Drake Manufacturing Enjoys Export Surge with Thread Grinder
Drake Manufacturing Services Co. is enjoying a surge in exports to Chinese manufacturers, with orders in hand for more than 25 machines. This latest machine is a GS:TI-LM 200, a four-axis internal thread grinder with a 200 mm maximum grinding length and 350 mm swing over the table. It was tooled and programmed to grind recirculating ball nuts used in the power steering systems of heavy-duty commercial trucks. It is the second machine delivered to this customer, and more than doubles their production capacity. The steering nut weighs over nine kg and is manually loaded into a custom workholding fixture. Robot loading is also available. Cycle time for the internal thread grinding process is approximately 2-minutes. The GS:TI-LM 200 is equipped with linear motors for maintenance-free operation. No ballscrews and 0.05 micron scales mean accurate leads and helical path. A CNC rotary diamond dressing unit mounted on the workhead can generate wheel forms either by contouring or plunge dressing with a form roll. The wheel spindle is equipped with a power helix that can grind lead angles of +/- 12 degrees. The machine also has a safe shutdown feature that prevents crashes in the event of a plant power loss. Each Drake machine is delivered with Part Smart programs. The operator needs only to input part specific variables into the control to run parts. No customer programming is required and the customer can change from one part to another in minutes.
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