Like other segments within the metalworking industry, grinding machine technology has evolved over time to meet industry trends, including new advanced materials, increased demand for high-precision parts, 24/7 operations, and an acute shortage of skilled machine operators.
In response, grinding machines have become more flexible, sophisticated and automated, incorporating “smart” features such as remote monitoring, IoT support, software controls, and multiple functions into single-machine platforms. For example, most grinders sold today include CNC functionality for improved efficiency and accuracy. With the right features and set-up, modern grinding machines can produce high-precision components from a variety of substances, including hard-to-abrade materials and those with significant heat resistance.
High Precision Parts with Cylindrical ID/OD Grinding
Machines used for cylindrical grinding – a process used to finish off the outside or inside diameter of a cylindrical part – are a mainstay of many metalworking shops. With cylindrical grinding, both the workpiece and the grinding wheel are constantly rotating, as the grinding wheel is fed towards and away from the piece. These flexible machines can work on objects with various shapes, diameters, and sizes, as long as they have a central axis of rotation.
There are various types of single-purpose, single operation cylindrical grinders, including OD (outside diameter) or ID (inside diameter). OD grinders work on the external (outside) surface of an object as it is rotated between the centers. With ID grinding, small amounts of material are removed from a part to finish off its inner surface. Just as with OD grinding, the ID grinding wheel and the object rotate in opposite directions, giving reversed directional contact of the two surfaces where the grinding occurs. However, although single purpose OD or ID machines are still sold, many grinders now combine ID and OD grinding (and sometimes other grinding functions) onto a single machine, extending its usefulness and versatility.
Because of their ability to produce parts with high-quality surface finishes and excellent accuracy, ID/OD grinding machines are an invaluable option for extremely precise grinding applications (such as bearing and hydraulic components) and meeting the very tight tolerances required by industries such as aerospace, automotive, and defense.
Trends in Industrial ID/OD Grinding
As metalworking shops work to speed up machine set-up and parts production, often done with fewer skilled workers, ID/OD grinders have modernized further and become easier to configure and operate, with fewer steps involved. Even grinding wheels have been updated with new bonds and super-abrasives that remove more material faster than ever and can manage tough-to-cut metals. Today’s grinders have become more capable, rigid and powerful in order to safely handle these tough grinding applications.
The latest ID/OD grinders may include advanced features such as sensor monitoring processes, new controls and dressing processes, and support for multiple functions such as universal cylindrical, face and polygon grinding. Intelligent software systems have also found their way into grinders, improving operations and saving time. For example, grinding software has become better at calculating and suggesting process parameters, so that parts can be produced repeatedly with the desired accuracies and surface finishes.
These new machine capabilities not only produce higher quality parts more consistently but can shorten set-up time, improve machine usability, and support high-volume production applications.
Hardinge – Leading the Way to Internal/External Grinding Perfection
In addition to designing and building turning centers, and collets, Hardinge is a world leader in grinding solutions with the addition of the KELLENBERGER, HAUSER, TSCHUDIN, USACH, VOUMARD® and other brands to the Hardinge family.
Designed for flexible internal/external grinding operations, the Voumard line of innovative, high productivity cylindrical ID/OD grinding machines can process work pieces of almost every geometry and perform multiple grinding operations in a single clamping. They can address numerous manufacturing requirements and industries such as automotive, aerospace, bearing, tooling and spindle manufacturing. Voumard systems are used worldwide to manufacture various parts in large batches (like diesel common rail and hydraulics-pneumatics components) or low quantities (like high precision bearings and machines spindles components).
For example, the Voumard VM 150 series, a compact, multi-purpose and universal ID/OD grinding solution, is a great choice for producing medium sized to larger work pieces in both small batch and volume production environments.
Need more? Then stay tuned for our upcoming announcement. The premium Voumard line will be expanding soon with a new standard setting ID grinding machine, suitable for both universal as well as production grinding. Featuring a unique design to offer more flexible machining possibilities and less retooling, this exciting new grinding machine will be introduced soon.