Producing delicate milling cutters – in unmanned production around the clock 2019-09-18

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Biberach-based sharpening specialist VOLLMER is launching its new VGrind 340S grinding machine in time for the EMO 2019 metalworking trade show. It is suitable for producing and resharpening extremely small carbide tools with diameters between 0.3 and 12.7 mm. Such drills and milling cutters are in particularly high demand in sectors like car manufacturing, the electronics industry and medical engineering, where assembly spaces and components are becoming smaller and smaller. The automation options on the VGrind 340S allow tool manufacturers to use the rotary machining tools for unmanned production at any time of day.

Optimum machining of small diameters
The VGrind 340S grinding machine, which sharpening specialist VOLLMER is presenting at EMO 2019 for the first time, enables the highly efficient machining of carbide tools in the small diameter range between 0.3 and 12.7 mm. Such thin drills and milling cutters are primarily used in car manufacturing, the electronics industry and medical engineering. These sectors call for increasingly compact products, featuring metal or composite components that need to be machined with extremely small tools. Electronic components and medical devices in particular are requiring increasingly delicate machining by manufacturers.

Tried-and-tested VGrind technology
The VGrind 340S grinding machine is not just suitable for producing rotationally symmetric tools, but also for resharpening them. The VOLLMER machine relies on tried-and-tested VGrind technology to achieve this functionality: It features two vertical spindles for different grinding wheel sets, which makes it possible to reduce non-productive times. Five perfectly harmonised CNC axes achieve interpolation with short travel distances for the linear and rotary axes, which in turn reduces the time required to machine workpieces. In addition to the rotary axes, the linear axes are also designed as direct drives (linear drives) for the first time. Unlike ballscrews, these axes are non-contact drives and are therefore not subject to wear. The VGrind 340S also features a steady rest to ensure optimum concentricity. A back rest is available as an option for longer drilling tools.

Intuitive operation and optional automation
The proven and intuitive NUMROTOplus software enables a three-dimensional simulation of the tool production process and makes it possible to carry out collision monitoring in advance. The height-adjustable and pivoting touchscreen control desk and the generously dimensioned view of the machining spaces make for ergonomic machine operation.

Optional solutions for automation, such as the HP 160 pallet magazine or the HPR 250 free-arm robot, ensure that machining of up to 900 tools with different shank diameters can continue unattended around the clock. The VGrind 340S features a replaceable dressing device for the grinding wheels to achieve optimum concentricity and axial run-out for the wheel packages. An optional probe enables grinding wheel calibration in the machine and offers the option of recalibrating the handling mechanism as often as required. A sticking unit enables the abrasive coating to be opened during production. In addition, the wheel coolant nozzles can be replaced automatically, just like the wheel packages themselves.

"We are expanding our tool grinding range with the VGrind 340S to support tool manufacturers in developing extremely small machining tools," says Dr Stefan Brand, CEO of the VOLLMER Group. "Machining small tool diameters in particular requires a great deal of finesse, which we have been able to achieve through digital and mechanical solutions. Actuation via five CNC axes and the use of back rests guarantee precise machining in the micrometre range."

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VOLLMER WERKE Maschinenfabrik GmbH
AddressEhinger Straße 34
88400 Biberach/Riß