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Posted on Aug 19, 2020
With the technological development of today's metal casting industry new heights, it is important to apply technology to the complex process of metal casting to make full use of this. Due to the nature of the process, the grinding and finishing process has always been one of the most difficult processes in the metal casting industry to show high-efficiencyvalues. CNC grinders have been used in the machining process for several years and have developed greatly in a short time. Today's CNC grinder machines are strong and flexible and can be used as a machine tool for steel parts while grinding and cutting tools can be used to remove excess material from castings. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at CNC grinders in all of its variations with a focus on the most recent technological trends and developments.
Before we talk about the latest innovations, let us quickly review some of the most common types of CNC grinders:
• Surface Grinders
The surface grinder consists of a grinding wheel, a chuck (a workpiece fixing device), and a rotating table. The chuck is used to hold the material in place while rotating wheels and objects to produce a smooth finish.
• Cylindrical Grinders
Cylindrical grinders are CNC grinders that shape the outside of a part. As long as these machines can rotate along the central axis, they can accept workpieces of various shapes. In a cylindrical grinding machine, both the workpiece and the grinding wheel rotate at the same time. Outer diameter grinders, inner diameter grinders, and centerless grinders are all cylindrical grinders.
• Centerless Grinders
The centerless grinder is a CNC grinder that uses two rotating wheels to hold the workpiece in place. Unlike centering grinders, centerless grinders do not use a spindle. The rotation speed of the grinding wheel determines the speed at which the material is removed.
:: Read more : The centerless grinders are unique
• Tool & Cutter Grinders
Tool and cutter grinders are CNC grinder machines with up to 5 axes and multiple grinding wheels. These equipment are used for grinding and producing milling cutters such as drills, end mills, and step tools. It is also widely used in the production of tools required by the woodworking and metal cutting industries.
Just like any other operation that is common in the workshop, the grinding process is constantly evolving, becoming more automated and efficient. Today, manufacturers want to grind parts with one clamping. Moreover, due to advanced CNC, new software, and an increase in the number of axes available on modern CNC grinders, a machine tool can now perform various grinding operations within the same working range. The automated loading/unloading process also improves the grinding efficiency and at the same time introduces an automated system for changing the grinding wheel. However, it is CNC and software technology that drives most of the increase in CNC grinder machine productivity. Like many other processes, a major change in CNC grinder is the new control technology that makes the machine easier to operate. One of the biggest recent advancements is the ability to simulate the grinding process in an offline environment. The biggest challenge in the simulation is to reproduce the actual shape of the grinding wheel of the CNC grinder machine entering the part and to compensate for any changes in the profile when performing the 3D simulation in an offline environment. Parts will change during grinding, the grinding wheel will break due to use, and temperature changes will cause the machine to change. It is these changes that make the simulation process more difficult. Similar to many other machine tools, the controls on CNC grinders have become more complex and powerful, but at the same time, they have become easier to use. They also combined previously separate peripherals and displays.
Another trend in grinding is the automation of CNC grinders. One of the major trend s in the loading and unloading of the CNC grinder machine is that it is kind of adapting technologies from the pallet changer of horizontal machining centers. Although pallet changers have become commonplace in HMC applications over the years, when you add this type of equipment to a CNC grinder machine, the parts need to be placed in known locations due to the tight tolerances involved in the grinding. The solution this time comes from the electric discharge machine (EDM) method of loading and unloading pallets. In this way, parts are pre-loaded on a pallet outside the processing environment and undergo pre-checks. Then, the machine uses the new blank pallet to switch the completed parts group. Setting parts when using the machine can improve machine utilization and productivity. Although the loading and unloading equipment is relatively easy to install on CNC grinders, it is more difficult to clamp the parts, which must be repeatable. Another option is an automatic loader, such as a gantry loader or a multi-axis robot loader. Other automation technologies available in a modern CNC grinder machine include the rapid change of grinding wheels, which allows for shorter immediate run times. However, due to too many variables, automated grinding is extremely challenging.
Closed-loop grinding encompasses automated sensing of changes in the environment of CNC grinders and adjusting all the variables in the process in real-time. As each variable changes, such as the size and profile of the grinding wheel or movement due to thermal changes, the grinding system can now also change. This is because new software and controls can take these factors into account and make fine adjustments to the process. The thermal stability of the CNC grinder machine is very important in any grinding operation. The base of the machine must be made of very thermally stable material, as this will reduce errors caused by thermal growth. Many new grinders are also equipped with linear drives, which can eliminate the backlash compensation necessary to mechanically drive the ball screws. Finishing solutions can also improve part quality machined with CNC grinders. After the dressing cycle, the size of the grinding wheel can be reduced by a few tenths, and this difference needs to be considered in the part program. During the grinding and dressing process, the grinding wheel and the dressing wheel will produce noise. This noise will increase when the grinding wheel touches the workpiece or trims. Nowadays, acoustic sensors can judge the distance based on when the noise occurred. When the wheel approaches the dresser, it uses sound sensing to record its position from the glass scale. Then, when the grinding wheel of the CNC grinder machine is finished and approaching the part, more sensors will detect the material to eliminate non-grinding time. Automation, statistically tighter tolerances, more complex parts, and simpler operator interfaces are difficult tasks for grinding.
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