricity and overall stiffness are essential because ID grinding places increased axial and radial forces on the spindle.