Centerless grinding is best in achieving consistent part results at fast lead times but issues are inevitable – this calls for innovations to improve operation and productivity.
When it comes to mass production, centerless grinding receives all the recognition in achieving consistent part results at fast lead times. The multifunctionality it performs allows the option to not just grind and cut the bar alone, but also polish and clean it to its accurate surface finish.
This cylindrical operation is highly applied in the mass variety of either round or complex components where quality parameters like tight tolerance, cylindricity, and roundness are crucial.
As of today, the cost of manufacturing is highly increasing which has pushed manufacturers to extract more production out of grinding machines to at least, lower the cost per piece. Let’s say a supplier of components for high-performance applications such as automotive engines, aircraft parts, turbines, and endurance racing will need to have boost-production but at reduced lead times. Outsourcing this required application is considered the best aid that puts centerless grinding in place and specialization. Yet, it entails a large machine investment and skill not really common in the machinist workforce.
Thus, we can’t deny the fact that centerless grinding can be quite expensive and dirty; but there are best suggestions from experts to improve productivity and quality level while reducing the cost of centerless grinding process:
Floor Space Utilization
- The land cost is always high which has hit the biggest percentage in the capital including the facilities and the equipment. This initiates the need to reduce floor space dedicated to a single machine only and a machine footprint. Upon this rising issue, some operators come up in designing small models of grinding machines. In addition, they add rigidity by adding weight to make it equal to the traditional models. This helps save more space for other operations.
Productive Dressing Time
- Dressing is the major non-productive phase in the process. Thus, there really is the need to devise operations in order for the dressing time to be utilized productively. There is where the use of diamond abrasives comes in place. Diamond abrasives don’t get dull right away which are much effective in grinding parts. This leads to more production of parts with consistent finish even with less redressing.
Reduced Working Costs
- This best explains why automation implemented in the operation is important and effective. Running automation helps the operator to do more than one task and run more than one machine. Skill is highly considered in this phase. Thus, it is important to hire a skilled person who knows how to look after the setting and do regular inspections of the final pieces for the grinding machine. The implementation of CNC option also aid in the reduction of operator’s intervention to a large extent to reduce costs.
Energy Efficient Motors
- The increasing cost of power is happening right now, thus more energy-efficient motors must be explored.
- The production of fuel-efficient vehicles is important to run the operation, however, this is also greatly affected by the increasing rate of fuel prices – which is a burden to the manufacturers. This opens up the need to explore and try different materials and techniques to reduce vehicle weight. And if possible, machines with the capability to grind such components need to be devised. Installation of Variable Frequency Drive to the grinding wheels helps in achieving constant surface speed. This is also aids in the reduction of the dressing frequency as the wheel diameter is reduced, resulting in optimum use of the grinding wheels.
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