Technical presentations on Walter and Ewag tool-grinding, erosion and laser processes — available in the UK from Warwick-based Walter Ewag UK Ltd (www.walter-machines.com
) — were among the technologies displayed and discussed at the United Grinding Group’s recent three-day Grinding Symposium 2019 (in Thun, Switzerland), which more than 1,500 visitors attended.
While Ewag focused on the use of lasers in online tool manufacturing, Walter highlighted both ‘high-end’ and PCD tool production.
The event’s 16 presentations also included contributions by other United Grinding Group brands — Mägerle, Blohm, Jung, Studer, Schaudt and Mikrosa.
The potential benefits for one customer using an Ewag Laser Line Ultra machine in the production of ultra-hard tools (solid-carbide and PCD) were revealed as part of an Internet-based demonstration in collaboration with that customer (a specialist supplier to the aerospace, automotive, and mould-and-die sectors).
Its next move is to use the Laser Line Ultra for automatic ‘end to end’ tool manufacture.
After seeing Ewag’s prototype demonstration at GrindTec 2018, when 200 tools were produced by the Laser Line Ultra, the customer is establishing a cell that will see eight pallets accommodate a total of 1,800 tools (including two pallets for finished tools).
Orders and production will run autonomously with no operator involvement — and ‘round the clock’ if required.
The production of ‘fir tree’ milling cutters (HSS and carbide) for aerospace blade machining was shown by Walter; it used a Helitronic Power 400 tool-grinding machine and a Helicheck 3-D measuring machine for scanning a tool to create a 3-D master model.
Walter also demonstrated the effectiveness of integrating its ‘two in one’ Helicheck Power Diamond 400 grinding and erosion machine with the Helicheck Plus inspection machine (with robot loader) for the production of PCD-tipped solid-carbide tools.