The time-consuming task of tool blank preparation is a critical factor in manufacturing high-precision drilling tools. The tungsten carbide rods are normally centerless ground without the slot for coolant holes or the chamfer on the end of the shank. The grooves and chamfer are then cut separately using a conventional grinding machine, for example. As a leader in the manufacture of high precision grinding machines, Rollomatic has now combined the tasks of grinding the coolant hole slot, the chamfer on the end of the shank, and the pre-shaped point in a single operation – quickly, precisely, and cost-effectively.
The ShapeSmart NP5 manufactures complex blanks with optimum concentricity within a tolerance of 0.001 mm. The 5-axis precision grinding machine with 3-axis robot loader and a grinding diameter range of 0.025mm to 20mm is ideally suited for cutting tool blank preparation as well as grinding of punches, ejector pins, and many similar parts. It can even grind complex shapes and extreme length-to-diameter ratios thanks to an innovative tool support and a unique ability to combine rough and finish grinding into a single step.
Jean-Charles Marty, Product Manager at Rollomatic SA says, “For the ShapeSmart NP5, we have developed an optional feature especially for tool manufacturers in order to prepare drill blanks more efficiently and cost-effectively: The newly integrated CCD camera makes the machine operator’s job easier and also broadens the range of applications.”
First, the CCD camera locates the coolant holes and adjusts the position of the tool blank accordingly. Second, the ShapeSmart NP5 grinds the slot vertical to the holes and then the chamfer within the same process. The integrated reverse station turns the blank around in order to grind the pre-point at the tip of the tool. If required, the machine can also grind the back taper on the diameter of the drill. When grinding, the machine can measure and automatically adjust the diameter, guaranteeing a tolerance of 0.001mm. Jean-Charles Marty, Product Manager at Rollomatic SA confirms that “no manual intervention is necessary at any point during the process. Although it may seem very simple, our ShapeSmart NP5 is the first machine on the market that can complete this job automatically.”
The CCD camera also opens up new opportunities to manufacture special tools, as the machine can easily align the blank with one or more coolant holes as well as flats at the tip of the blanks. The ShapeSmart™ NP5 is both precise and efficient: as an example, when working on a blank that is 6mm in diameter, the cycle time for all operations is 55 seconds – including the changeover of parts and automatic loading.