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➤ B Y T I M O T H Y M . F I N N , S A I N T- G O B A I N A B R A S I V E S

Weldon Solutions has developed a work drive

All images: Saint-Gobain

adapter that allows mounting a diamond roll
onto the workhead for wheel truing. Here,
a Beck (Universal) sintered diamond roll is
truing a Universal vitrified CBN wheel on a
Weldon Solutions peel grinder.

Well-dressed New online dressing

technology eliminates
inefficient offline dress-
ing and advances CNC
production of round
cutting tools.

dvances in online truing and free refers to the elimination of the more frequent truing and dressing.
dressing of grinding wheels— need for regrinding or relapping of the ■ Increased production throughput
coupled with better monitor- diamond to restore tip geometry. Lap- due to decreased machine down-
ing and control—are helping to in- free, bonded profile dressing rollers time, increased unmanned produc-
crease production and improve the have 0.250" of usable dense diamond tion hours, increased wheel life
quality of round tools, such as drills particles, which are uniform and do not and shorter grinding cycle times
and endmills. require relapping. due to the grinding wheel remain-
New superabrasive wheels, lap-free The benefits of online truing and ing conditioned.
bonded profile dressing rolls and high- dressing include: ■ Improved operator safety since
speed DC dressing spindles are elimi- ■ Improved workpiece quality due to truing is completed inside the
nating the need for time-consuming decreased wheel runout, increased CNC machine, dressing and con-
and problematic offline dressing. Lap- wheel geometry accuracy, and ditioning needs are significantly
decreased and manual “sticking” he remounts the trued wheel resin and polyimide, vitrified and hy- Success stories
is eliminated by having it per- on the grinding spindle, there brid polyimide superabrasive wheels
formed automatically inside the could be 0.001" to 0.002" decrease downtime in applications that The combination of factors described in the main article—superabrasive
machine. (best case) or 0.005" to 0.006" involve offline dressing and extend wheels, lap-free dressing rollers, DC dressing spindles and good applications engi-
(worst case) of runout. In the wheel life when dressing online. neering—have produced superior results in round cutting tool production runs.
Truing and Dressing latter case, the grinding wheel Regardless of the type of truing and
Truing, or form regeneration, makes will not cut equally along its dressing system used, when compared
a wheel round to its axis of rotation entire circumference. This to competitive products for produc- Examples Results
and restores the wheel profile, which creates chatter, increases ing micro- to large-diameter round 1. Fluting 1"-dia., 4-flute, HSS end- The cycle time to complete the ball-
breaks down with use. Cutting tool wheel wear and leads to an tools, hybrid polyimide superabrasive mills. These workpieces had a 0.650" nose endmill was under 8 minutes
manufacturers typically perform truing inferior surface finish. wheels: core and 2.00" flute length. Grinding (including robot load and unload) for
on an offline dressing machine. Offline dressing also causes ■ consistently remove more stock
was done on a Walter Vision 44-hp fluting, OD relief, the center cut and all
Dressing, or conditioning, involves production delays. When re- per pass at a given spindle power; machine, using a 7", 150-grit, vitrified end features. The initial lights-out run
removing or sharpening dull grains and truing a wheel, a shop loses ■ achieve a higher grinding ratio
CBN wheel running at a peripheral produced more than 500 parts with no
removing loaded material and small an hour of manufacturing ANCA has a system with a conventional and longer life;
truing wheel or diamond roll mounted speed of 10,000 sfm. Reconditioning scrap. This represents more than a 100
amounts of the wheel’s bond to expose time for removal, truing, re-installa- onto its high-speed work drive. Here, a
■ produce finer tool finish and edge
was performed online, unidirection- percent improvement in cycle time per
new abrasive grains, which allow the tion and dressing. In addition, the price silicon-carbide wheel is mounted to the quality; and ally, after every five parts using a BPR part. The finished endmills exhibited
wheel to cut freely. of an offline dressing machine ranges workhead of an ANCA machine. ■ yield a lower overall cost per tool.
diamond roll, one traverse dress at a excellent cutting edge quality and very
Offline truing and dressing present from $45,000 to $90,000. It doesn’t depth of 0.0002", +75 percent speed good rake face finish when viewed at
major challenges. First, when an op- make parts, so it remains idle much of dressing spindle, truing and dress- Relapping Sent Packing ratio and a dress lead of 0.004" per 150× magnification.
erator removes a grinding wheel from the time. ing can be done online. Nonetheless, Lap-free, bonded profile dressing wheel revolution. The vitrified CBN
