Deburring gears manually using grinding wheels can be an unreliable process, resulting in inconsistent finishes across parts in the same batch. Shop operators must be very skilled to achieve a quality and consistent finish; but even then, variations from one operator to another are unavoidable.
Manual deburring is also a dirty and hazardous job. It wasn’t something many operators working for Katsa Oy, a manufacturer of power transmission components in the City of Tampere, Finland, wanted to do. As a result, finishing operations became a bottleneck that often caused significant delays.
This seemed an ideal opportunity to automate. Katsa Oy commissioned Flexmill Oy, a company in the City of Nurmijärvi, Finland, that develops adaptive surface-finishing solutions for the aerospace, marine, and energy industries, to design a robotized cell that finishes and deburrs gears ranging from 2 inches to 5 feet in diameter.
“We invested not to make the job faster, but to improve quality and consistency,” says Katsa Oy Quality and Development Manager Sami Niemelainen.
Flexmill’s custom turnkey cell features an ABB robot, a Renishaw (West Dundee, IL) spindle probe, and a twin pallet system that machines one gear while another is loaded. The robot collects part-location data from the probes, which are mounted on custom-designed tool holders, before finishing and deburring operations begin.
Flexmill’s control software requires the exact geometrical parameters of the gears and gear teeth to ensure all excess material is removed. Some parameters are available for each of the many gears Katsa makes. Those that aren’t available are measured using the probe. The robot uses the probe for locating parts during set-up, with the resulting positional data used by the software to generate a complete, automated deburring cycle with no manual programming. Once machined, the probe confirms finished dimensions.
Renishaw’s RMP60 probe is ideally suited to this application because of its robust and reliable frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) radio signal transmission protocol. This means communication between the probe and its receiver remains stable even if, for example, line-of-sight is lost or if another radio source enters the environment.
“The probe makes it possible for the software to generate a full deburring program for every gear we manufacture,” says Niemelainen. “We only need to provide some parameters and the robot uses the probe to create the program. The result is that quality is the same each and every time we deburr a gear.”
Renishaw, 1001 Wesemann Drive, West Dundee, IL 60118, 847-286-9953, www.renishaw.com.
Keep Reading From Our Metal Cutting Feature:
Nine New Grinders & Sanders
Chicago Pneumatic’s (Rock Hill, SC) expanded CP3550 series promises high-quality finishes with minimal effort, thanks to nine new powerful and ergonomic products that enable operators to produce more with less physical stress. Read more.
Bevel, Face & Bore Without Cutting Fluids
The EscoLock wedge-style blade lock system on Millhog right-angle bevelers from Esco Tool (Holliston, MA) has a large clamping surface and double-threaded screw to hold blades rigidly. Read more.
Power Skiving and Gear Shaping in One Machine
It’s long been recognized that skiving would be a much more productive process than shaping for cutting many internal gears. Fortunately, advances in skiving technology have improved the speed and effectiveness of this gear-making process, making it a more viable manufacturing option. Read more.
Designing a Solution for Thrufeeding Metal Tubes
When a customer recently asked Glebar Co. (Ramsey, NJ) to help solve a tricky problem, the resolution empowered the manufacturer to reduce lead times and costs by vertically integrating. Read more.
Chamfer Cutting of Interfering Contours & Internal Gears
Interfering contours, such as shoulders, pose a risk of collision that’s limited the chamfering of components such as shafts or idle gears. Liebherr Gear Technology (Saline, MI) gets around this by tilting the tool. Read more.
Quarter-Inch Right-Angle Die Grinder
Thanks to the company’s Powerstate brushless motor technology, Milwaukee Electric Tool’s (Brookfield, WI) cordless M12 Fuel ¼-in right-angle die grinder delivers 20% more power than pneumatic options. Read more.
Compact Automatic Jig Grinder
The Mitsui Seiki (Franklin Lakes, NJ) J350G jig grinder combines flexibility, accuracy, and operator-friendly operation. The machine’s infeed stroke is the largest available among competing machines, with a U-axis range of -3 mm to +50 mm relative to the spindle center. This provides the flexibility to grind small- and large-diameter holes as well as multiple features using a single wheel in a continuous, automatic mode. Read more.
Increase Productivity with a Five-in-One Machine
The Elb-Schliff millGrind BL10 from Precision Surfacing Solutions (PSS; Mount Prospect, IL) saves on capital costs and changeover and retrofit times by performing five operations: grinding, drilling and milling in one clamping; deep grinding and, with an optional laser head, deposition welding in the other. Read more.
Small-Footprint Grinder with Large Work Zone
At 6.5 ft wide by 7.5 ft long (including spindle/axis chiller) with a grind zone of 30.2 in x 19.9 in x 25.6 in (LWH), the NXT from Star SU (Hoffman Estates, IL) is the smallest footprint-to-work-envelope ratio on the market at 40.1, topping the closest competition by almost 2:1. Read more.
United Grinding Offers Full Range of Internal Cylindrical Grinders
United Grinding North America (Miamisburg, OH) offers a full range of Studer internal cylindrical grinding machines to ensure manufacturers get the most productive machine for their applications. The portfolio includes universal-type models as well as those designed for high production and for radii grinding operations. Read more.
Vision System Simplifies Tool Detection and Alignment
Developed by United Grinding North America’s (Miamisburg, OH) Walter Tool brand to simplify measuring operations for advanced grinding/eroding machines equipped with robotic part loaders, the Tool Vision System optimizes production of small, high-precision parts by automatically detecting and aligning tools, blanks and other workpieces. Read more.
Two-in-One Machine Grinds and Erodes
The VHybrid 360 from Vollmer of America Corp. (Carnegie, PA) is based on “multilayer machining:” both spindles are arranged vertically in the pivot point of the C axis. Read more.
Hexagon and Authentise Partner On End-To-End AM Software Solution
The first-of-its-kind solution will integrate shop floor data with data intelligence to orchestrate consistent quality from concept to part. Statistical process control combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence methods will mitigate waste and quality issues during design while improving AM repeatability.
Report: Industry Accelerating Past Recovery, Toward Digital Future
Fictiv’s 2021 State of Manufacturing Report finds manufacturing leaders focused on resilience, sustainability, and speed through digital transformation. But concerns about supply chain and workforce grow.
Beckwood to Manufacture Two Custom Hydraulic Presses for WHK BioSystems
A 110-ton 4-post compression molding machine will be used for R&D, and a 1650-ton compression molding press will be used in the production of UHMW sheets – the demand for which is rising in medical, aerospace, and defense sectors.