NUM has announced a high performance CNC solution for gear production machines that fully automates threaded wheel grinding. Incorporating unique high speed gear alignment technology that is believed to be an order of magnitude faster than comparable control schemes, the new CNC system dramatically reduces grinding machine threading-in times to accelerate throughput significantly.
The comprehensive new solution is ideal for machine tool manufacturers seeking to improve the performance of their gear production machines, or to help companies expand their gear manufacturing range with threaded wheel grinders.
Broad range of gear manufacturing processes
Based on NUM’s new-generation Flexium+ CNC platform, the threaded wheel grinding solution joins the company’s NUMgear suite of gear production software. Originally developed for gear hobbing applications, the capability of NUMgear has been continually extended and now includes solutions for a broad range of gear manufacturing processes, including shaping, grinding and honing, and is used by many of the world’s foremost manufacturers of gear production machines.
At the heart of the system is a high performance electronic gearbox that allows all master axes – such as the grinding, X, Y and Z axes – and the spindle (C axis) to be fully synchronized. As part of the development work on the new threaded wheel grinder, NUM has added a major new capability to the gearbox, which is now able to predict the acceleration of axes as well as their speed, in order to minimize synchronization time. Together with the Fast Gear Alignment, it forms part of the new NUMgear threaded wheel grinding application.
Continuously adjusting the position
During gear production, ‘threading-in’ – the process of bringing the grinding wheel into contact with the gear blank – involves continuously adjusting the position of the grinding wheel relative to the work piece. A similar process is employed when bringing the machine’s dressing wheel into contact with the grinding wheel. Using acoustic emission sensors to learn the sound signatures of a master gear and then using them to control positioning during production runs is a common technique for automating processes like this. However, the speed and accuracy of NUM’s newly-developed Fast Gear Alignment Function eliminates the need for this entirely. As an example, aligning the grinding wheel with a 180 mm diameter gear with 71 helical teeth takes just 0.5 of a second – without any need to acquire acoustic signatures or make manual adjustments.
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