Progressive miniaturization in the watch making industry, medical technology and electronics industries continue to put increased pressure on tool manufacturers: They are routinely required to produce increasingly smaller drilling and milling tools to meet the demand for high-quality machining results. But how can tools with diameters as small as 0.03mm be manufactured? The grinding machine experts at Rollomatic provide the answer: The GrindSmart Nano6. Since it came to market four years ago, the company's GrindSmart Nano6 has reportedly become the worldwide reference for manufacturing micro tools.
Requirements in the fields of medical technology, mold making and the processing of difficult-to-machine material provide daily challenges for machinists and tool manufacturers alike: Diameters are becoming increasingly smaller and at the same time tolerances are shrinking to zero – concentricity must be perfect and service life continuously improved. Using high-precision micro tools is the only way to successfully meet these specifications.
"Manufacturers of such drilling and milling tools know just how demanding this is," says Damien Wunderlin, Head of Marketing and Sales at Rollomatic SA in Le Landeron, Switzerland. "With our competence in grinding machine production and micro tool grinding technology, particularly with our GrindSmart Nano6, we can provide them with the ideal instrument for grinding tool diameters down to 0.03mm."
Manufacturing such small tools requires very specific parameters. Factors that often have little or no impact at all on the quality of normal-sized tools are critical when grinding a milling tool of 0.03mm diameter. For example, controlling even slight fluctuations in temperature inside the grinding machine or minimal vibrations throughout the machine base or in the grinding wheel itself are critical when addressing a tool with a diameter of 0.03mm. The slightest concentric error in the grinding wheel can put such immense pressure on a micro tool that it simply breaks.
"To avoid such errors, the grinding machine used must be a specialized model, like our GrindSmart Nano6. With its three hydrostatic axes, the 6-axis machine achieves optimum damping for example, which is a necessity in the manufacturing of micro tools," explains Wunderlin.
The hydrostatic system causes no friction in the machine guides. This provides tremendous rigidity as well as a high vibration damping effect, while simultaneously protecting the moving components against wear and allowing the machine to achieve an optimum surface finish. The fact that Rollomatic has also made the machine relatively compact is no coincidence: This keeps the travel distances short and makes it a lot easier to maintain constant internal temperature conditions at all times.
"This ensures consistently stable conditions for error-free and precise grinding processes," adds Wunderlin who goes on to say: "This allows the GrindSmart Nano6 to perform long production cycles without the operator having to intervene in a tolerance area of 0.003mm."
The PerfectArbor zero clearance flange system also permits setup of the grinding wheel flange with concentricity within 0.002mm. The patented self-centering tool guidance of the GrindSmart Nano6 produces tool concentricity of less than 0.001mm and minimizes the setup time. Changing the workpiece is also effortless: The standard automatic high-speed loading system loads and unloads the workpieces in just eight seconds. Together with its Fanuc high-performance touch screen control unit and user-friendly programming software, VirtualGrind Pro, the Rollomatic GrindSmart Nano6 is the ideal solution for the quality-conscious micro tool manufacturer.
Related Glossary Terms
Space provided behind a tool’s land or relief to prevent rubbing and subsequent premature deterioration of the tool. See land; relief.
- gang cutting ( milling)
gang cutting ( milling)
Machining with several cutters mounted on a single arbor, generally for simultaneous cutting.
Machining operation in which material is removed from the workpiece by a powered abrasive wheel, stone, belt, paste, sheet, compound, slurry, etc. Takes various forms: surface grinding (creates flat and/or squared surfaces); cylindrical grinding (for external cylindrical and tapered shapes, fillets, undercuts, etc.); centerless grinding; chamfering; thread and form grinding; tool and cutter grinding; offhand grinding; lapping and polishing (grinding with extremely fine grits to create ultrasmooth surfaces); honing; and disc grinding.
- grinding machine
Powers a grinding wheel or other abrasive tool for the purpose of removing metal and finishing workpieces to close tolerances. Provides smooth, square, parallel and accurate workpiece surfaces. When ultrasmooth surfaces and finishes on the order of microns are required, lapping and honing machines (precision grinders that run abrasives with extremely fine, uniform grits) are used. In its “finishing” role, the grinder is perhaps the most widely used machine tool. Various styles are available: bench and pedestal grinders for sharpening lathe bits and drills; surface grinders for producing square, parallel, smooth and accurate parts; cylindrical and centerless grinders; center-hole grinders; form grinders; facemill and endmill grinders; gear-cutting grinders; jig grinders; abrasive belt (backstand, swing-frame, belt-roll) grinders; tool and cutter grinders for sharpening and resharpening cutting tools; carbide grinders; hand-held die grinders; and abrasive cutoff saws.
- grinding wheel
Wheel formed from abrasive material mixed in a suitable matrix. Takes a variety of shapes but falls into two basic categories: one that cuts on its periphery, as in reciprocating grinding, and one that cuts on its side or face, as in tool and cutter grinding.
Machining operation in which metal or other material is removed by applying power to a rotating cutter. In vertical milling, the cutting tool is mounted vertically on the spindle. In horizontal milling, the cutting tool is mounted horizontally, either directly on the spindle or on an arbor. Horizontal milling is further broken down into conventional milling, where the cutter rotates opposite the direction of feed, or “up” into the workpiece; and climb milling, where the cutter rotates in the direction of feed, or “down” into the workpiece. Milling operations include plane or surface milling, endmilling, facemilling, angle milling, form milling and profiling.
Minimum and maximum amount a workpiece dimension is allowed to vary from a set standard and still be acceptable.
- wheel flange
Metal plate inside the grinding-wheel hole that allows the wheel to be mounted on a spindle.