Largest profile surface grinder from GER

International Manufacturing Solutions Ltd (IMSL), the UK agent for GER, has announced the launch of the GER SR 400-100 CNC plane and profile surface grinder. Although the 4 m grinder is currently the largest profile surface grinder manufactured by GER, if required, the company is able to produce machines with capacities of up to 6 m.

The 4000 x 1000 mm capacity machine was initially developed for an Austrian manufacturer of press tools, and is equipped with a 500 mm diameter x 100 mm wide wheel head incorporating a 30 kW spindle motor and three independent rotary diamond dressers. All slideways incorporate precision ball screws, Fanuc drive motors and Heidenhain linear scales. Control is via Fanuc 0i-TD.
GER’s SR 400-100 has a vertical distance (table to wheel spindle centre) of 1000 mm and a maximum component weight capacity of 4300 kg. Perlite cast iron is used for all of the machine’s major castings, which are ribbed and feature box-section construction.
The machine’s X-axis table guideways are mounted directly to the front section of the bed, enabling the table to accept much heavier loads while still achieving smooth movement at high speeds, says GER; a design principle that also applies to the machine’s Z-axis column guideways.
A motor assembly mounted inside a heavy cast casing within the column structure is a feature of the machine’s wheel head. This heavy-duty assembly balances the generated masses and, as it is mounted at the rear of the guideways, limits wheel head overhang to avoid deflections under demanding grinding conditions.
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Exactaform continues growth with Vollmer machines

Located near Coventry, Exactaform’s new £5.8m facility is home to 12 Vollmer machines that include six Vollmer QWD750H, three QXD200, a QXD250, a QWD760, and now, the next-generation Vgrind 160. In 2012, Exactaform reported annual growth in the region of 25%, as its then seven Vollmer machines were running up to 158 hours out of a possible 168 a week. This level of automation and company growth has continued over the past five years, with staff levels rising from 13 to 63 and turnover almost quadrupling from £2m to £7m.

Exactaform recently developed its latest line of cutting tools, the Aero-Carb diamond-coated two- and four-flute end mills for composite machining, and the Aero-Ti line of end mills for titanium and aerospace alloys. Aiming to ramp up production volumes, the company wanted to improve its production efficiency. The answer arrived in the form of the Vgrind 160.
Company director Jamie White says: “We wanted the Vgrind for grinding pockets on small diameter tools. The combination of the 16,000 rpm high-frequency spindle and the facility for loading small grinding wheels instantly gave us the ability to pocket-grind tools in the 6 mm diameter range. This isn’t feasible with typical grinding wheels in the 70 mm diameter range and slower spindle speeds. The benefit was instant. We went from eroding tool pockets in 45 minutes to grinding them on the Vgrind in just two minutes. This was an astounding leap forward for our productivity levels, especially in the face of higher production quantities.”
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Automated loading options extended

Two new automatic loading developments for the large-capacity Helitronic Vision 400L grinder and two-in-one Vision Diamond 400L grinding/eroding machine have been announced by Walter Ewag: the Top-Loader and Robot Loader 25.

Top-Loader features a pneumatic swivel arm with gripper to integrate with Walter’s standard robot pallet system for tools up to 32 mm diameter. The two-pallet system, one each for blanks and finished tools, can each accommodate up to 500 tools (depending on size).
The Robot Loader 25, meanwhile, can accommodate 21 tools of up to 315 mm diameter and 25 kg in weight (or 28 tools of up to 220 mm diameter; 70 tools up to 105 mm diameter). Equipped with a Fanuc robot and featuring new software that accommodates the ‘random’ loading and storage of tools and blanks in HSK holders on up to seven pallets, the efficiency and effectiveness of the Robot Loader 25 is enhanced by laser marking for tool set-up and optional ‘diameter determination’ functionality for automatic operation.
Both the Walter Helitronic Vision 400L tool grinder and Helitronic Vision Diamond 400L can accommodate tools up to 315 mm diameter and 420 mm long. The latter can process (grind/erode) rotationally symmetrical precision tools in PCD, carbide, HSS, ceramic, cermet and CBN in a single set-up.
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Jig grinder offers ±0.0007 mm accuracy

The Mitsui Seiki J350G jig grinder has an accuracy of ±0.0007 mm and a U-axis infeed range of between -3 and +50 mm to support continuous automatic grinding of multiple features, plus a variety of hole sizes and contoured shapes, with a single grinding wheel. Available in the UK from 2D CNC Machinery, the machine uses the Mitsui Advanced Programming support software, G-MAPS, which facilitates quick setting of wheel data, has a simple input screen and enables wheel and grinding conditions to be monitored (including hole location and position tolerances). There is also an analogue display for simple commands using switches and dials.

The J350G provides four specification options for high-frequency spindles covering the speed range from 9000 to 45,000 rpm, plus an ultra-fast air turbine of 175,000 rpm.
Both the left- and right-hand slideways are V-F flats, while the Y axis for spindle-head motion is V-V flat shaped. All bearing surfaces are hand scraped for positioning accuracy and repeatability. In addition, and included as standard following a partnership with Heidenhain, custom-built positioning scales for the X, Y and Z axes further extend accuracy potential.
The machine’s working range in the X axis is 500 mm, while Y-axis saddle traverse is 300 mm and the maximum distance from the 700 x 350 mm table, which has a maximum 350 kg load, is 450 mm. Z-axis quill travel is 100 mm with 95 mm ‘chopping motion’ available up to 200 cycles/min. W-axis travel is 300 mm. Further performance parameters include planetary motion speed at 5 to 300 rpm, and a grinding infeed stroke U-axis that extends from
-3 to +50 mm.
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High-production drill grinder launched

Producing drills from 0.8 to 4 mm, the new FCP4 from Anca provides drill makers with efficiencies and cost benefits by offering the capability to manufacture a complete high-speed steel (HSS) drill on a single machine. From a blank piece of raw material, the FCP4 grinds the flute, relief and point.

Grant Anderson, CEO at Anca, says: “Considering that the yearly production of HSS drills is about 1.8 billion drills worldwide, the opportunities are huge. The high-volume commodity drill market is new for us but is a great fit given our 40+ years’ expertise in tool and cutter grinding.”
The new machine will enable a complete drill to be manufactured every 20 to 25 seconds, a significant difference from what is currently available in the market, says Anca. Up until now drills had to be manufactured on two or three separate machines, which is a large investment to make and presents a big task in changing drill sizes – typically taking several hours and creating needless waste with scrap set-up drills. The CNC capability of the FCP4 also offers advantages in quicker changeover and less set-up time required, making the option of smaller production runs viable.
“We think we can bring a huge benefit to the industry as up until now there is little competition or product choice for volume manufacturers of HSS drills,” says Anderson. “Drill manufacturers are typically restricted to using machines that are old and CAM operated, and with older machines wearing out there are currently very few options for upgrading or improving their capabilities.”
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