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Grinder Enables Lights-Out Production of Extremely Tight-Tolerance Machining Tools

Vollmer’s 5-axis VGrind 340S machines carbide drills and milling cutters with diameters from 0.3 mm to 12.7 mm, sizes increasingly in demand in the automotive, electronics and medical sectors. Automation options enable unattended production around the clock.

Posted: April 8, 2021

Vollmer’s VGrind 340S enables tool manufacturers to produce extremely thin carbide drills and milling cutters used to machine extremely small-diameter, tight-tolerance metal and composite components for the automotive, electronics and medical industries. Actuation via 5 CNC axes and back rests guarantee precise machining in the micrometer range. Wear-free linear induction motors on the X, Y and Z axes ensure grinding consistency and improved surface quality.

The 5-axis VGrind 340S from Vollmer of America Corp. (Carnegie, PA) was  developed to grind and resharpen extremely small carbide tools with diameters from 0.3 mm to 12.7 mm. Carbide drills and milling cutters in this size range are in high demand in the automotive, electronics, connector and medical engineering sectors, where assembly spaces and components are getting ever smaller. Automation options allow tool manufacturers to confidently run the grinder in unmanned production around the clock.

Two grinding spindles situated one above the other with the grinding wheel set positioned at the C axis pivot point ensure extremely precise results. The vertical spindle arrangement solves problems related to fixed and floating bearings. The spindles can be fitted with different grinding wheel sets for seamless conversion and less non-productive time. Motor and spindle cooling increase precision by increasing thermal stability.

Replaceable dressing device achieve optimum concentricity and axial run-out for the grinding wheel packages. An optional probe facilitates in-machine wheel calibration and recalibration of the handling mechanism as often as required. Wheel coolant nozzles can be replaced automatically, just like the wheel packages themselves.

The 5 CNC axes achieve interpolation with short travel distances for the linear and rotary axes. In addition to the rotary axes, the linear axes are direct drives (linear drives). Unlike ball screws, the non-contact drives aren’t subject to wear, increasing service life and precision. A steady rest optimizes tool concentricity during grinding; optional back rest supports longer drilling tools.

The controller’s NUMROTOplus software supports a huge variety of tools, and simulates the production process so operator can identify and eliminate collisions. Every detail on individual tools can be altered and adapted as needed.

The height adjustable and pivoting touchscreen control desk and generously dimensioned view of the machining space makes for ergonomic operation via keyboard or touchscreen. Designed for setting a required axis without using the control desk, a multifunction handwheel can be freely positioned on the enclosure.

Optional solutions for automation, such as HP 160 pallet magazine or HPR 250 free-arm robot, ensures machining of up to 900 tools with different shank diameters can continue unattended around the clock.

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