New V-Grind neon Entry-level package complements tool and cutter grinder series

Source: Vollmer

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The V-Grind tool and cutter grinder from Vollmer has become one of the company’s most popular machines since its launch in 2014. Now, the company has expanded and diversified the V-Grind to cater for the increasingly diverse needs of the industry.

Andreas Weidenauer with one of the new V-Grind models at Grinding Hub 2022
Andreas Weidenauer with one of the new V-Grind models at Grinding Hub 2022
(Source: Vollmer)

Grinding specialist Vollmer has added three new models to the V-Grind series. Although the V-Grind concept has stayed the same since 2014, the company has evolved the product with the introduction of features like different drives, different spindles, more power and different loading systems.

With existing V-Grind iterations demonstrating high levels of productivity, flexibility, automation and above all quality — the balance of specification versus ‘price-point’ was previously beyond the requirement of some manufacturers. To address this balance for particular customers, Vollmer has introduced the V-Grind neon. The neon aims to reduce the price point of the V-Grind series by providing an ‘entry level’ package.

Alluding to the new neon machine, Chief Representative Office & Business Development Manager at Vollmer, Andreas Weidenauer says: “We have listened to the market and asked what their minimum requirements are from a machine — and this is where we have created two new machines, the neon and the argon. The neon machine is a machine without the loading system and the wheel changer. This means that the operator has to load the tool manually and then hit the start button. The neon machine retains the two spindle configuration with the fixed bearings torwards the front as this is a concept that we will never leave, as it is extremely accurate and reduces warm-up cycles. The neon machine also retains the polymer concrete base as this guarantees thermal stability and minimises growth to provide accuracy and repeatability that leads the industry.”

The company has put some options to the neon machine: It has an additional measuring probe for the grinding wheels and software incorporated for a measuring probe, it has an A-axis with SK50, the multi-level two-spindle configuration, linear glass scales and a range of other options that have enabled us to create a package price that delivers a cost-efficient solution for tool manufacturers and re-grinding workshops. “The neon has a limited number of options, but this package without automation has been created to meet the needs of extensive customer feedback that we have received,” Weidenauer adds.

Complete automation package

Vollmer has developed the neon for tool grinders that act and react quickly when customer enquiries and orders are received. Without the complete automation package, the neon provides extremely quick set-ups to manually load tools — ideal for one-off or small series tool production. Whilst the neon ‘package’ removes many features that some workshops may consider cost-prohibitive, it still provides all the core features of the manufacturer’s machines.

For instance, the neon retains features from other V-Grind models such as the wheel measurement probe, glass scales and an intelligent cooling concept with a heat exchanger. The neon retains the fundamental stable wall concept that provides a rigid, compact construction with temperature-stable polymer concrete. The kinematics of the two vertically positioned grinding spindles with the grinding wheel at the C-axis pivot point is retained for multi-level machining that reduces machining times with its shorter linear-axis travel distances and therefore also increases accuracy. The control unit is ergonomically positioned with a height-adjustable 19" touchscreen that gives the user ease of use and an optimal view into the machining area. This interface has an intuitive and easy-to-use Numroto control system with the 3D tool and machine simulation and collision monitoring. Taking this machine generation into the Industry 4.0 sphere, the neon is fully communication-enabled and the Vollmer IoT gateway is fitted as standard, opening the door to the digital world for customers.

Capable of processing tools to 200 mm diameter with an overall length up to 360 mm, the V-Grind neon has X, Y and Z-axis travel of 425 by 490 by 500 mm with an infinite A-axis that can rotate at 450 rpm. The two belt-driven spindles with HSK50 adaption are capable of a maximum speed of 10,500 rpm and 6,500 rpm with a maximum torque of 14 and 7Nm respectively.

Discussing further benefits of the neon machine, Weidenauer says: “The internal cooling system is critically important to prevent any thermal growth within the machine, but using a chiller system requires considerable energy consumption. So, we developed a heat exchanger to replace the previous system – now we can handle incoming coolant up to 28°C without any active chiller unit and this saves a lot of energy. This has now been integrated into all of our new machines.”

Andreas Weidenauer at the Grindinghub show
Andreas Weidenauer at the Grindinghub show
(Source: Vollmer)

Universal platform

Regardless of its reduced price point in comparison to other V-Grind models, the foundation of the neon retains an identical level of precision, performance and quality, as Weidenauer adds: “The number of options that can be added to the neon has been limited and this allows Vollmer to produce more machines with the same fundamental construction. For example, if we can build five to ten machines together with the same base specification, this standardises the majority of the machine and enables us to decrease our production costs and then pass this cost saving to our customer.”

If the customer does not want the automation, the wheel changer, the steady rest, the loader or the linear drives — they just want the universal machine for grinding tools, this machine is suitable for most of our customer base. Although this machine could produce tools for almost all of Vollmer’s customer base, it might not fulfil the entire needs of all V-Grind customers.. This is where customers may need a V-Grind 340S, a 360S or a different loading system — but the V-Grind neon covers a lot of the needs of the industry with a significant price advantage for the customer compared to other variants.

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The V-Grind model is not necessarily dependent upon the type of tools. So, the same software runs on the 340S, 360S, the 260, the argon and neon. The key difference with customers is very often the dimension of the tools, the precision levels and tolerances required and also the automation requirements. This is where Vollmer can offer the 340S, 360S and the 260, so customers can add flexibility to the machine in terms of wheel changer, automation and so on. However, one customer may focus on carbide drills, another on carbide end mills, another on form tools, drills, reamers, boring bars and taps. Whatever the type of tool, all types can be completed on all of the V-Grind range of machines.