Grinding outside and in

March 1, 2003
FLEXIBILITY IS THE KEY TO A new grinder from Studer, rolled out at its Start 2003 meeting in Thun, Switzerland. The S33 universal cylindrical grinder builds on the company's eco650 and eco1000 external cylindrical grinders, but adds a twist-internal-grind

The S33's basic wheelhead indexes at 0° and 30° for straight and angular plunge grinding.

The Studer S33 tackles I.D. and O.D. grinding in one chucking.
A clean cut is the hallmark of the Trumpf Multishear, which punches sheetmetal without overlap or nibble marks.
With Trumpf's Multibend punching tool, shops punch and form 90° bends on one machine.

The tank crawler is designed to clean up millions of gallons of radioactive waste in large underground tanks at the DOE's Hanford Site.

FLEXIBILITY IS THE KEY TO A new grinder from Studer, rolled out at its Start 2003 meeting in Thun, Switzerland. The S33 universal cylindrical grinder builds on the company's eco650 and eco1000 external cylindrical grinders, but adds a twist-internal-grinding capabilities.

The new machine shares the same Studer Granitan S103 base and wear-resistant, dimpled bearing guideways for vibration dampening and rigidity as the eco grinders. However, its internal grinding functions provide greater productivity and application flexibility.

The S33 fits into Studer's midsized lineup and is tailored for jobshops, tooling manufacturers, and subcontractors. It boasts a modular design for quick setup and changeover, Fanuc 21i digital control and drive systems, and Studer's user-friendly Pictogramming programming software. The machines have a 175-mm center height and come in either 650 or 1,000-mm betweencenter grinding lengths. Chuck capacity between centers is 130 kg.

The basic wheelhead indexes at 0° and 30° for straight and angular plunge grinding, while a universal turret wheelhead swivels manually every 2.5° or automatically every 1° for external, internal, and face grinding of workpieces in a single setup. The swiveling range is -15° to +195° within a 3° resolution, ensuring accuracy and repeatability for grinding even small tapered angles.

In addition to the S33, Studer showed off two other universal grinders at the Start meeting: the S31cnc 1000, with an updated modular wheelhead (left/left) and 1,000-mm center distance, and the S151, which is available with a dual-spindle turret wheelhead. The company also previewed a new internal grinder, the S120, which will debut to a wider audience at EMO 2003 in Milan, Italy.

Fab tools aim for one setup
SHOPS CAN DUMP SECONDARY operations by using two new punching tools from Trumpf Inc., Farmington, Conn. According to the company, both the Multibend and Multishear serve dual purposes: The Multibend is a punching tool that bends, while the Multishear produces a high-quality edge cut at punching-machine speeds.

Multibend punching tools bend up to 90° during the punching process. Previously, the only way for shops to create such bends on a punched part was through an extra work step at a bending machine.

Using this punching tool, fabricators create 90° bends up to a height of 1 in. and a length of 2.1 in. The programmability of the punch head's ram lets the Multibend bend pre-processed areas—users set the ram position for clearance and maintain control over the tool penetration depth.The Multibend also bends at both outside and inside contours on materials from 0.02 to 0.125-in. thick.

The Multibend tool consists of a punch, rotary bending insert, and spring-loaded insert. The punch and the bending insert are lowered onto the sheet and bending begins. The flange is overbent to about 92° to compensate for material springback. Finally, the tool is raised and the 90° bend is complete.

Trumpf's other new punching tool, the Multishear, makes a smooth, shear-edge quality cut. The tool is composed of a rectangular punch, alignment ring with tight tolerances, special stripper, and a die with exchangeable cutting blades and integrated die plate.

Combining this new tooling with software and a special programming method, the Multishear process punches sheetmetal up to 0.120 in. (mild steel) and stainless steel, without overlap or nibble marks.

The Multishear operation involves a continuous shearing process where the resulting chip is cut off beneath the sheet level. As a result, the chip is severed without marring the cutting edge.

The tool produces a quality edge on both outside and inside contours and along any visible edges. It also tackles common slitting cuts. Typical shearing processes limit cuts to those made in 90° angles. In contrast, shops can position the Multishear to punch at any angle, while maintaining speed and a high quality edge.

"Multishear is changing the way fabricators look at their punching machines," explains Mike Morissette, Trumpf punch product manager. He adds that the Multishear produces a high-quality edge cut at the speeds for which punching machines are known.

The future of flight?
FUTURE AEROSPACE MATERIALS,modeled after living organisms, may someday be able to transform into different shapes, monitor their own structural health, and even heal themselves in mid-flight, report engineers at the University of Houston (UH).

UH is one of six participating universities in NASA's new Texas Institute for Intelligent Bio-Nano Materials and Structures for Aerospace Vehicles (TiiMS), which will be administered by the Texas Engineering Experiment Station at Texas A&M University. TiiMS is being funded by a $15-million, fiveyear NASA research grant aimed at developing high-tech materials for future airplanes and spacecraft.

UH engineers and scientists will direct efforts toward fabricating new nano-materials that are stronger and lighter than what's currently available. And while adaptive shape reconfigurability, or "morphing," is the main focus of the institute, NASA's vision is that future structures and materials will also incorporate multi-functionality, sensing, health monitoring, selfhealing, fault tolerance, and autonomy/intelligence capabilities.

Government agency is pushing its waste around
A 1,300-LB MACHINE that resembles a small bulldozer is cleaning a simulated waste tank at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site near Richland, Wash. If tests are successful, the "tank crawler" could soon find its way into other waste tanks, reports the DOE.

The remote-controlled machine, an adaptation of commercially available technology used in the petroleum and mining industries, has treads and a folding blade. The push of a button activates a hydraulic system that folds the crawler to just 27-in. wide, narrow enough to enter Hanford's underground waste tank through a 36-in.-wide riser.

After being lowered into a tank, the crawler pushes the thick sludge to a central pump that transfers out the tank contents.

Besides being small enough to fit through a relatively narrow opening on top of the tank, the crawler must be agile enough to maneuver over uneven waste surfaces and around obstacles. It must also be durable enough to withstand highly radioactive environments and rigorous decontamination processes.

The crawler has already undergone preliminary factory testing. One test included pushing around a 600-lb container of concrete. Another included wrapping the crawler in steel tape to simulate its ability to break free tangles of "stuff" from previous operations in the tank, including discarded lengths of metal tape used to measure tank levels.

The Hanford Site's single-shell Tank C-104 is scheduled for the first deployment of the crawler. But ongoing evaluations may speed deployment in other tanks.

Latest from Technology Trends