Okamoto CNC grinder makes an impact at CoorsTek
Following 12 months of trouble-free operation at the Crewe, England manufacturing facility of CoorsTek, the leading global manufacturer of engineered ceramics, an Okamoto 818 CNC surface and profile grinder has been rapidly integrated as a core part of the company’s specialist surface grinding operations.
The machine was one of the first to be supplied by Jones & Shipman Hardinge who are Okamoto’s sole distributor in the UK. As a long-standing Okamoto and Jones & Shipman user, CoorsTek considered another CNC purchase from the company.
For CoorsTek, the Crewe manufacturing plant produces high precision and complex components such as extreme duty seals for use in sectors like oil and gas, chemical and energy. Various high-quality material properties allow ceramic components to endure the harsh and corrosive environments experienced by producers in these industries.
But they also present challenges when machining.
Needing an updated, flexible and reliable surface and profile grinding machine as a replacement for an older unit, CoorsTek engineers had trust in the Okamoto brand with four machines already in operation at the facility.
“In the surface grinding cell, we are precision grinding ceramics typically to tolerances of ±10 micron on form radii with down to 5 micron on flat surfaces. It is a complex process with slow feeds and speeds and can take its toll on machines and wheels alike,” explains Tristan Weller, production manager at CoorsTek, Crewe. “Inherently it is a time-consuming task so sustained machine integrity and stability are all important.”
Sitting on a very compact footprint, the Okamoto 818 CNC features a 450mm x 200mm table area with the machine based on a compact moving saddle design.
The ISO type programming menu is delivered through a Fanuc CNC control with other key features being automatic lubrication to guides and slideways to optimise reliability and prolong maintenance free operation.
All the core machine castings exhibit high static and dynamic stiffness and are fully damped. Scraped V slideways with low friction turcite coatings are standard.
Harry Hodgson (CoorsTek Crewe Plant Manager) and Tristan Weller (Production Manager) comment, “The Jones & Shipman overall commitment to quality and exceptional after sales technical support, convinced us to invest in Jones & Shipman supplied equipment.”