the machine for truing and dressing, over 95 percent of cutting tool manu- rollers offer several advantages over wheel ground each flute to final depth
runout accuracy—how round and true Saving Time, Money facturers running superabrasives still traditional rollers made with polycrys- at a feed rate of over 8 ipm.
the wheel is to the spindle on which it Long recognized as a timesaver apply resin-bond, metal-bond or di- talline-diamond particles or chemi-
is grinding—can be compromised. when grinding metal parts, online rect-plated wheels. And, in the case of cal-vapor-deposition diamonds and
This is because when the operator dressing was first performed with direct-plated wheels, they dress offline conventional sintered rolls with natural 2. Knuckle grinding ½"-dia., 4-flute Operators increased the knuckling
mounts the wheel to the truing spindle superabrasive wheels on machines or not at all. diamond particles. These traditional carbide roughing endmills. The speci- feed rate by 50 percent over the pre-
of an offline dressing machine, the used to produce bearings. Today, Cutting tool manufacturers consid- rollers require relapping as many as fications called for roughing the end- vious direct-plated diamond wheel.
wheel becomes round and perpendicu- manufacturers always perform online ering upgrading to online dressing will four times during their lives—at 30 mill knuckles to have a 1mm pitch Three hundred parts per dress were
lar to the truing spindle. Then, when truing and dressing when grinding need the following to ensure success: to 50 percent of the initial cost for and a 1.5" flute width. Grinding was obtained before the form grew out of
camshafts and crankshafts, and the ■ superabrasive wheels that can be each relapping. Even in online truing done on a Rollomatic 600X machine tolerance with the vitrified wheel. Cycle
A new system from Rollomatic combines practice is also prevalent in the aero- dressed online; and dressing operations, relapping or with a 6-hp spindle, using a 6" 320- time dropped significantly and, more
an online dressing spindle with an space industry. ■ lap-free, bonded profile dressing replacing a dressing roll produces ma- grit vitrified diamond wheel running importantly, this operation produced
automated stick dresser, allowing for Machines for grinding cutting tools rollers; chine downtime. at a peripheral speed of 7,400 sfm. improved cutting edges over the direct-
automated truing and conditioning. This
have become so sophisticated that ■ variable-speed DC spindle assem- Brazed profile rolls (BPRs) support Reconditioning was performed online, plated wheels, when viewed at 150×
lends itself to increased reliability for
extended production. with the right wheel, dressing roll and blies; and truing and dressing applications that unidirectionally, using an RPC plunge magnification.
■ sound applications engi- require a tip radius as small as 0.005" diamond roll with two forms, a plunge
neering. and a tip angle as small as 0°. (Most dress at a 0.0008" depth and a +67
Superabrasive grind - other profile rolls have larger starting percent speed ratio.
ing wheels are specifically radii and require a tip angle to support
designed for grinding hard the diamond tip.) BPRs are, however,
metals. Vitrified superabra- currently limited to obtaining work 3. Flute grinding 6mm, 2-flute, high- The hybrid polyimide wheel offered four
sive wheels are the easiest piece finishes of greater than 20µin performance carbide drills. Grinding times the life of the wheel it replaced
type to true. The bond post, Ra. was done on an ANCA MGX 11-hp and twice as many parts per dress (40
which is made of glass, is Diamond dressing rolls other than machine using a 6" hybrid polyimide vs. 20). It could be dressed online; the
actually crushed. BPRs, such as reverse-plated con- wheel running at a peripheral speed metal-bond wheel could not. Also, the
Historically, resin- and struction (RPC) rolls, can be used of 6,000 sfm. Reconditioning was hybrid polyimide wheel did not require
metal-bond superabra- effectively for online dressing. RPC performed online, counter-direction- stick dressing. Cycle time was reduced
sive wheels were so diffi- rotary diamond dressers are manufac- ally, after every 40 parts using a BPR by one-third, and the cost per part was
cult to true that the process tured by electroplating nickel to the diamond roll, a traverse dress at a reduced by 31 percent.
was never attempted on the diamonds, inside a precision mold. depth of 0.0005", a -1,467 percent
grinding machine. Today, During online dressing, RPC dressing speed ratio and a 0.626 overlap ratio.
hybrid polyimide wheels tools have consistently outperformed The feed rate was 12 ipm vs. 8 ipm
have self-dressing, wear-re- direct-plated diamond dressers. for the previous wheel, a 50 percent
sistant bonds that, in many increase.
cases, require little or no A Varied Approach Sidebar compiled by Timothy M. Finn
stick dressing. Compared to Variable-speed spindle assemblies
with DC brushless motors allow on- speed ratio allows the
