Balls are manufactured for roll-on deodorant, golf balls, and general industry ball valves. As an assembly part, these applications require precise measurements to accurately fit within the finished product.
Long manufacturing lead times create a need for increased inventory levels and deplete cash on hand. In many cases, suppliers form the balls one at a time from bar stock on a lathe in multiple roughing and finishing tool paths.
Almost all products require additional turning steps to achieve the desired diameter, remove mold imperfections and parting lines, and achieve the required surface finish. Turning can be slow and inconsistent, resulting in long cycle times, high scrap rates, and surface finishes that generally require downstream grinding or honing to meet specifications.
Depending on diameter and application, the PG-9DHD centerless form grinder from Glebar Co. (Ramsey, NJ) can grind five to 10 spherical and cylindrically shaped parts every 40 seconds. The 10-inch-wide work wheel produces multiple components per cycle while maintaining tolerances of +/- 0.003-inch or finer depending on the material being processed.
An automatic feeding system positioned at the top or side of the grinder can enable one operator to run three or more machines. The grinder is available with remote connectivity, gauging, automation interfacing, and precise positioning.
Glebar developed ball grinding for the golf industry in the 1960s using centerless grinding fundamentals. The process was adapted to grind other spherical and cylindrically shaped components. The company’s machines can grind most hard-to-turn materials including carbon fiber, fiberglass (including G10), Teflon, Santoprene, and polypropylene.
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