In response to the need for increased output by customers in the oil and gas and aerospace industries, Larkhall-based Gilmour Tools – one of the largest independently owned cutting tool manufacturers in Europe – has expanded its range of Ewag insert grinders with a Compact Line insert-grinding machine.
Supplied by Walter Ewag UK, a member of the United Grinding Group, the machine complements five other Ewag insert grinders (Ewamatic models) and has been installed primarily to produce threading-type inserts for the oil and gas sector.
According to managing director Gary Gilmour, the 5.5 kW/7000 rpm machine is suited to such work, offering fast and accurate insert machining. Its production capacity is not only enabling the company to meet increased order demands, but the machine also represents the latest upgrade to insert manufacturing at the 10,000 sq ft factory.
The Compact Line’s ‘three-in-one’ dressing unit is highlighted as especially useful, since it ensures grinding wheel concentricity and high process reproducibility, alongside wheel dressing, regeneration and ‘crushing’.
Gilmour Tools specialises
in the production of carbide inserts for all oil threads – to many complex shapes in a variety of materials – as well as the production of tool holders and blades.
Capable of machining carbide, cermet, ceramic and PCB/PCD inserts, the six-axis Ewag Compact Line provides resolutions of 0.0001 mm (linear) and 0.0001° (rotary). Depending on the clamping system, the machine can accommodate minimum inscribed circle diameters of 4 mm (pin clamping) and 3 mm (indexable insert clamping), and offers short set-up times, says the company.
For further information www.walter-machines.com
Swiss company Strausak AG, which produces CNC grinding machines for manufacturing and re-sharpening solid-carbide tools, wanted to offer customers the option to automate the loading and unloading of workpieces into and out of the spindle that rotates the workpiece in its U-Grind series machines.
The problem was that, to achieve high tool accuracy, an HSK 50 hydraulic expansion chuck with a diameter tolerance of only a few hundredths of a millimetre has to be employed, rather than a conventional collet with automation-friendly open tolerances.
To position the carbide blank or tool to the required level of precision, Strausak turned to robot manufacturer Stäubli, which now supplies the automation solution based on a compact, six-axis industrial robot. The position of each CNC rotary axis is controlled by a Heidenhain EQI 1100 absolute inductive rotary encoder with 18-bit resolution. Having reliable positional data fed back back to the NUM control on the U-Grind allows the robot gripper to manipulate the workpiece to within 50 µm.
Strausak’s managing director Alexandre Condrau says: “We were happy that Stäubli partners with Heidenhain for its rotary encoder requirements, as the compact dimensions of its inductive products suit our application. We also have CNC positioning of the swivelling grinding wheel head on our machines, and to achieve the necessary precision we use a Heidenhain ERA 4000 incremental angle encoder.”
Strausak sees further development possibilities that could help its customers even more. The company is currently working on programming the robot to re-grip the workpiece and readjust its insertion distance in the hydraulic chuck to enable the machining of very long tools, for instance.
For further information www.heidenhain.co.uk
Gibbs Gears has recently installed a Klingelnberg Höfler CNC external/internal gear grinding machine at the company’s Stoke Mandeville headquarters.
The Klingelnberg Höfler Viper 500K will further expand the busy concern’s gear-grinding capacity and enable the production of complex gear geometries to high standards. Klingelnberg Höfler machines are available in the UK from Micronz.
Explaining the purchase, Paul Stevens, operational director, says: “The acquisition of the Klingelnberg Höfler Viper 500K gear grinder was prompted largely by our growing business within the Formula One, Formula E and other motorsport classes. It was also driven by a significant increase in business from the hypercar and aerospace sectors. The common denominators between all of these industries is their need for the highest standards of precision and quality, the technically challenging nature of the complex gear geometries they specify and their frequent requirement for fast delivery times.
“Due to increasing business with these demanding sectors, we recently undertook a search for a cutting-edge gear grinder,” he continues. “Although a couple of the technically advanced gear-grinding machines that we considered ticked some of our boxes, the only machine that delivered on all of our requirements was the Klingelnberg Höfler Viper 500K. It also helped our decision that many of our customers use Klingelnberg machines and have been delighted with their performance.
“Now fully operational, in addition to manufacturing gears with the demanding standards of precision and quality that we require, the Viper 500K has the speed of operation and quick change-over characteristics that are now improving productivity and reducing delivery times.”
For further information www.micronz.co.uk
Master Abrasives is introducing further machines to its showroom in Daventry having installed an Alex Machine Tools’ NH-500 surface grinding machine, which is new to the UK.
The demonstration area at Daventry was initially set up to show the range of Master precision grinding products, including conventional and superabrasive grinding wheels, diamond dressers and superfinishing products. Master-branded products will be available to support any in-house demonstrations and display the potential of both Micromatic, and now, Alex machines.
Alex Machine Tools, which is headquartered in India, offers a range of surface grinding machines, including a reciprocating hydraulically-operated model, a high-power rotary surface grinder, creep feed machines and a series of double-disk grinders. The machines can incorporate CNC, automatic in-process gauging and material handling automation, depending on the customer’s application and requirements.
Martin Stevens, Master Abrasives’ applications engineer, is fully conversant with the latest developments at Alex Machine Tools and the most recent progressions in technology. With a background in grinding applications engineering, Stevens has the technical expertise to help customers find the best solutions for their precision grinding needs.
Ian Meredith, applications engineering manager at Master Abrasives, says: “Now that the Alex surface grinder is installed, we are able to offer demonstrations and potentially grind customer parts when required. The demonstration machine will be a great aid in promoting Alex Machine Tools
across the UK.”
For further information www.master-abrasives.co.uk
A standard brush-based machine for the deburring of complex engine components such as crankshafts and camshafts has been introduced by Kadia.
EC-Brush has five programmable axes, each with a rotary drive providing right/left rotation for the brush and the workpiece. The component is clamped against a point in a three-jaw chuck, with the brush rotating at about 500 rpm, and the part at 30 rpm.
Kadia’s EC-Brush features linear axes that provide the brush’s back/forward and lateral oscillation movement, and a traversing range for the centre. The latter enables different crankshaft/camshaft lengths to be clamped, so that any variant for three- to six-cylinder engines (for passenger cars or small commercial vehicles) can be deburred in any desired succession. Loading and unloading can be carried out manually, semi-automatically or fully automatically to suit requirements.
The brush, which is at the heart of the machine, is equipped with long and short fibres made of abrasive nylon. Only one operation is required, as the shaft is completely immersed in the brush. The long fibres reach from the cheeks up to the connecting rod bearings, while the short fibres deburr the main bearings area. Particles and flaky burrs, which typically occur during drilling or grinding, are reliably removed, says Kadia. A choice of fibre type allows adaptation to the component material. EC-Brush also permits wet machining.
For further information https://kadia.de/