System fine-tunes the RFQ process

System fine-tunes the RFQ process

Thanks to a new programming system from Studer AG, Thun, Switzerland, shops can quickly respond to grinding-job RFQs knowing that they can actually make a part and profit on the job. The software also alerts shops as to which jobs they shouldn't quote and

The StuderGrind programming system takes the guesswork out of quoting and running grinding jobs.


Thanks to a new programming system from Studer AG, Thun, Switzerland, shops can quickly respond to grinding-job RFQs knowing that they can actually make a part and profit on the job. The software also alerts shops as to which jobs they shouldn't quote and gives reasons why.

With StuderGrind software, shops use customer-supplied data to create a graphic representation of the grinding machine with all necessary tooling. This includes wheel dressers, most of which are in the software's database, and common grinding wheels that handle various applications.

After tooling set up, the system "virtually" moves each grinding wheel to its working position. Operators then mark out the working area to check if grinding wheels reach required positions on the workpiece and to establish dresser positions. They quickly decide whether the machine geometry is suitable for the part before setting up the machine.

Once the feasibility of the project is confirmed, operators calculate processing times by creating a functioning grinding program using Studer's Pictogramming technology. A few mouse-clicks organizes the functions required for each grind, each wheelhead turn, and every dressing maneuver.

StuderGrind displays total processing time that's required, including downtime, feed time, and dressing time. It also calculates production costs for an individual part or whole batch on the basis of current job rates, tool costs, and energy costs. The generated estimate is in an Excel format, which goes to the customer for review and approval.

For actual job production, operators download the part data and drawing to PC workstations connected to their grinders. If a machine has a Fanuc 160i control, the system itself completes this task. Once operators simulate a new program on the computer and identify possible programming errors, they can pre-grind parts in the usual way to their approximate sizes, measure and correct where necessary, and precision grind to exact dimensions.

If needed, operators may adjust or optimize parts of the process at their workstations. Otherwise, they grind entire jobs.

After running a job, StuderGrind archives workpiece-linked data. It automatically assigns all programs, subprograms, and additional documentation (such as digital photographs of the setup and chucking arrangements) to the workpiece in question.

StuderGrind includes the integration of existing Studer programming systems, such as StuderProfile, StuderThread, StuderForm, and more. "The standard StuderGrind program is the foundation and prerequisite for the entire programming system," says Dave Barber of United Grinding Technologies, a Studer representative located in Miamisburg, Ohio. "It is a further development of the well-known StuderNC application, which consists principally of StEdit (used for the external generation of workpiece programs) and StCom (for data transmission)."

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