Threadmaster Gauges Install a further Studer Grinding Machine

Micronz Studer Press Release

Studer Enhance Threadmaster’s Thread Grinding Capability

                                                 Studer have developed a special software to facilitate gauge grinding on Threadmaster's S33

                                                 Studer have developed a special software to facilitate gauge grinding on Threadmaster's S33

As thread plug-gauges and thread ring-gauges faithfully replicate the mating characteristics of threaded components, throughout the industrialised world, they are the most commonly used methods of checking the quality of male/female threads. Because these ubiquitous gauges perform the critical function of inspecting the quality of manufactured threads, the demanding levels of precision involved in producing thread plug-gauges and thread ring-gauges means that, in the UK, they are made by just a small number of expert gauge manufacturers.

Kenilworth based Threadmaster Gauges Ltd is an acknowledged global leader in this highly specialised field, in addition to other gauging products, the well-known company produces a wide range of high-quality plug and ring gauges in both plain and threaded formats. The world-wide reputation enjoyed by Threadmaster Gauges within this challenging area means that, in addition to providing high quality gauges to its many UK customers, the company now exports more than 30% of its output.  

Traditionally, threaded plugs and rings have been manufactured on manual grinding machines as one-offs, or in very small batches. To help keep-pace with growing domestic and international demand, 3 years ago the purchase of a CNC Grinder for the grinding of thread ring gauges’ internal threads was considered. Although, the degree of technical difficulty related to grinding internal threads, and the required levels of accuracy, meant that the search for a suitable technology proved to be extremely difficult.

Threadmaster Gauges Managing Director, John Ratcliffe explained. “Having compiled a challenging list of internal thread grinding requirements, we contacted several Grinding Machine manufacturers. Following a number of unproductive discussions and unsuccessful demonstrations, we spoke with Mark Maurice the owner of Micronz Ltd, the UK Studer Agent for the North and Midlands. After showing a good understanding of our difficult technical requirements, Mark recommended the purchase of a modified Studer S33, CNC Universal Cylindrical Grinding Machine.

“In its standard format, and with the inclusion of an optional C-axis for accurate thread and form grinding, the S33 satisfied the majority of our needs. In addition, Mark Maurice persuaded us that Studer’s technical staff would be able to make the required hardware and software modifications that would make the machine ideal for all of our needs. After each of the required adjustments had been made, a very successful thread grinding demonstration tool place and an order was placed. Thanks to the development work undertaken by both Studer and ourselves, the Studer S33 proved to be the ideal grinder for highly-precise, small batch internal thread grinding.

“So successful has our first Studer S33 been when undertaking our internal thread grinding, and prompted by ever growing demand for our thread plug gauges, we recently purchased a second Studer S33 for the grinding of external threads. Not only has our new machine helped to satisfy our increasing demand for thread plug gauges, its increased diameter capacity, when compared to our existing grinders, has enabled us to further extent our range of thread plug gauges. Also, given our very specific needs, the technical staff at Studer made several modifications to the machine’s standard software to help speed up our processes.

“Compared to our previous slower, labour intensive methods, our two Studer S33’s are now producing impressive volumes of high-quality, extremely precise threaded ring and plug gauges. The efficiencies brought about by the use of these high-quality machines has enabled us to keep pace with thre growing demand for our thread gauge products and to quote short lead times.”

Manufactured with distances between centres of 650mm (25.6in) and 1,000mm (39.4in), the Studer S33 CNC Universal Cylindrical Grinding Machine was designed for grinding medium-sized workpieces in individual and series production.

The S33’s solid Granitan S103 machine base forms the basis for this robust machine and provides the dampening properties that help ensure the surface quality of the ground workpieces, extended the service life of the grinding wheel and reduce downtime. The thermal characteristics of Granitan also ensures that temporary temperature fluctuations are efficiently compensated for, resulting in first class dimensional accuracy.

The machine's longitudinal and cross slide, V and flat guideways are moulded directly onto the machine base and are treated with a non-abrasive Granitan S200 slideway coating, whilst the he patented knobbed structure of the guideways largely eliminates the slip-stick effect or floating of the slides that can occur on conventional setups. The guideways also offer high accuracy throughoutthe machine's entire speed range with high load capacity and excellent dampening levels.

Rapid changing from the use of centres to live spindle grinding is achieved by withdrawing the tailstock to its park position, this frees up the space required for internal grinding. Reference points from grinding wheels to dressing tool and workpiece can be registered quickly with the help of Quick-Set, Studer's software-controlled set-up device.

Studer's turret wheelhead, with two motor spindles and an internal grinding attachment, enables the grinding of more complex workpiece geometries in a single clamping. The high-quality motor spindles that contribute to grinding accuracy are manufactured entirely in-house by Studer. Thanks to the machine's geometry, the entire distance between centres can be traversed with all grinding wheels.

The S33 universal workhead enables both live spindle grinding and grinding between centres. All low-maintenance workheads are equipped with roller bearings and feature excellent roundness accuracy figures of less than 0.0004mm which can be optionally improved to less than 0.0002mm during live spindle operations.

The machine can also be fitted with a specially designed chuck workhead for chuck applications. Fine adjustment allows for taper corrections within the 1um range throughout live spindle operations.

If required, the S33 tailstock can be equipped with a hydraulically actuated barrel retraction for workpiece changeover, and a pneumatic lifting process facilitates movement during set-up and resetting. As with the S33 tailstock, the machine's workhead is also equipped with a pneumatic lifting device to facilitate movement during set-up and resetting.

The Studer S33 uses a Fanuc 0i-TD CNC control with integrated PC and 15in touch screen. All controls are clearly and ergonomically arranged, while an important role is played by the manual control unit, which facilitates set-up close to the grinding process. The user interface, Studerwin, plus the software modules of Studergrind, create a stable programming environment and contribute to the overall efficiency of the machine. Windows control enables standardised programming of all of the S33's different systems.

“The flexible and modular format of Studer Grinders in addition to the many available options means that the vast majority of customers’ requests are able to be accommodated, added Mark Maurice of Studer UK Agent Micronz Ltd. “As not all of Threadmaster Gauges’ challenging internal thread grinding needs were able to be met by the standard S33, as with all potential customers’ needs, we were happy to adapt our hardware and software to match Threadmaster Gauges’ particular needs


Editors Notes

The renowned Studer Company is synonymous with all aspects of high quality grinding, including hardware, software, system integration and service. With the availability of complete customised solutions for every grinding task, Studer’s global customer base benefits from the company’s unique levels of knowledge and expertise related to the entire grinding process. The Studer logo has long been considered a seal of quality for first-class grinding results worldwide, the constant flow of advanced grinding solutions emanating from the company’s prolific R&D Department should ensure Studer’s continued success as the company enters its second century.

The Studer S33

The Studer S33 features a new control and wheelhead for grinding even more complex workpiece geometries in a single clamping. By combining ID and OD grinding in a single platform, the S33 is the grinding solution that raises efficiency and output to new heights. From high throughput OD production lines to small-scale job shops, the S33 has the ability to reduce changeover times, speed up your grinding processes, and deliver consistent precision at an affordable cost.

· Easy programming with StuderWIN graphical operator interface & 15" touch screen for CNC control with integrated PC

· Technology calculator for the definition of process parameters

· Optional integrated in-process gauging

· Optional integrated programming of the smartLoad system

· Full machining range

· Motor spindle including frequency converter

· Standard constant cutting speed

· Two grinding wheels Ø 500mm (2nd grinding wheel optional)

· Optional high-frequency internal grinding spindle