Tool shop puts trust in Vollmer

Danish cutting-tool manufacturer, TN Værktøjsslibning (TN Slib), has invested in a Vollmer VGrind 340S tool-grinding machine.
“We see great potential in our collaboration with Vollmer, both now and in the future,” says Torben Nielsen, founder, owner and CEO of TN Slib. “When we met at EMO 2019, we particularly liked the friendly, in-depth exchange in which we discussed optimising the grinding machines for our specific requirements.”

TN Slib makes around three-quarters of its sales in the production of bespoke, solid-carbide tools. The company also offers standard tools for cutting metals such as steel, aluminium, cast iron or copper.

Using the VGrind 340S grinding machine, the company seeks to drive forward the development and production of small milling cutters and somewhat larger drill bits with diameters of between 0.3 and 8 mm. Delicate tools like these are in increasing demand from the manufacturing industry because of the ever-tighter spaces encountered in mobile devices, medical equipment and automotive technology.

Vollmer designed the VGrind 340S especially for machining small solid-carbide cutting tools. With its two vertical spindles for different grinding wheel sets, the VGrind 340S allows for multi-level machining. This capability enables TN Slib to cut down on non-productive time and further improve tool quality. Five optimally configured CNC axes achieve interpolation with short travel distances for the linear and rotational axes, which in turn reduces the time required to machine workpieces and allows for tight tool tolerances.

A key factor in TN Slib’s decision to purchase the VGrind 340S was that the machine has the versatility to produce both small and large batches. The NUMROTOplus software enables 3D simulation of production processes and makes it possible to carry out collision monitoring in advance.

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Ondrives gears-up for precision grinding

The ability to carry-out the highest standards of cylindrical grinding is a prerequisite when manufacturing precision gears and associated components. In order to achieve the necessary demanding levels of dimensional, roundness and surface-finish specifications, Chesterfield-based Ondrives recently purchased a Studer S31 cylindrical grinding machine from Micronz.

Having enjoyed excellent service from a Studer S21 cylindrical grinding machine since 2011, the decision to install a second Studer machine was prompted by the need to increase the company’s high-precision internal, external and thread-form grinding capacity, and help satisfy increasing customer demand for its gear-related products.

When compared with Ondrive’s existing S21 model, the Studer S31 cylindrical grinding machine has increased the company’s between centres grinding capacity from 400 to 1000 mm.

Ondrives managing director Ben Hinchliffe says: “To satisfy our requirements, with the help of Micronz, the Studer S31 cylindrical grinding machine was specified with the addition of several options, including a synchronous driven tailstock. This enables our operators to complete grinding work in a single set-up, rather than making multiple changeovers. The Studer S31 has more than doubled our between-centres grinding capacity, thus increasing our precision grinding capabilities and significantly raising efficiency levels.”

The Studer S31, as purchased by Ondrives, has a centre height of 175 mm and is available with between-centre options of 400, 650, 1000 and 1600 mm. Reduced set-up and resetting costs, especially in single-part or small-batch production, are made possible by the S31’s turret wheel-head with several grinding wheels. The machine’s swivelling wheel-head is equipped with water-cooled, roller-based, maintenance-free motor spindles with step-less speed control and the latest generation of contact sensors.

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Energy-saving tool grinders

Walter Ewag UK, a member of the United Grinding Group, reports that energy savings of up to 40% are possible through the optimised operation of its Walter Helitronic tool grinding and erosion machines by, for instance, sensible warm-up and shutdown routines, the recovery of thermal energy and enhanced production via machine control software routines.

This figure also includes an 11% reduction in the machines’ energy consumption because Walter now uses more environmentally-friendly components in builds compared with those available 15 years ago. All measures and claims are independently assessed by experts from the German Steinbeis Sustainable Energy Competence Centre.

Walter’s awareness of climate protection begins with the design and construction of its machines – for example, by utilising modern drives and improved part loading, compressed air and extraction, as well as via the use of energy-saving LED lights and frequency-controlled coolant pumps.

This ethos continues through production by optimised machine operation. Some of the technology improvements include feed and spindle drives: the use of efficient synchronous motors and regenerative braking energy feedback into the power grid, including linear motors in the vertical axis and passive weight compensation. Another enhancement is coolant supply via a frequency-controlled pump. Here, high-efficiency motors (class IE4) and up to six individually switchable coolant valves serve to optimise coolant supply.

Further advances include the use of LED lights in all machines, including the status light, and centralised ‘impulse’ lubrication, where the lubricating oil pump runs only for a few seconds until lubricating pressure builds sufficiently. The pump then switches off until the next lubrication cycle. In addition, each machine’s vapour separator is equipped with potentiometer control and a free-running fan wheel, which allows optimal adjustment of the extraction volume.

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Compact robot honing cell

Nagel is introducing a fully automatic horizontal honing machine for small bore diameters.
The new ECOHO-NE horizontal honing machine, which is available in the UK from Permat Machines, can work on small bore diameters up to 40 mm in diameter while offering a fully automatic changer for worn tools.

Principal among the innovations of the single-spindle honing machine is its integral robot cell, which performs many other functions in addition to workpiece handling. For example, the robot cell automatically changes the machine’s work tools as they wear, if a replacement is available in the designated tool magazine. The robot also automatically aligns the newly exchanged tools, thereby avoiding the need for downtime while manual alignment takes place.

On workpiece changing, if the robot cell recognises a workpiece pallet with new material, the machine is set up automatically, with automated exchange of fixtures, tools, measuring equipment and more.
As to measuring equipment, the robotic cell can be equipped with the required auxiliary stations, if desired. Automatic error correction and the evaluation of measurement data (SPC) are also feasible. Whether for pre-testing, re-measuring, brushing or oil-free parts, it is possible to configure everything individually; the robot takes over the handling of the parts.

The new horizontal honing machine is suitable for the small- and large-series production of workpieces made from a variety of materials, ranging from metal to glass or graphite. For large-series production, it is possible to extend the machine with a second honing unit.

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Power-tool accessories unveiled

Fein, a specialist in power tools and accessories, has released a range of Starlock accessory kits to the UK market that are compatible with its recently-launched MultiMaster 300, 500 and 700 series.
With the latest Starlock accessories, the MultiMaster range offers 1000 blade possibilities, including sawing, sanding, polishing, cutting, filing, scraping and cleaning, for materials such as metal and wood. The new accessories are available now at Fein stockists across the UK.

“We understand that productivity is one of the biggest priorities for our customers, which is why we’re excited to extend our accessories range even further,” says Raphael Rudolph, managing director of Fein UK. “Thanks to the many possibilities presented by MultiMaster, completing a job quickly and proficiently has never been easier.”

The new accessory kits are available in a range of combinations and can be matched according to application and material, while also offering savings for anyone looking to purchase a Fein combo set.
Fein’s multi-tools are among further beneficiaries of the Starlock blade mounting system, meaning users gain from up to 35% more work progress and greater precision thanks to 100% power transmission without losses. The tool mounting comes in three performance classes: Starlock, StarlockPlus and StarlockMax, protecting the tool from overload and damage.

As part of the product range expansion, the company will be offering up to £100 in Amazon vouchers to any customers trading in their old non-Starlock Fein tools for the new MultiMaster 300, 500 or 700 series, when they register for the three-year Fein Plus warranty.

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