ShapeSmart NP5

August 01, 2011

The precision of a tool is directly related to the production accuracy of its blank. Manufacturing complex blanks to the highest standards of concentricity and dimensional accuracy has now become significantly easier with the ShapeSmart NP5, the 5-axis cylindrical grinding machine from Rollomatic. In addition to cutting tool blanks, the ShapeSmart NP5 machine is also ideally suited for manufacturing precision stamping and forming tools. This unique ability to simultaneously rough and finish grind with one setup offers added market efficiency.

In today's market greater flexibility, smaller batch sizes and increased production efficiency continue to be the top priorities among manufacturers. That means the demand for high-precision tools is continually on the rise as an important performance factor in production. As indicated, finished tool quality is highly dependant on the quality of the blank that you begin with. Today's modern cylindrical grinding machines are playing a pivotal role in ensuring high-precision quality of blanks and long-life stamping and forming tools. Users can achieve a crucial advantage in terms of quality and competitiveness with the new ShapeSmart NP5 from Rollomatic SA, Le Landeron, Switzerland.

The ShapeSmart NP5 is a 5-axis precision grinding machine with 3-axis robot loader. The machine has a grinding diameter range from 0.025mm to 20mm. It is ideally suited to produce cutting tool blanks, punches, ejector pins and many similar parts with complex shapes or extreme length-to-diameter ratios.

Jean-Charles Marty, Product Manager at Rollomatic SA: "Our patented grinding process is based on a technology that has been tried and tested for many years. This provides tremendous performance with optimum concentricity within a tolerance of 0.001mm. With the addition of a fifth axis, surfaces, polygons, non-circular and eccentric cam profiles can now be ground all in one setting."

In conjunction with the new machine control software NanoGrind and P4Smart, the user can typically rough machine in several passes and then add a finishing pass if required.

Jean-Charles Marty: "We've patented the option of roughing and finishing in one pass. At the same time, grinding in several passes makes it possible to remove a lot of material quickly. This often makes the machining time shorter and no new setup is required."

Rollomatic customers are used to maximum precision. The Swiss Company achieves this by continually optimizing the machine design and adapting the individual components in an ideal manner. In comparison to the popular predecessor model, the ShapeSmart NP4, Rollomatic has once again enhanced the design details.

The ShapeSmart NP5 is equipped with a more rigid machine bed which is disconnected from the machine hood, in order to further reduce vibration. The dampening performance achieved from this design provides ideal conditions for obtaining a high quality surface finish on the ground parts, as well as extending the life of the grinding wheels. Rollomatic uses the Fanuc 32iA with a 15-inch display and integrated PC for the machine control.

As Jean-Charles Marty comments: "Thanks to the new control generation, we were able to enhance user-friendliness further, while making operations more reliable, especially rapid traverse movements of 15m/min that are now possible, not least due to the more accurate interpolation." Linear glass scales, on both the roughing and finishing wheel axis, ensure the highest accuracy of this interpolation at the diameter.

"Our ShapeSmart NP5 is distinguished by extremely short axial displacements and the positioning of the grinding wheels directly at the prism guide of the work piece. This means that we achieve excellent concentricity and surface quality for all diameters, radii and cones," continues Jean-Charles Marty.

The new 3-axis robot loader/unloader enables everything from small batches to large batches to be ground unattended. Up to 1000 work pieces can be loaded, with a maximum length of 300mm. The maximum diameter during automatic loading and unloading is 16mm diameter, and the changeover time is 4 seconds. Up to 10 different shapes can be programmed with the same tooling. Thanks to the integrated "Flipper," both ends can also be ground in one setting. If extreme length-to-diameter ratios have to be ground, Rollomatic offers an optional device for guiding especially long work pieces.

The optional Marposs automatic measuring system ensures the high quality standards at all times. The ShapeSmart NP5 maintains even very narrow tolerances of 0.001mm without any manual correction whatsoever. This guarantees users optimum repeatability and the highest precision in unattended production, even for the most complex tool geometries.

Related Glossary Terms

  • computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)

    computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)

    Use of computers to control machining and manufacturing processes.

  • cylindrical grinding

    cylindrical grinding

    Grinding operation in which the workpiece is rotated around a fixed axis while the grinding wheel is fed into the outside surface in controlled relation to the axis of rotation. The workpiece is usually cylindrical, but it may be tapered or curvilinear in profile. See centerless grinding; grinding.

  • grinding


    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

    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.

  • interpolation


    Process of generating a sufficient number of positioning commands for the servomotors driving the machine tool so the path of the tool closely approximates the ideal path. See CNC, computer numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • rapid traverse

    rapid traverse

    Movement on a CNC mill or lathe that is from point to point at full speed but, usually, without linear interpolation.

  • tolerance


    Minimum and maximum amount a workpiece dimension is allowed to vary from a set standard and still be acceptable.