Working with its client, Twilflex – a specialist in braking technologies for industrial applications, Q8Oils recently sought effective improvements to its metalworking filtration needs. While filtration methods such as paper filters provide an effective barrier against larger particles, they can allow smaller ferrous particles to pass through with the fluids, which can lead to a significant reduction in tool life expectancy.
Q8Oils regularly installs products from Eclipse Magnetics to a number of its customers’ metalworking tools as part of the company’s equipment solution services and, through partnering with expert filtration suppliers, can offer advice and support to address metalworking cleanliness issues, particularly to those with high-precision needs.
In addition to the use of its Berlioz XRS synthetic grinding fluid, Q8 installed an Eclipse Magnetics MicroMag MM20 in-line, before fluid delivery, to bolster the filtration system of Twilflix’s grinding machine. With its high-intensity magnetic core and patented fluid flow path, the MicroMag captures almost 100% of ferrous contamination from metalworking fluids. The range also boasts a compact and easy-clean design with high-capacity collection that does not block the through-flow, or impact fluid pressure or flow.
Having had the MM20 installed for one month, with intermittent usage, the filter had caught over 2 kg of ferrous materials when removed for cleaning. Q8Oils has also reported that Twilflex has seen a substantial improvement to grinding stone life, with the frequency of grinding wheel dressing largely extended. An improvement in fluid cleanliness was also noted that, in-turn, had prevented the ‘flecking’ effect caused by fine debris caught between the wheel and workpiece during the grinding process.
The MM20 will maintain its effectiveness throughout the duration of the tool’s lifespan without losing intensity. Plus, with no need to replace filters or other consumables, as well as a reduction in scrap and reject rate, the MicroMag offers fast return on investment.
A maintenance and service engineer for Twilflex said: “We tried the Eclipse magnetic filter for a month on our surface grinding machine and found it to be so effective that we decided to purchase it. We can see a difference in tool life, while coolant life is much longer. This machine doesn’t have any other filters, so we really notice the benefits.”
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To date, Voestalpine Rotec GmbH, a specialist in the manufacture of precision steel pipes and tubes, has been using a manual process to place a radius on its stamping tools. Within the framework of its continuous process optimisation programme, the company recently replaced this manual operation with an automated Rösler R 4/700 SF drag-finishing system. By deploying the single-piece, dry, drag-finishing process, the usable life of the stamping tools at least doubles. For some tools, up-time can even increase by a factor of 10. For this reason, return on investment (ROI) is well below two years.
Adding edge radii to tools is an ideal application for drag-finishing technology. This mass finishing system allows the precise, targeted surface finishing of high-value, complex workpieces. Exactly defined process parameters guarantee repeatable finishing results, reports Rösler.
“From my previous occupation at a supplier of motorsport components I knew that Rösler builds such equipment,” says Hannes Winkler, assistant to the plant manager. “That’s why I contacted them first. Of course, we also contacted other suppliers of mass-finishing equipment and asked them to run processing trials.”
In the end, Voestalpine Rotec chose the R 4/700 SF system because Rösler was the only supplier that could offer a dry finishing process.
“The dry solution eliminated the water cleaning system required with the wet processing alternative,” explains Winkler. “This reduced not only the capital expenditure, but resulted in lower operating costs. Of course, the quality and long service life, as well as the high availability of the Rösler equipment, also played an important role in our decision.”
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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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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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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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