Mitsui Seiki has developed a universal vertical thread grinder, offering many important benefits for customers making precision lead screw type parts. The new VGE60A universal vertical thread grinder won the coveted Grand Prize in Japan's 43rd Machine Design Awards competition. This award ceremony, sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, was held on July 22013.
According to Tom Dolan, vice president of Mitsui Seiki USA Inc.,"There's been a long trend of switching over from hydraulic to electrical power actuation in a variety of important industries such as automotive, aerospace and robotics. As such, lead and feed screw actuators for electrical power steering, flight control actuators, and automation systems are in increased demand. Along with these market drivers, highly accurate and efficient machining methods for various screws, such as ballscrews, have also been on the rise. Typically, thread grinders have been made the same way for the last 50 years. This new technology changes everything."
Addressing these market forces, Mitsui Seiki developed a new universal thread grinder design configuration. It offers improved accuracy, speed, performance, and multi-functionality over conventional horizontal thread grinder designs, according to the company. The new VGE60A is categorized as a "universal" machine because different grinding operations can be performed. In addition to thread grinding, the machine can now perform spline, gear, OD, surface and edge grinding operations in a single setup. This can save customers significant production time while improving overall part accuracy. Newly designed features such as an automatic grinding wheel changer, automatic wheel guard, a CNC wheel dresser (to accommodate various shaped wheels) vastly improve productivity. Infinitely programmable grinding wheel tilt angles from +45 to -90 degrees provide increased grinding application opportunities. The vertical orientation of the work enhances overall precision elimination of workpiece "sag" is the principle contributor to increased precision.
As with any industry today, the value of floor space and operator ergonomics are important design influences. The new vertical configuration requires 33 percent less floor space than a similar capacity horizontal grinder, and allows for improved human interface with the complete work zone. The VGE60A accommodates a maximum grinding length of 600mm and an overall shaft size of 80mm diameter (with the largest dia. wheel) and 700mm long. The machine is compatible with both oil and water-based coolants.
Related Glossary Terms
- computer numerical control ( CNC)
computer numerical control ( CNC)
Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.
Rate of change of position of the tool as a whole, relative to the workpiece while 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 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.
- outer diameter ( OD)
outer diameter ( OD)
Dimension that defines the exterior diameter of a cylindrical or round part. See ID, inner diameter.
Discipline involving self-actuating and self-operating devices. Robots frequently imitate human capabilities, including the ability to manipulate physical objects while evaluating and reacting appropriately to various stimuli. See industrial robot; robot.
- thread grinder
Typically a form grinder as well as a thread grinder, this machine differs from other grinders in that precision gears and leadscrews ensure a precise traverse to impart the correct lead to a thread.