Demand for components such as gearwheels, planetary gears, chain gears or flanged components for cars typically runs in quantities of millions. Thus, short cycle times in production have become mandatory. The internal contour of a gearwheel, for example, must be ground in the shortest possible time and the machine’s workholding unit has to be loaded with a new workpiece equally as efficiently. This represents a critical moment in many production environments, as idle time is often a decisive factor in establishing the economic viability of an entire production process.
Efficiency through two grinding wheels
An important feature of the VLC 100 G is the possibility of utilizing two grinding spindles used to perform different grinding operations, to handle both rough and fine-grinding work, for example. “For the removal of large amounts, two wheels offer a shorter cycle time than one, with the first wheel designed to do the rough-grinding and the second one in charge of finish-grinding work,” explains Dr. Guido Hegener, managing director of EMAG Salach Maschinenfabrik GmbH. The first wheel performs the “rough” job of removing excess material from the raw-part at high feedrates (the CBN wheel is specially designed to absorb the necessary forces), while the second wheel, with different specifications, takes over the finishing work to guarantee a perfect surface finish on even the most challenging geometries. Through this intelligent tooling combination, EMAG design engineers have succeeded in drastically reducing the grinding time of even very complex components.
The automatic loading advantage
High output levels with short cycle times is exactly what the VLC 100 G Vertical Grinding Center from EMAG was developed for. For chucked components with a maximum diameter of 100 mm, the VLC 100 G utilizes its built-in pick-up system to load itself. While one workpiece is being machined the operator, or the automation system, re-loads the raw-parts onto the conveyor belt. This reduces idle times and increases output rates. The vertical machining concept, the signature EMAG design, ensures that grinding sludge falls to the bottom of the machine unhindered and away from the machining process, where it is then transported out of the machine.
Integrated quality control
Measuring can also be integrated into the machine, making quality control an integral part of the whole process. The measuring probe is located between the machining area and the pick-up station, where it is protected from contamination.
A convincing machine concept
The combination of fast loading and efficient grinding processes leads to a very compelling machining concept. The VLC 100 G works very well with the dynamic developments in automotive production. Now, with the rapid increase in required quantities, demand for new machine concepts that can be seamlessly integrated into existing production grows. Two features of the VLC 100 G enable it to be effortlessly integrated into established production lines. “Programming the workpieces with our new EMAG Navigator software is simple and intuitive, saving valuable setup time. For many production environments this is an advantage that should not be underrated,“ states Dr. Hegener. Furthermore, the exceptionally small footprint of the VLC 100 G should make the work of every production planner easier. The stand-alone machine only takes up 4.5 square meters/48 square feet, making sure that growth of a production facility will not be limited by floor space requirements.