What is a CNC grinding machine?
A CNC grinding machine, also known as a CNC grinder, is an automatically operated grinding machine. This machine is in charge of the refining of the surface finishes on the final products, which are made of metals, by removing the materials from the workpieces with the assistance of the grinding wheels.
To begin with, grinding is one of the machining processes that remove the materials by turning the grinding wheels as they come in contact with the surfaces of the workpieces, instead of directly cutting through them with the actual cutters.
A grinding machine consists of a spindle head that holds the workpieces in place, with the grinding wheels grind the workpieces from the lateral sides or the front, in order to achieve a wide variety of configuration on the products, which range from tapering, stepping, grooving, profiling, or chamfering, etc. on the internal and external radius or diameter of the workpieces.
When it comes to accuracy and precision, the machine must be maneuvered by the CNC system. The CNC system refers to the computerized numerical control system, which utilizes the computerized technology to cover the designing of the products and the controlling of the operation.
With the automatic operation that performs the precise works by following the preset instructions that are programmed to be numerals, the CNC grinding machine is able to create the smoothest surface finishes on the products that are ground, minimize deformation on the products, and maximize the efficiency of the grinding processes for the manufacturers.
What types of CNC grinding machines are there?
Depending on the required geometries of the grinding products, there are several types of CNC grinding machines that are specialized in different grinding techniques or grinding different parts on the products, including:
● Precision Hybrid ID & OD Grinders
This type of grinders are capable of conducting the grinding works on either the inside diameter or outside diameter, which means with the special arrangement of the grinding wheels, these grinding tools can achieve the steps, tapers, grooves, chamfers, or profiles on the inside and outside of the holes.
● Cylindrical Grinders
The cylindrical grinders are used to grind the workpieces that are made as cylindrical shapes. The grinding wheels can be either angular or parallel to the workpieces during operation.
With the plunge type of grinding wheels, the tools grind on the cylindrical workpieces by pressing down the workpieces from above, and traveling through the surfaces of the workpieces, in order to fulfill the required shapes on the products.
● Surface Grinders
Based on the different configurations on the grinding wheels, the surfaces of the workpieces can be ground directly as the wheels travel on them according to the instructions.
● Centerless Grinders
This type of grinders are not equipped with the machining centers, which allows for multiple working stations to be managed in the same production line, and thus improves the efficiency and productivity of the works.
● High Precision Rotary Grinders
This type has rotary table on the base of the machine, which allows the grinding wheels grind the workpieces around the circular surfaces or edges as the workpieces rotate with the table during operation.
● Center Hole Grinders
As the name implies, this type of grinders are used to grind the existed center holes on the products, so that the grinding wheels are specially designed as conical shapes, which allows them to be fit into the holes of the products.
● Double-sided Fine Grinders
This type grinds the workpieces on two sides at the same time. These grinders are equipped with the upper and lower discs or plates, which perform the grinding works on the top and bottom respectively.
What can a CNC grinding machine achieve in the finishes of the products?
As far as we know, there are several types of grinding machine that are available for being applied to achieve the different requirements of the manufacturers, and these achievements can be categorized into some perspectives based on the grinding direction, the grinding parts, and the grinding geometries.
● Grinding direction
In general, most grinding machines can achieve the grinding works with the grinding wheels turns axially or radially, which means they grind the workpieces from the sides and the front.
With the differentiation of the grinders, the plunge type is specialized in grinding the workpieces from the top to the bottom of the product surfaces. In addition, there are also the double-side finer grinders that grind the works from above and under the works respectively.
● Grinding parts
With the various types of grinding machines, they are capable of attaining the grinding works on a variety of parts, including the inside diameter, outside diameter, or the faces of the products.
● Grinding geometries
Through the varied grinding tools and techniques on the different types of grinders, more grinding geometries can be achieved accordingly, including steps, tapers, chamfers, profiles, or grooves.