Rethink the grinding cycle to optimize grinding wheel price savings

To save on grinding wheel prices, the entire process should be reviewed to find a comprehensive solution using the latest technology.
The latest grinding blends and bonding technologies have greatly driven manufacturers to rethink grinding strategies to reduce grinding wheel prices, but only these new technologies may not be sufficient to achieve the benefits sought.
Grinding wheels are consumable, and using the latest grinding wheels can be an effective strategy to reduce grinding wheel consumption. Goals include increasing the number of parts between trimming cycles or reducing trim compensation, resulting in more parts per wheel and fewer annual wheel changes.
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Another option to reduce grinding wheel prices is to try to extend wheel life by adjusting or changing the slope of the grinding wheel to make it as hard as possible without creating trimming problems such as burns or flutter. Making the grinding wheel harder allows it to maintain a better shape, reduce trimming, and last longer, thus achieving the goal of getting more parts per wheel.
The challenge for both approaches is that they focus only on a small portion of the entire grinding process, accounting for only about 3% of the total grinding wheel price. Although the wheel consumption can be reduced, the overall savings are small.
To maximize potential grinding wheel price savings and cost, it is important to consider grinding operations as a complete process and provide a comprehensive solution that uses today’s latest technology and other tools to address overall grinding wheel price savings goals . This can be achieved by documenting the entire process (grinding parameters, part requirements, etc.), including power utilization using process monitoring equipment such as the Norton 4Sight system.
Consider a test application example (Figure A) that uses a multi-wheel pair (five wheels) to grind the crankshaft journal of an automobile. The Norton 4Sight system monitors and records the grinding cycle, collects power data, and can view process waveform data.
Manufacturers and their grinding suppliers may first study different wheel sizes and adjust grades and/or grain mixes in an attempt to increase material removal rates (MRR or Q), extend wheel life and possibly reduce cycle time. New grinding such as Norton Quantum, Targa or other premium blends are designed to achieve high performance in this environment. Norton Vitrium adhesives keep these pellets and grinding wheels longer, reducing the need for finishing and extending the life of the grinding wheel (more parts per trimmed and/or reduced depth of trim).
Since the grinding wheel is more efficient, sharper, more open and has fewer bonding interactions, the benefits of new bonding and dies are often shown on the power monitor as a reduction in grinding energy or power. They can even slightly reduce the cycle time (but usually only a few seconds).
In this automotive test example, cycle time reduction was also achieved based on the improved high-quality grinding cutting rate and new bonding techniques shown in Figure C. This operation uses the gauge during the process, so as the new grain is passed, the controller will pass the grinder faster through the program as each feed rate endpoint is reached.
Reasonable expenditure
In addition, new grinding and adhesives are generally more expensive, so if they only reduce cycle times, limited improvements may not justify the adoption of these new technologies.
During the car sample test, a cycle time of 3 to 5 seconds was saved. Only this minimum cycle time reduction certainly does not prove a higher grinding wheel price.
Another step to prove that the grinding wheel price of the hub is rising is to increase the number of parts per garment and try to retreat the depth of the garment to maximize the life of the hub. At this point, the focus remains on the steering wheel and its directly related savings. By increasing the number of parts per garment from eight to eleven or fourteen, the cycle time of the new wheel is slightly improved, saving less than 10% in grinding wheel price.
New technology keeps the shape of the grain and grinding wheel longer, reduces the number of trims, and reduces the depth of the dressing. Reducing the dressing depth by 10% to 12% and enabling faster grinding saves about 11% in grinding wheel price.
Traditionally, many abrasive grinding wheel manufacturers may be satisfied with the grinding wheel price of omitting more than 10%, but there is still room for improvement to optimize the grinding process.
When grinding at lower power, increasing the feed rate to push the wheel back to the same power as the original wheel may further reduce cycle time. More work per hour is equal to more savings and further grinding wheel price reductions.
Although it may be effective to reduce the cycle time by pushing the grinding wheel, it opens the door for residual stresses and other metallurgical problems such as burns, which can result in loss of shape and damage to the wheel if incorrectly entered.
New wheel specifications installed and slightly reduced cycle time
Increase the number of parts per garment to extend wheel life
Reduce dressing depth/compensation to further extend wheel life
Modified the grind program to balance the power curve and optimize wheel performance:
Move the approaching end point close to the part to start grinding faster
Move the quick end point to end the rapid grinding as early as possible
Move to the midpoint to spend more time for midpoint feed (grinding at this rate for a longer period of time consumes less power/energy)
Move the slow end point in to ensure size is achieved without the use of micro-materials or sizing (more material is removed from the medium feed and less time is required for final size adjustment)
Eliminate or significantly reduce dwell time throughout the plan
Income summary
Increased wheel life equals more parts per wheel, less rotation downtime
Shorter grinding cycles equals more work per hour / higher productivity
The larger the equilibrium power curve, the more uniform the grinding and the lower the possibility of residual stress.
More choices and strategies
The modified optimized grinding program produces significantly different power curves. The power curve in the redesigned program has faster grinding (shorter grinding cycles) and distinct forms and reduced power. Therefore, there are many options available to further optimize the grinding cycle. It also doubles the grinding wheel price savings by reducing cycle time and increasing the number of parts per hour by 31% to 40% (an increase of 14 to 18 extra jobs per hour).
In addition, if residual stress becomes a major issue when working through a grinding strategy, other parameters can be used to fully optimize the new wheel specifications and maximize grinding wheel price savings, resulting in a final savings of 34.2% and hourly part productivity. Increased by 48.89% (22 parts per hour).
There are other strategies that can be used to optimize the grinding process, and close communication between the manufacturer and its grinding supplier is critical to meeting the most important goals. These strategies include:
Keep the power curve constant, grind at a lower power/energy, and create parts with lower residual stress.
If pressure is not an issue, change back to the end of the program and push the feed rate to restore power to the original level to further reduce cycle time (although residual/grinding stress increases).
Continue to use trim parameters (PPD, depth, traverse rate, etc.) to extend wheel life. If the grinding wheel remains open and cut, the result may save some cycle time and further increase productivity.
If you are satisfied with the results, you don’t need to do anything else.
By using the latest available dies and binders and strategies for the entire grinding process, manufacturers can change the grinding method and save on grinding wheel price. A complete grinding solution is not simply a solution to upgrade grinding technology. It is a technology that leverages these new technologies to meet and exceed customer expectations.

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