The latest Gleason profile grinding machines can be equipped to perform a revolutionary new process called OPTI-GRIND, which according to the developer will improve machine productivity and product quality levels significantly for fine finishing cylindrical gears as large as 6 meters in diameter, and up to module 16.
The OPTI-GRIND process is one of many technologies offered in Gleason Profile Grinding Machines for workpiece diameters up to 6 meters. It allows machine operators to achieve both ‘optimum’ productivity, and ‘optimum’ surface finishes by using multiple dressable grinding wheels simultaneously for profile grinding, rather than just the single grinding wheel that is typically used.
Gleason explains that its new process offers users a number of variations to choose from to meet their specific applications. For example, when optimum productivity is required, OPTI-GRIND is up to 40% faster because it uses three grinding wheels to rough grind four tooth flanks simultaneously, as compared to the typical process of a single wheel roughing only two tooth flanks at once. Then, OPT-GRIND is used to finish grind conventionally, with a single wheel that has been dressed to produce the desired surface finishes and flank modifications.
OPTI-GRIND’s multiple-wheel configuration offers significant advantages for gear producers serving the wind power and other industries requiring optimum surface finishes. Where a single dressable wheel must be designed for compromise in order to perform both roughing and finishing, the multiple-wheel configuration makes it possible to use wheels designed for maximum roughing productivity, up to 40% faster than a single dressable wheel. Then a finishing wheel is designed to produce the desired tooth modifications, including grinding of the root without burning, and to deliver surface finishes up to four times finer than what would be possible conventionally.
In addition to the new multiple wheel design, the OPTI-GRIND process relies on the latest Siemens 840D CNC and Gleason Windows®-based Intelligent Dialogue software to simplify setup and operation. For example, a grinding technology database recommends and optimizes the production methodology for any of the OPTI-GRIND process variations before machining starts. This means that even less experienced operators can produce high-quality parts more productively.