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About CNC Grinders

A CNC grinder is a type of machine tool used in manufacturing as a form of abrasive machining. By the use of a rotating abrasive wheel the machine is able to remove unwanted stock of material from your machined part. CNC grinding is considered to be one of the final steps in production as unlike a turning machine or machining center the grinder will remove smaller amounts of stock in order to create the desired tolerance and surface finish needed. By utilizing a grinding process you are able to obtain extreme accuracy and repeatability. The metalworking industry has many different types of grinders making them very versatile, below are some of the more common types.

Cylindrical Grinder

A CNC cylindrical grinder is a type of grinding machine used to erode material from the outside or Inside of a part. The ground part is rotated at center point from a workhead (either between centers with the addition of a tailstock or mounted with a chuck) and cut with a rotating abrasive wheel. The wheel will shape the part with either a straight plunge or traverse grind across the part. The grinding wheel can approach the part from a fixed 90 degree position or with a movable B axis from a certain angle. Grinding with an angle allows generating the required faces, tapers and diameters simultaneously. This can be done either manually or with an automatic rotating B-axis. Multiple wheels can be added to the B-Axis for flexibility. With these additional options it allows the grinder the capability to finish components in one operation.

Surface Grinder

Surface Grinding is the process of rotating an abrasive rotating wheel against a flat surface eroding away material creating a smooth surface. There are two types of surface grinders rotary and reciprocating. Both metal and non metal materials can be ground on these machines. A rotary surface grinder will rotate a circular table either horizontally or vertically. A reciprocating surface grinder will traverse both longitudinally and across the face of the wheel. The part is held onto the table either by a chucking, magnetization or vacuum device. The effectiveness from the wheel is determined by the wheel's grade ( softer or harder) and it’s grit ( it’s course ). More advanced surface grinders will allow you to rotate a wheel creating tapers, angled surfaces, slots, flats next to shoulders, recessed surfaces, and profiles. Another aspect a surface grinder provides are superior surface finishes allowing for buffing and polishing a finished part.

Tool and Cutter Grinder

A CNC tool and cutter grinder is a versatile grinding machine used to manufacture a variety of cutting tools. Simultaneously movable multi axes of the table and wheels allow the machine to cut multiple tool geometries. End mills, step drills, countersinks, taps, cutters, broaches, hog mills and reamers can all be produced on a tool and cutter grinder. Both High speed metals (HSS) and tungsten carbide (WC) can be cut with a rotating wheel. Radius grinding allows for sharpening and creation of ball nose end mills and indexing of straight flutes. Helical grinding allows for sharpening and creation of relief and rake angles for spirals, end mills, hobs, inserts, burrs and drills. Face mill grinding allows for sharpening and creation to set elevation and depression angles. Both flat and cylindrical grinding can be obtained with these types of grinders. Fluting is the process of removing large quantities of material by creating a flat or spiral groove, this is by far the most time consuming operation and can be expedited with a higher HP motor. With the advancement of software in the control, 3D simulations can be created as a guide for how the finished product will look.

Brands of Grinders

  • Studer
  • Kellenberger
  • Okamoto
  • Okuma
  • Toyoda
  • Shigiya
  • Supertec
  • Walter
  • Anca
  • Schneeberger
  • Star
  • Blanchard
  • Mattison
  • Blohm
  • Heald
  • Cincinatti