United Grinding has something big on its hands, and its new S11 cylindrical grinding machine is catching a lot of machine shops by surprise — because in addition to its effectiveness the design is so compact. Any new technology that performs so well and occupies just 72 sq.in. of floor space is likely to have a big impact.
Studer is one of eight machine tool brands in the United Grinding portfolio, and the S11 is the smallest machine in Studer line. It accommodates workpieces up to 7.9 in. (200 mm) long, 2 in. (50 mm) in diameter, and 6.6 lbs (3 kg.) As if to prove the point about the machine’s small impact, United Grinding has launched the S11 on a nationwide tour, setting it up in shops and showrooms from coast to coast so machinists can see its performance, and profile, with their own eyes.
“We carried out a preliminary market analysis,” according to Studer’s Martin Habegger, S11 project manager. “We are not aware of any comparable machine with the same functionalities as the Studer S11 on the market at present.”
At a tour stop recently in Ohio, United Grinding’s Hans Ueltschi, v.p. – Cylindrical, further detailed that the S11 had been designed initially for shops in Southeast Asia, which have less space available and are more widely engaged in producing smaller pieces, like the injector nozzles or similar parts involving cylindrical boring.
Now, however, shops in the rest of the world are seeing some advantages, too. The small footprint of the S11 presents U.S. machine shops with the possibility of adding capacity, even an entire new production capability, with little to no disruption to their current work flows.
The S11 has a center height of 5 in. (125 mm), and travels 8.4 in. (210 mm) in X and Z. The 6-hp (4.5-kW) water-cooled grinding spindle motor drives a high-performance wheelhead fitted with a 19.7 in. (500 mm)-diameter grinding wheel, with rotary dressing. The wheelhead can be set at 0 or 20˚.
Total size notwithstanding, the machine is rigid and remains stable atop a Granitan® S102 base that offers vibration dampening and thermal stability. The stability extends to precision linear guideway systems and a rigid tailstock.
Numerous workhandling options are available for the small workstation, including a defined loader interface that is easy to adapt to third-party automation products. The machine’s three-stage door makes optimizes operators’ access, and allows manual loading if necessary, or preferred.
Touring with the S11 is another United Grinding offering, the Walter Helitronic Mini Automation five-axis universal tool grinding machine. It is especially designed for high-volume production of carbide, HSS, ceramic, cermet or CBN tools from 0.04 to 3.9 in. (1 to 100 mm) in diameter. This machine has a double-ended spindle that accommodates up to three grinding wheels per end, to process end mills, drills, step drills, step tools, woodworking tools, profile blades and profile tools.
This five-axis machine has an automatic clamping cylinder and its robot loader will handle up to 1,500 tools.
“By showcasing the S11 and Helitronic Mini Automation at key channel partner locations across North America, we can effectively demonstrate and discuss these machines in close proximity to our customers,” according to Ted Neckel, director of corporate marketing for United Grinding North America Inc.
In other words, they can see for themselves how one little machine can make a big impression.