Grinding technology that stands the test of time

Overhauling cylindrical grinding machines from Studer with the manufacturer’s support makes them a cost-effective investment
Overhauling cylindrical grinding machines from Studer with the manufacturer’s support makes them a cost-effective investment

Contract manufacturers must be able to have complete trust in the technologies, machines, and processes they use.

Only then can they manufacture one-off and small-batch components with extreme precision and process reliability. That’s why Ingold Tools AG, a well-known precision manufacturer in Switzerland, relies on CNC cylindrical grinding machines from Studer.   

Christoph Jenzer, managing director at Ingold Tools says his production specialists have had excellent results with Studer cylindrical grinding machines for many years.

“Even on an old grinding machine that has a belt drive and is close to being an antique itself, our experts were able to achieve exceptional roundness accuracy and superior surface quality on the machined workpieces. The outstanding quality of Studer’s grinding machines has continuously impressed me for many years,” he says.

Mr Jenzer puts a high premium on reliable technology, so he consistently invests in tried-and-tested grinding machines.

“The quality of a grinding machine continues to be determined by whether it has a stable and fully settled platform. That’s why, up to now, we have exclusively procured grinding machines that have already proven themselves over several years of use. Naturally, this is very advantageous from an economic perspective too,” he explains.

Through turning and milling operations, and a final grinding process, Ingold Tools carries out the complete production of bearing covers for motor spindles used in high-speed machining
Through turning and milling operations, and a final grinding process, Ingold Tools carries out the complete production of bearing covers for motor spindles used in high-speed machining

After annual investments starting in 2014, the manufacturing facility in Inkwil now makes effective use of eight Studer CNC cylindrical grinding machines. Mr Jenzer’s preference for Studer products is also rooted in the large variety offered by the grinder manufacturer. “With Studer, we always find the machine needed for our comprehensive range of components,” he says.

For example, the contract manufacturer now machines workpieces ranging from around 10mm to 450mm in diameter and 1,600mm in length on Studer machines like the S21, S31, S33, S40, and S41.

The company first had all the machines overhauled by Studer and on some, additional machining capabilities were added. This was the case with an S21 cylindrical grinding machine on which internal and thread grinding as well as in-process gauging for adaptive grinding were introduced.  

Claudio Delmenico, area sales manager at Studer, adds: “Even with grinding machines tried and tested over many years, we ensure that manufacturing companies can benefit from the advantages of our technology. This includes consulting, service, technical information, and spare parts, not only for the mechanical systems and drive technology we develop but also for the control technology and software.”

The manufacturing engineers at Ingold Tools achieve exceptional precision by combining their know-how with the tried-and-trusted CNC grinding machines. As an example, Mr Jenzer cites bearing covers for motor spindles used in high-speed machining. At Ingold Tools, they first undergo turning and milling operations, followed by cylindrical grinding on the external and internal diameters, with a precision of up to 2μm in the position form, and dimensional accuracy.

He explains: “In grinding, the pre-machining also determines whether the desired and required accuracy can be achieved. Therefore, we prefer to machine difficult and complex components in-house from the blank to the high precision finished workpiece.”

On select components, Ingold is even able to achieve a high polish finish through a process called lap grinding. Through this process, the business has established a strong presence in multiple industries, including drive technology, machinery and special-purpose machines, hydraulics, and clamping technology.

As an example of a particularly demanding machining process that his skilled staff were able to execute, Mr Jenzer presents a control piston coated with hard plastic.

“To achieve a diameter and form accuracy of approximately 2μm we first milled and drilled the pre-turned blank, had it coated with hard plastic at a partner company, and subsequently ground the external and internal diameters on our grinding machines.”

Using an S21 cylindrical grinding machine retrofitted with a motor spindle for internal and thread grinding, Ingold Tools accurately machines bores and control slots in valve housings with a precision of 2μm
Using an S21 cylindrical grinding machine retrofitted with a motor spindle for internal and thread grinding, Ingold Tools accurately machines bores and control slots in valve housings with a precision of 2μm

To strengthen his reputation in the industry and expand his precision machining capacities, Mr Jenzer invested further in a CNC cylindrical grinding machine from Studer, an overhauled S41 universal machine with a swivelling wheelhead and four usable grinding spindle ends.

“This machine enables us to reduce our lead-times and increase our flexibility. We can grind components to completion in a single clamping operation,” explains Mr Jenzer.

As a matter of course Mr Jenzer knows he can count on the support of the service technicians at Studer in the future, just as he has done in the past.

“So far, our experience has been very good. For a contract manufacturer who needs to operate productively and economically at all times and cannot tolerate machine downtime, their machines have proven to be ideal.”

Furthermore, the specialists at Ingold Tools are familiar with the programming and operating interfaces of these CNC grinding machines. This has proven to be another advantage. The machine operators can effortlessly alternate between several machines.

“Why would I bring in another manufacturer with an unfamiliar set up?” He asks rhetorically. For these reasons, he is already planning to purchase a ninth machine.

Ingold Tools currently has around 30 experienced and highly qualified employees. The range of services includes turning, milling, drilling, internal and external cylindrical grinding, surface grinding, honing lapping, assembly of components, sandblasting and polishing, as well as laser engraving.

Studer
www.studer.com

Ingold Tools
www.ingoldtools.ch

Company

Studer

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