Two new multi-axis Walter Helitronic tool grinding/eroding machines have been announced by Walter Ewag UK, a member of the United Grinding Group. The machines for the production of carbide as well as PCD tooling have extended traverses to enable tools up to 380 mm long to be processed.
For the Power 400 grinder and the two-in-one Power Diamond 400 grinding-eroding machine, the extended room means an increase of more than 35 percent compared to the previous limit of 280 mm. Tools of 3 mm to 315 mm in diameter can be accommodated on machines with X, Y and Z axes travels of 650 mm, 350 mm and 720 mm, respectively.
Both have been completely redesigned and feature, for example, a very rigid cast-iron bed – up to 70 percent more rigid – to ensure improved damping characteristics, which in turn facilitate greater precision and higher surface quality. In addition, they come with a 26 kW (10,500 revs/min) spindle as standard, while an extremely accurate, low-maintenance torque motor is available for the machines’ C axis, which, on standard versions, is driven by worm drive. Walter engineers have also replicated the Vision machines’ pneumatically driven steady rests and tailstocks – devices that are less prone to leaks, require less maintenance and are much cleaner. They also absorb less heat than components that use hydraulic oil, thus ensuring even greater precision. In addition to having a grinding wheel/electrode changer (four-station as standard; eight-station optional) for increased automation and unmanned operation, both machines can utilise a range of robot loading solutions - the Top Loader for up to 500 tools, a Robot Loader for up to 7,500 tools or a Robot Loader 25, which has a capacity for tools weighing 25 kg including grippers.
The new machines incorporate the Helitronic Tool Studio grinding and eroding software with integrated wizard technology for fast tool production simulation, parameter changes and machine operation. The latest version (3) of the software includes an erosion function option for the fast and easy programming of ‘what you see you can grind and erode’.
For example, the new erosion functionality allows for:
- The design and programming of complex tool geometries, including individual tooth geometries and tool parameter scaling
- Fast 3D live simulation routines
- Automatic collision control
The system offers a simulation mode as standard where parameters can be quickly and easily changed before tool production starts. Tool Studio 3 also has a grinding wheel data interface for the Heliset tool measuring machine to measure wheel/wheelsets and then send/import that data to the Tool Studio.
Fast tool production
Like all of Walter’s two-in-one grinding-eroding machines, the new eroding machine uses Fine Pulse Technology for better PCD tool surfaces and quality, as well as process reliability. Fine Pulse Technology is the result of progressive improvements to the machines’ generator as well as the erosion software. Marked differences to PCD tools of 10 microns grain type that have been eroded by other machines can be seen with the naked eye – the surface finish is like that of a polished (ground) tool – and even coarse-grained PCD types can be fine-finished with perfect surface qualities.