line dressing that takes full advantage diamond dressing roll
of the CNC capabilities of high-speed to grind the wheel. The
grinding machines. These DC spin- diamond roll is rotating
dle assemblies provide three times 10 to 15 times faster (in
the power, 10 times the torque and sfm) than the grinding
have three times faster spindle speeds wheel. Counter-direc-
than the AC spindles typically used in tional dressing is shown
offline dressing. in the speed ratio with a
Since they are one-quarter the size of minus (-) sign. The re-
AC spindles, the DC units are compact sult is a speed ratio of
enough to fit on grinding machines not approximately -10 to -15
typically designed for online truing (-1,000 percent to -1,500 For fluting round cutting tools such
and dressing. The DC spindles’ maxi- Walter Helitronic Power grinding machine with a BPR percent). as drills, stepdrills and endmills, one
mum runout accuracy is 0.000080" or, diamond profiling roll mounted onto a DC brushless Proof is in the Sensors option is an operation that combines
dressing spindle. The workpiece is a ¾" 4-flute carbide online wheel conditioning with hybrid
more typically, 0.000040". endmill.
The applications
polyimide grinding wheels, which
engineering and as-
have been tested on all makes of
Engineering a Solution lower grinding forces and imparts a sociated grinding processes used round tool machines in North America
Effective online truing and dress- rougher surface finish. to produce cutting tools (see sidebar) against nearly all competing wheels
ing for vitrified and hybrid polyimide Unidirectional dressing is shown can be measured and analyzed with from multiple suppliers. The increased
wheels require sound applications en- in the speed ratio with a plus (+) sign. sensor-based systems using Hall-effect wheel velocity achievable with hybrid
polyimide wheels produce improved
gineering. Critical parameters include Therefore, a +75 percent speed ratio is current probes and linear variable-dif-
rake face surface finish and outstanding
the speed ratio (between the dress- an excellent starting point for vitrified ferential transducers. These systems edge quality. See example 3 in sidebar
ing spindle and the grinding (page 70) for more information.
wheel), the proper direction
of dress (counter- vs. uni- or the same cycle on different days,
directional) and the proper with different machines or abrasives.
overlap ratio (determined by Or, one might wish to compare power
the diamond width of the trends over several cycles. Other fac-
dressing roll, wheel speed tors that can be calculated from data
and the diamond’s traverse captured by the system include grind
rate across the width of the times, feed rates and material-removal
wheel). rates. Data can even be gathered about
For a given application, microscopic interactions occurring in
the user determines optimal the grinding zone.
settings for these parameters These process-monitoring capabili-
according to the finish and ties point to a bigger issue: grinding
tolerance requirements, as optimization using sophisticated moni-
well as the type of grinding toring systems. Using data from the
wheel used and how best to sensor-based measurement and analy-
condition it to make a spe- sis system, engineers can determine
Rollomatic 600X with a RPC plunge
cific tool. diamond roll mounted onto a DC
the impact any factor that influences
Applications engineers brushless dressing spindle. The grinding might have on grinding re-
have developed truing pro- workpiece is a ½" carbide roughing sults.
cedures for different work- endmill. At the same time, engineers can also
pieces and grinding wheels. consider all of the process monitor-
For example, unidirectional ing input groups: machine tool, work-
truing, also called crushing—in which wheels where bond posts are being measure and monitor various perfor- piece material, abrasive product and
the grinding wheel and the dressing broken. That means the dressing roll mance indicators, such as power con- operational factors—including wheel
roll actually turn in the same direction must rotate at about 75 percent of the sumption, cycle time and workpiece balancing, truing, dressing and condi-
at the point of contact—is generally grinding wheel’s speed (in sfm). behavior. tioning parameters.
the best technique for conditioning Counter-directional truing, or shear- Software converts the transducer The systems approach to improving
vitrified CBN and diamond wheels. ing, is generally used when lower tru- signals into quantitative process data round tool production has led to many
Unidirectional dressing takes higher ing forces are required, such as with that can be used for various calcula- of the advances described in this article
dressing forces, which lead to a sharper hybrid polyimide grinding wheels. tions and comparisons. Options in- and promises to lead to more in the
wheel. This sharper wheel allows for Counter-directional truing at a high clude comparisons of different cycles future. q

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