Insert grinding when five axes is not enough

Glendower Cutting Tools has purchased a Rollomatic 630 XW six-axis CNC tool grinding machine that is now busy boosting the company’s production of cutting tool inserts. The ethos at Leicester-based Glendower, which is very much a specialist insert manufacturer, is to have complete in-house control over all manufacturing processes, as evidenced by the arrival of the Rollomatic 630 XW.

Dave Chattaway, Glendower’s chief engineer, welcomes the ability to program all special insert geometry from his office, with the machine currently busy producing special inserts in small batches of 10s, 20s and 30s. However, with production rising to over 40,000 inserts per month, it will not be long before the Rollomatic’s automatic part loader is used on larger batches of 1000 inserts or more.

Chattaway states that the 6th axis on the Rollomatic allows him to create very special forms that are not possible on machines with fewer axes, thus facilitating ‘one-hit’ production in a single set up, which saves a lot of time and brings higher accuracy than is possible when grinding special forms on two or three separate machines. The ability to program quickly and then manufacture small batch work has shortened lead times across the shop floor.

The Rollomatic 630XW can grind many kinds of cutting tools with a more complex geometry whereby its additional 6th A-axis, which is said to be unique within the industry, provides improved accuracy on ball-nose end mills or corner radii with a possibility to incline the grinding wheels by up to 45°. This capability avoids collisions, allows for easier programming, and makes it possible to machine demanding and highly precise geometric forms in a single operation. The UK and Ireland agent for Rollomatic is Advanced Grinding Solutions.
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