The new Genesis 200GX and 260GX Threaded Wheel Grinding Machines from Gleason were developed to suit the requirements of the automotive industry. The sharp rise in the variety of machining tasks means that setting-up machines plays an increasingly important part in setup times.
The machines of the GX series use the tried and tested 2-spindle concept. Clamping and unclamping of workpieces, or spinning off workpieces which are wet with oil are all performed on the second workpiece spindle in parallel with machining. This cuts unproductive idle time, i.e. chip-to-chip time, to just 4,5 seconds on the new Genesis GX series.
In addition to four different dressing systems for highly productive or flexible tasks, modern grinding processes are essential on a machine of this quality. The 200/260GX facilitates the use of grinding worms with a high number of starts, the latest grinding materials such as Cubitron II and high cutting speeds. Gleason technology software allows even inexperienced operators to familiarize themselves quickly with the world of hard finishing of gears, as it makes complete process data proposals for dressing and grinding. It goes without saying that grinding experts can also program any data as independent processes.
Dr.-Ing. Antoine Türich, Director Product Management Hard Finishing Solutions, Gleason Corporation.
In developing this machine, attention was paid to ease and speed of set-up from the very outset. As a consequence, it is now possible to switch machine tooling from one type of workpiece to another using just one tool in less than 20 minutes. The first 10 minutes are required for the actual mechanical re-tooling of the necessary components such as tools, workholding devices, grippers, etc. All adjustments in this process can be made using just a single set-up tool.
The entire set-up process is essentially menu-guided. This means that on request, the control unit can show the operator all the steps necessary to re-tool the machine using meaningful images. Depending on the activity in progress, the machine also moves into ergonomic positions which are comfortable to reach. For changing the workholding equipment or dressing tool, for example, the turret is moved into a position closest to the operator.
Gleason’s Quik-Flex®Plus system is used for changing workholding equipment. In its basic Quik-Flex® variant, this quick-change system has already been used in cutting and shaving with success for many years. As a result of specific continued development, a more accurate version of the system is now available for hard finishing gears. The workholding system itself consists of a base unit which is installed and aligned on the machine workspindle once, and a workpiece-dependent top part. The top part is clamped to the plane contact surface of the base unit with the aid of a bayonet fitting via a cone, cleanly centering and aligning the base unit. Once all mechanical activities are complete, the positions of the tools (grinding wheel and dressing roller) have to be taught again in relation to one another and in relation to the workpiece positions.
On an older machine, this process is generally completed entirely by hand or semi-automatically by selecting the corresponding assistance cycles. On the GX machines, a completely new concept, the so-called “First Part Cycle”, has been developed to address this process. The fully-automatic process performs all the steps required from completion of mechanical set-up to grinding of the first two components. The operator starts by setting the nozzle for the cooling oil, setting the ideal position for the stream of lubricant using the hand wheel. Automatic cooling oil nozzle adjustment then ensures that once found, this position is maintained even if the diameter of the grinding wheel becomes smaller. As a next step, the dressing tool is engaged fully automatically into the gaps in the grinding worm. An acoustic emission sensor integrated in the grinding spindle is combined with the corresponding algorithm to make this process perfectly straightforward and above all, reliable. The grinding worm is given its first dressing immediately after the dressing tool has been engaged.
After dressing, the worm is engaged into the workpiece. This too is effected with the aid of the acoustic emission sensor. Once the workpiece is cleanly engaged, it is then measured by the index sensor and serves as a reference for all following workpieces. The “First Part Cycle” is completed by grinding two workpieces, one on each workspindle. The automated system then discharges these for a control measurement. Tooling-up for a new component is thus completed in a very short period of time in an extremely simple process.
The GX is also available in the form of a complete system including automation and measuring machines from a single source. The stacking cell from Gleason Automation Systems expands the GX grinding machine into a fully-integrated production system. The stacking cell accommodates stacking baskets of various manufacturers and is thus ideal for autonomously processing large numbers of items. The automation cell can also have supplementary modules added – for tasks such as spinning, marking, washing and measuring. What’s more, if you want to measure your workpieces properly once grinding is complete, this can be performed to an outstanding standard on a Gleason 300GMS® or 300GMS®P Gear Inspection Machine, either within the measuring room or directly in the production environment. Together with Gleason’s closed loop functionality the inspected results are directly sent back to the machine without any involvement by the operator. The machine compares the measured values, sent by the inspection machine, with the target nominal values and automatically performs the necessary corrections.
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