FT Gearing Systems installs latest technology

Posted on 10 Sep 2017 and read 643 times
FT Gearing Systems installs latest technologyAldershot based FT Gearing Systems Ltd (FT) specialises in supplying gear technology and high-precision components and assemblies, primarily to the aerospace industry.

The company’s purpose-built headquarters house its design and admin functions, as well as its manufacturing facility, while five satellite production units — all located nearby — provide cellular manufacturing capabilities.

Given the importance of high-precision grinding to achieving the dimensional and surface-finish characteristics required by its customers, FT has developed a close working relationship with Swiss grinding-machine manufacturer Studer and its UK agent, Advanced Grinding Supplies Ltd, Gloucester (www.adgrind.co.uk).

FT’s most recently opened satellite unit is dedicated to the production of gear technology and high-precision components for Rolls-Royce Aero Engines.

In addition to other advanced machine tools, the new facility houses four Studer machines, including a Favorit CNC universal cylindrical grinder.

Explaining FT’s use of Studer grinders and the relationship with Advanced Grinding Supplies, managing director Graham Fitzgerald said.

“To ensure that we deliver the highest-possible standard of gear technology and high-precision components — on time and at a cost-effective price — we invest in the best-available production technologies and maintain close relationships with our machine tool suppliers.

“Our Studer grinders achieve the levels of accuracy and repeatability that we require. For instance, we can achieve sub-micron total cylindricity on 35mm-diameter gear journals with a 0.08um surface finish, as well as gear flatness to ‘3 light bands’.

“In addition to situating our Studer machines in a temperature-controlled grinding unit, we also use the best-available grinding consumables and accessories.”

Studer’s Favorit CNC is designed for grinding medium-size workpieces in individual and series production.

The availability of a range of options — such as in-process gauging, a balancing system, contact detection and length positioning — means that machines can be supplied to match individual users’ exact needs.

Studer’s easy-to-use grinding software features the manufacturer’s ‘pictogramming’, which allows even relatively inexperienced users to quickly program grinding and dressing cycles.

The option of StuderGrind off-line programming software is also available, allowing special applications — such as the profiling of grinding wheels for complex workpiece shapes — to be programmed.

The Favorit’s machine bed is made of the Studer-developed synthetic granite material Granitan S103, which offers excellent damping characteristics and also leads to the increased service life of grinding wheels, resulting in reduced down-time. The material can also accommodate temporary fluctuations in temperature.

The Favorit’s turret wheel-head can be used for both external and internal grinding. Moreover, the user can manually index the wheel-head within a swivelling range of -15deg to +195deg, with a Hirth gear ensuring accurate 2.5deg increments.

The belt-driven internal grinding spindle is available with nominal speeds of 20,000, 40,000 or 60,000rev/min.

Fine adjustment enables taper corrections in the range below 1μm when grinding between centres; and to ensure optimum thermal stability, cooling lubricant is passed through the tailstock and totally covers the barrel and diamond holder.

Control is via a Fanuc 0i CNC system, with a manual control unit facilitating set-up close to the grinding process; an electronic contact detection system allows approach times to be reduced to a minimum.

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