Dynamic demonstrations provide visitors with opportunity to balance the benefits
Manufacturing productivity and efficiency specialist, Leader Chuck International will provide dynamic demonstrations of Balance Systems’ range of industry-leading solutions at Advanced Engineering 2019. These include grinding wheel balancing, in-line dynamic gauging, touch detection and spindle monitoring with the B-Safe machine tool monitoring system, exhibited on Stand L160 at the NEC, Birmingham from the 30 to 31 October 2019.
Within the grinding process very small inputs can cause dramatic effects on the machining performance. So, meticulous and continuous care is required for many aspects including complex ancillary units.
Some of these depend on external suppliers that have specific experience in niche engineering technologies such as Spindle Balancing, Touch Detection, In-Process Gauging and Vibration Analysis.
- Dressing control → creep-in depth minimum of 1 micron
- Collision detection → E-Stop in 0.001 second
- Air grinding → up to 30% reduction of cycle time
- Automatic spindle balancing → very quick, up to 2 seconds
- Gauging accuracy → up to 0.1 micron
This presents a critical step towards the full control of grinding operations in a computer numerically controlled (CNC) environment. “Balance Systems’ knowledge and experience of grinding process systems helps to improve the quality of the workpiece. Reduce the grinding-wheel wear and speed-up the cycle-time, while extending the machines’ lifetime expectancy and increasing the operators’ safety,” states Mark Jones, Managing Director, Leader Chuck International.
For over 40 years Balance Systems has operated globally to support customers, primarily keys players of the grinding industry, both OEMs and end-users. With the company’s technology, it can run different functions, simultaneously, including automatic spindle balancing, touch detection (acoustic), and in-process gauging.
The balancing of the spindle and grinding wheel is an essential operation in order to achieve the machining’s surface quality and to ensure a long life for the rotary components. “We offer a wide range of balancing systems based on balancing heads that can be installed externally or built-in the spindle. Control units are equipped with cable and contactless solutions and provide constant vibration monitoring. The newly designed ‘Absolute Balancer’ state-of-the-art technology is characterised by unprecedented performance levels in terms of execution speed and balancing precision for single and two plane applications,” says Mark Jones.
The application of in-process measuring systems offered by Balance Systems allows manufacturers the opportunity to produce components that conform to specification even under the most severe environmental conditions, such as warm-up, thermal shifts, chemical coolant, local or induced vibrations, and so on and to operate using high-speed cycles.
The control of the grinding wheel balancing and its dresser attains a near perfect profile also optimising the removal of the grinding wheel surface, that is evident by the increase in the tool life with a reduced environmental impact. The exact identification of the instant when the tool touches the workpiece is essential information to minimise the cycle time. Its use allows the reduction of ‘air grinding’ time, optimising the axis infeed.
B-Safe is the solution for the spindles and machine tools diagnostics according to the vibration and temperature analysis. The miniaturised system can be directly installed into any machine spindle guaranteeing a real-time monitoring of all anomalies, predicting malfunctions and safeguarding businesses by reducing the machine downtime.
Mark Jones explains: “B-Safe provides collision protection and can stop either the spindle or the whole machine within milliseconds, monitoring is continuous even when the machine is switched off, a ‘black box’ embedded data logger stores events locally, and it is designed to support the growing move towards IoT and Industry 4.0.”
Comprising an advanced sensor, an interface switch and a user-friendly software platform, B-Safe can be easily retro-fitted to any machine tool. At just 12 mm diameter the sensor contains hybrid technology MEMS 3D and piezoelectric sensing to guarantee complete signals analysis on a wide band. The inclusion of a microprocessor with integrated memory allows local detection and on-board memory data logging of collisions, unbalances, overloads, anomalies of the working cycle, tool wear and bearing diagnostics. It provides evidence for predictive maintenance at a glance.
The software program provides a ‘dashboard’ where all the parameters and thresholds for the sensor can be set up, monitored and viewed over logged time, and any alarms can be investigated and fully analysed. The wide range of functions within the software allows users to manage the whole process with one single system.
For example, its Spindle Check-Up function includes a series of algorithms to check the efficiency level of the production process, with the aim of maximising the productivity of the machine’s spindle and the quality of the products. The statistical analysis provided by the system provides essential support for planning maintenance interventions, according to the real use of the equipment.
Events recorded by the sensor include collision alarm, temperature alarm, overloading alarm, with programmable thresholds to stop the spindle, and the 5-day battery back-up with memory integrated on the sensor means alarm events are recorded even when the machine tool is powered down. Real-time data for process-monitoring and digital data for post-processing of data logged events supports statistical analysis and historical trend awareness.
Key parameters shown on the dashboard can be customised so that only events or trends that are important to each user are shown, and authorisations levels can be set such that users are view only or have the ability to interrogate the data and adjust parameter setting or thresholds.
Sensors can be specified in two formats, hardwired to an integrated 5 m cable or with a 5-pin connector, to suit the installation application. In either format the rugged sensor can reliably operate between -40 and +85°C and is robust enough to withstand a 10 kg shock load under collision conditions.
- Collision detection → E-Stop in 0.001 second
- Machining control → Continuous monitoring at 2,000 Hz
- Black box → Vibration and temperature data memory up to 4 years
- Predictive maintenance → Spindle residual-lifetime monitoring in real-time
Mark Jones concludes: “Today, Balance Systems is one of the leading companies in this field thanks to several patented solutions. B-Safe is a set of different evolved technologies, that has been developed to allow machine tool users to create a distributed and interconnected system of analysis and supervision for any production plant.”