During MACH 2014 in Birmingham, our colleague “Metal Working Production” awarded various innovation prizes. Fritz Studer AG won the “Best Grinding/Finishing Equipment” category with the S11 production cylindrical grinding machine.
The gold medal was awarded to Studer for the S11 production cylindrical grinding machine. The highly productive machine for small workpieces is the smallest machine in the Thun company’s portfolio and is tailormade for workpieces up to 200 mm in length. This extremely compact machine concept delivers a level of productivity that will amaze even experienced grinding specialists.
Compact design – high precision
This comparison emphasizes the direction things are taking in cylindrical grinding: greater productivity combined with an extremely compact design. However, when people hear the term “compact” in the machine tool industry, the following questions are bound to be asked:
- Is the Studer S11 sufficiently stable and precise?
- Is the Studer S11 easily accessible despite its small size?
The answer to both these questions is clearly yes. When it comes to grinding, precision is the be-all and end-all. The Thun specialists naturally have this in their genes. Initial empirical values with respect to precision are provided by the manufacture of injection nozzles for diesels. This requires roundness tolerances under 5/10 µm in series and a straightness under 1 µm. These values are considerably undercut by the S11 in practice. This is ensured not only by Studer’s precision machine tool construction and an excellent heat management system but also by the in-process gauging and the control system.
500 mm grinding wheel with rotary dressing
But what can the Studer S11 really do? Workpieces up to 200 mm long, with diameters of 50 mm and weighing up to 3 kg can be machined on the production cylindrical grinding machine with a max. floor space of 1.8 m2. The center height is 125 mm. In addition, the grinding machine manufacturer from Thun has managed to integrate a 500 mm diameter grinding wheel, which can also be rotary dressed, into this small machine. This is not a coincidence. 500 mm grinding wheel diameters are essential when it comes to high productivity. The motor grinding spindle, which is water-cooled and fitted with high-precision roller bearings, can achieve a good removal rate at 4.5 kW. The wheelhead can be set at 0° or at 20°. The basis of the Swiss precision grinding machine is a Granitan machine bed. With high-precision linear guides, this is as close to perfect as one can get. The X and Z axes are executed in a cross-slide design. The S11 has a stroke of 210 mm in both the X and the Z direction. It reaches speeds between 0.001/1000 and 15,000 mm/min and the axes have a resolution of 0.00001 mm. Positioning is via ball screws.
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