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
Wimborne-based Loadpoint Bearings, a UK manufacturer of air-bearing spindles, has invested in a Studer FavoritCNC universal cylindrical grinder to help increase its output following the company’s move to a new, three times larger facility.
Operations director Richard Broom says: “Our air-bearing spindles are used for a range of exacting applications, such as in precision rotary tables for metrology-based systems. To make sure that Loadpoint spindles are manufactured to the highest quality standards we use a range of advanced machine tools, not least our 18-year-old Studer S36 grinder. In addition to our old Studer delivering the levels of sub-micron precision and first-class surface finish characteristics that we require, over the past two decades it has proven to be highly productive and extremely reliable.
“Despite having enjoyed a first-class experience with Studer and the company’s regional agent, Advanced Grinding Supplies, when an additional high-quality grinder was needed, mindful of possible technical advancements made by other manufacturers, we did look at a couple of other brands,” he adds. “However, having had an impressive demonstration of a Studer FavoritCNC, we were convinced that this was the ideal machine for our grinding needs and we were happy to continue our loyalty to the brand.
“The help of Peter Harding, the owner of Advanced Grinding Supplies, was invaluable when specifying our new Studer machine and ensuring that it corresponded with our specific requirements. Now in constant use, our Studer FavoritCNC is producing impressive volumes of premium-quality, highly precise components.”
For further information www.adgrind.co.uk
Fredrik Vejgården has been appointed by Seco Tools as the company’s new president and CEO. Since 2015, Vejgården has been vice president – strategy and business development at Sandvik Machining Solutions (SMS), where he has been driving the development of the SMS strategy and building the foundation for a new digital division.
Prior to this role, Vejgården worked at Luvata for 10 years, where he held different executive positions responsible for business operations in the UK, Americas and China. Vejgården also has a background as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co, with a focus on operational topics such as lean manufacturing and procurement.
For further information www.secotools.com
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