Elb-Schliff at #IMTS2016 - Additive Precision Grinding

#IMTS2016 from September 12-17, 2016 in Chicago: Elb-Schliff in North Building, Hall B, Booth 7451

Aschaffenburg, August 17, 2016 - Machine tool manufacturer Elb-Schliff is presenting modern precision grinding technology to trade visitors in North Building, Hall B, Booth 7451 at the ITMS in Chicago. Current highlights include the additive hybrid machine millGrind, the modular smartLine series and the BG 3000H-C for high-precision profile grinding of helical broaching tools. The smartLine will be shown live at the IMTS.

The smartLine variant will be presented as a flexible, modular machine concept. "The secret of our smartLine range is its modular structure," points out Dr. Markus Stanik. "We leverage a modular machine kit for the customized assembly of both surface grinding and complex profile grinding machines." The two-part machine base is made of mineral casting and is bonded together in the final production process. Trade visitors can view the machine in action at the IMTS.

The existing front and back parts can be freely combined with one another, thus providing three different grinding widths and four different grinding lengths. The mineral casting used ensures the machine base of superior vibration damping in combination with very high thermal stability, something no other material for machine bases come even close to achieving. Machine dampening is especially important when it comes to grinding, which is why mineral casting has emerged as the optimum material for the machine bases of grinding machines used in production applications. As these grinding machines are used in a wide variety of industries, manufacturer Elb-Schliff supplies various axis drive and guideway options. "Our decades of experience haves shown that this variety is important for many customers with quite different requirements, and reflects the difference between normal and top-quality products, both for the machine and the tool that is manufactured on it," explains Dr. Stanik.  This allows users to choose from linear guides and flat guides, ball screws, toothed belts and hydraulic drives, always according to the grinding task.

Increased grinding performance and higher coolant pressure result in stronger coolant mist. Therefore most machines are now completely enclosed to comply with the latest safety and environmental regulations and facilitate optimal ease of use for the machine operator.  Modern machines with a full enclosure and mist extraction systems protect the machine operator's health and ensure cleanliness in production - a basic requirement for high-precision manufacturing. In addition, you can also choose from a wide range of grinding spindles with a wide variety of performance levels and dressing devices. These range from a fixed single point diamond to an overhead dresser through to multi-axis table dresser, all of which are available for this machine concept.

Figure1: smartLine machine

Securely encapsulated against grinding mist and with a dampened machine base for high-precision production: the modular machine concept of the smartLine series satisfies virtually any customer request.




Hybrid machine for additive machining

millGrind is a hybrid machine for additive machining. It combines grinding, milling and the option of laser deposition welding in a single machine, saving not only equipment costs, but also valuable changing and retooling time.

The optional laser head can also be conveniently exchanged into the machine via a tool changer in order to realize the functions of laser hardening, marking and additive material deposition welding. "Our hybrid machine has been on the market for one year now and has already achieved very good results with customers in terms of additive manufacturing support," says Dr. Markus Stanik, managing director of Elb-Schliff Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH. The experts from Elb-Schliff see the machine being used primarily in the aerospace and supplier industry as well as for tool and mold making, where specific components are pre-machined in a first step and then ground. Dr. Stanik is familiar with the advantages the process offers: "Laser deposition welding is a very accurate and quick method for metal welding and thus, of course, particularly suitable for precision components in aircraft manufacturing. The two manufacturing processes thus perfectly complement each other on a hybrid CNC machine." Grinding is particularly economical where difficult materials such as those containing nickel and its superalloys must be machined. millGrind uses conventional abrasives with superabrasive capabilities; the XYZ resolution is 0.1 micron. "Hybrid machining helps us boost additive manufacturing to a new level of precision," says the Elb-Schliff managing director.

Figure2: millGrind

Fully modular: The smartLINE millGrind machine with changer is a highly flexible machining center for a variety of machining technologies.


Figure3: millGrind

Economical and high-precision for grinding, milling and laser welding: millGrind from Elb-Schliff combines three work steps in a single machine.




Precision grinding of big tools

Although not live at the IMTS, trade visitors can nevertheless have the advantages of the BG series explained to them in greater detail at the Elb-Schliff booth. The machines, equipped with a moving table or traveling column depending on the workpiece, are designed for grinding complex and large tools such as broaches. Depending on machine size, the components have lengths ranging from 1,000 mm at a workpiece diameter of 10-200 mm up to a maximum workpiece length of 3,000 mm and a diameter of 600 mm. The BG can grind both straight toothed and helical tools.

"The traveling column technology enables - particularly for very large and heavy components - high machine dynamics and maximum precision," says Dr. Stanik, stating one of the main advantages. Linear motors are used in the X-axis here, enabling high axis acceleration while working almost without any wear, which ultimately reduces maintenance costs. "We can still ensure high accuracy after years of use, something our users really appreciate," says managing director Dr. Stanik. In order to reduce non-productive time, even large travel distances can be bridged rapidly thanks to the high axis speeds. According to the manufacturer Elb-Schliff, the axis dynamics is exceptional for a machine of this size, enabling very dynamic and thus accurate simultaneous interpolation of several machine axes. The motor spindles are designed for high performance with up ratings to 48 kW. The standard version comes with a high-precision indexer and tailstock, while a special steady rest can be ordered for long, slender components.

The modular machine concept also facilitates the simple and quick changeover from round tools to flat tools. The machines are designed for profile grinding as well as sharpening and equipped with an integrated measuring unit. And to make things easy for the machine operator, Elb-Schliff delivers the BG series with an extensive technology package: machine, software and technical expertise. "We support users in their entire process and offer them a complete tool production solution," adds Dr. Stanik.

Figure4: BG 3000H-C

Long since proven for high-precision machining of helical broaching tools: BG 3000H-C from Elb-Schliff



Figure5: Photo of Dr. Markus Stanik, managing director of Elb-Schliff


About the company

Elb-Schliff Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH und aba Grinding Technologies GmbH are machine tool brands under the umbrella of AUTANIA GRINDING TECHNOLOGIES. AUTANIA AG is a machine tool group for technology-oriented system solutions in the segments of complete machining, surface and profile grinding as well as forming technology, with an annual turnover of about 200 million euros. AUTANIA is part of the Dr. Helmut Rothenberger group of companies with about 3,000 employees in about 80 companies worldwide in over 30 countries, whose external turnover exceeds 600 million euros. www.autania-grinding.de

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Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH

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